Academic Services

The average 9-hour limit

How the average 9-hour limit to employment is calculated and applied to full-time postgraduate research students.

How is the average of 9 hours per week calculated?

It should be calculated as an average over the 46 weeks of the academic year (excluding six weeks for holiday entitlement). A 'week' is defined as 7 days, from Monday to Sunday.

I am a full-time postgraduate research student – will the University employ me for more than 9 hours in any given week?

Yes, as long as the weekly average over the academic year is not more than 9 hours. This means, for example, that you may be able to work for 35 hours in a particular week in order to support a field trip, as long as the average over the academic year is no more than 9 hours per week. In practice, however, it is likely that for most postgraduate research students distributing paid employment over longer periods of time, rather than having very concentrated periods of employment at particular points in the year, would be more compatible with successful completion of their degrees. If you are on a study visa, you cannot work more than 20 hours in any given week, and students with external funding will have to apply any relevant conditions.

Does the limit of an average of 9 hours' employment per week apply to all employment in the University, or just to tutoring and demonstrating work?

The limit applies to all paid employment within the University, for example tutoring and demonstrating, internships and research projects.  The rule does not apply to employment as a Residence Life Assistant or Warden, provided that work undertaken by PGR students in this capacity does not impede the successful completion of their degree programmes, and the average 9-hour limit is advised where possible.  Student visa holders employed as Residence Life Assistants or Wardens are advised that all hours spent working in this capacity count towards the maximum of 20 hours’ work in any given week during their studies.

I am a full-time postgraduate research student in the submission period – does the average 9-hour limit still apply to me?

The average 9-hour limit will not apply after you have submitted your thesis and you are either awaiting your viva or undertaking post-viva corrections.  Student visa holders must continue to comply with the hourly limit on working hours (a maximum of 20 hours in any given week) and students must continue to meet any conditions of their funding bodies, however. 

Does the limit apply to part-time postgraduate research students as well?

No, the University does not have a formal limit on the number of hours that it will employ part-time students, although we would strongly encourage part-time students to avoid undertaking excessive employment at the expense of successful completion of their degrees. 

Can full-time postgraduate research students undertake as many hours of employment as they like outside the University?

While the University cannot prevent students from taking employment outside the University, we recommend that students do not exceed an average of 9 hours employment per week, including both employment for the University and for other employers. In addition, student visa holders must comply with the conditions of their visas (which also apply to the number of hours that they can work outside the University), and students must also meet any conditions of their funding bodies.