The College recognises that some graduate students will want to undertake a limited amount of paid work during their studies, whether as part of their academic development (e.g. teaching and demonstrating) or to help to support themselves financially. These guidelines aim to ensure that any paid work undertaken does not adversely affect students’ success in their studies or their ability to complete their course on time. In addition, some graduates will have prescribed limits on how many hours’ paid work they can do, which must be observed: for example, graduates funded by research councils and some other scholarships, and those graduates with student visas. Students should be aware that demand for part-time paid work in Oxford often exceeds the amount of paid work available, whether it is academic paid work or other forms of paid work. For this reason, graduate students should not rely on the availability of paid work to fund their University and College fees and their living costs when planning how to finance their studies and completing their Financial Declaration.
Full-time graduate students should generally regard their studies as a full-time occupation of at least 40 hours per week, and should normally be available for all academic commitments during usual working hours (i.e. 9 am to 7 pm on weekdays). Graduate students on taught courses should regard this as applying to term-time study whilst for students on research courses it applies all year round.
The University and the College therefore recommend that full-time graduate students on a taught course (such as a Master’s) do not undertake more than 8 hours’ paid work each week whilst studying. The number of weeks of full-time study required will depend on the course structure. Students may find they have substantial study commitments in the Christmas, Easter and summer vacations as well as the University’s three full terms of eight weeks each. Students should check the structure of their own course and its implications for any paid work with their department or faculty before taking up any such work.
Students on research courses (such as a DPhil) are advised that any paid work should still allow them to spend at least 40 hours per week for a minimumof 44 weeks of the year on their studies.