Student Progress

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

If you’re applying for undergraduate or postgraduate (taught and research) study in certain subject areas you will need to apply for Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance before you can study in the UK. This is mainly in science, engineering and medical subject areas.

Your offer letter will state if your course requires ATAS clearance. You can also complete the questionnaire on the ATAS website to check if your course requires ATAS clearance. Use the CAH3 code in your letter for the course.

Students who are nationals of EU countries, the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the United States of America do not need an ATAS certificate. All other nationals with limited leave to remain, including but not limited to the following visa categories, require ATAS clearance:

  • Student Route
  • Dependant
  • Tier 1
  • Tier 2
  • Tier 5
  • Standard visitor visa
  • Ancestry visa
  • Discretionary leave
  • Asylum seekers leave
  • Spouse visa

How to apply for an ATAS certificate

If you intend to study on a Student Route visa, you will need to make the ATAS application in plenty time before applying for your visa. If you intend to study on a visa of a different category you will need to make an ATAS application and have ATAS clearance granted prior to the start date of your course. ATAS applications can take up to 20 working days to be processed. Processing times can be considerably longer during busy periods.

You can find more information on how to apply for ATAS clearance on the GOV.UK website.

If you’re applying for a Student Route visa you will not receive a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) from the University until you have provided us with your ATAS clearance.

If you’re not on a Tier 4 or Student Route visa, but studying on a course which requires an ATAS clearance, we will ensure that you have obtained it before starting your course.

You will need a new ATAS clearance if:

  • you change your course or area of research
  • you’re intending to renew your Student visa
  • you’re applying for a Standard visitor visa. If you’re applying for a Standard visitor visa to take your doctoral viva, you can reuse the original ATAS clearance you used for this particular doctorate
  • you’re on a Tier 4 or Student Route visa and applied for leave on or after 6 November 2014 and are studying a course subject to ATAS, you will need to apply for new ATAS clearance within 28 calendar days if your course end date (as stated on your CAS) is postponed for a period of more than three calendar months, or if there are any changes to the course contents or the research proposal

If you’re applying for a Tier 4 visa for the Doctorate Extension Scheme you do not need to apply for a new ATAS clearance.