In most universities, the amount a student is able to work really depends upon the type of course they are taking – whether it is a full-time course, a part-time course, or whether it is a masters or research or an undergraduate course. The amount of work expected by the faculty staff and the number of hours each programme will take up during term time really has a massive impact on the hours available.
Generally speaking, masters students aren’t expected to work during term-time as the commitment needed for the masters is quite substantial, however, the situation most students face of needing to be able to raise the funds in an increasingly expensive society, to live are understood by most university faculties and they are realistic about this on a case-by-case basis. As a student, it is up to you to decide what you can realistically handle and the work-load outside of the university you can take-on. If you find yourself falling behind on grades but need to work the number of hours you do, then it is important to take this up with a tutor or member of the faculty to see what your options are.
As a graduate research student on a course of more than twelve months, a good guide is that the student should take up no more than ten hours per week or paid work but this is usually with the approval of their Supervisor or College Tutor. It is important to consult both the Supervisor and College Tutor before making any big decisions about working as each university may differ in their preferences for working whilst on a course.