Student Progress

Postgraduate Research Students

Postgraduate Research Students

Guidance for PGR Students

Postgraduate research programmes have a very different structure to Taught Masters courses, so Tier 4 and Student rules can differ.

Most PGR students will receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to apply for a visa to cover their period of candidature, plus any writing up (pending submission period). This is usually enough time for students to complete their programme of study, but occasionally, due to academic circumstances, it may be necessary to make a Student Route application either in the UK or in your home country.

The Visa Support Team can help you with your Student Route application in the UK. See Applying for the Student Route Visa for details.

The University has policy and guidance as to when further sponsorship will be offered in these circumstances and when discretion can be applied. The University policy governing the immigration sponsorship, and registration, of non-EEA students sets out the circumstances applicable to sponsorship - see the Policy on Student Immigration Compliance.

For further help, see Guidance for PGR Students.

Click on a section below for specific advice for postgraduate research students.  

Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES)

The Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) visa allows you to work in the UK for 12 months after your studies.

The UKCISA website has further details about this visa.

As you can only apply for a DES visa towards the very end of your PhD programme, you will need to have a reasonable expectation of your hardbound submission date before your Tier 4 or Student Route visa expires.

Before applying, you should:

You should also be aware of the Visa timescales for PGR students (PDF: 311KB) in obtaining a CAS for the Doctorate Extension Scheme. It may not always be possible to apply for the Doctorate Extension Scheme if formal processes cannot be completed before your Tier 4 or or Student Route visa expires.

The Doctorate Extension Scheme closes to applicants on 1 July 2021. From that date, students who have recently completed programmes can apply for the Graduate Route. The Graduate Route does not require a CAS. If you wish to apply for DES before it closes to applicants and you meet the requirements, please submit your DES CAS request before the end of May 2021.

The Careers workshop on Immigration Routes in to Employment provides information about alternative immigration routes for employment.