Student Progress

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate Students

Guidance for Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students are studying at degree level (RQF 6 or RQF 7 for some integrated programmes) and have clear rules and conditions for study under Tier 4 and the Student Route.

Most students will receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to apply for a visa to cover the whole of their undergraduate programme, but if there are changes to study plans or personal circumstances, it may be necessary to make a Student Route application to continue your current programme, 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 further information.

Click on a section below for specific advice for undergraduate students.  

Work Placements for student on a Tier 4 or Student Route visa

Most students on a Tier 4 or Student Route visa will normally be granted a visa to cover the full length of their programme.

Students who applied for a programme which contains a work placement will normally be granted a visa which covers the full length of the programme including the work placement year.

However, if you've applied for a programme of study which did not contain a work placement year, but want to add a work placement year onto your existing programme, then your Tier 4 or Student Route visa may not cover the full length of your programme.

In this case, you may need to apply for a Student Route visa to cover the new length of the programme.

The type of work placement you can do

The work placement you undertake must be an assessed part of your programme of study. This means that during the work placement, you are also registered as a student at the university.

The work placement you undertake must be no more than 50 per cent of the total length of your programme. Your programme of study must be at or above degree level.

You are only eligible to renew your Tier 4 visa if the work placement will take place within the UK. If your work placement will take place outside the UK, please see further information about the visa implications.

When to apply for a new visa

You can apply for the Student Route visa at any point during your programme of study - this can be before you start the work placement or after its completion. We would encourage you to apply for the Student Route visa after you’ve successfully secured a work placement, to avoid spending time and money for the visa extension, in case you don’t secure a placement.

You must be granted your new Student Route visa either before or after the work placement. Where possible, we would encourage you to apply for the visa before starting the work placement to avoid any potential issues with your employer.

Where to apply for your Student Route visa

You can apply for the Student Route visa either from within the UK, or outside the UK.

If you apply for the visa from within the UK, you must apply before your current visa expires.

If applying from outside the UK, you will need to make sure your application allows enough time to return to the UK before starting your placement or returning to University.

Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

You will have to pay for the IHS when you make your Student Route visa application. In most cases, if you apply for the Student Route visa before starting a work placement, it's likely that there will be an overlapping period from the 2 visas. You may therefore be eligible for a refund of the IHS for the overlapping period, if you make the Student Route visa application from within the UK.

However, if you make the Student Route visa application from outside the UK, you may not be eligible for the refund.

Conditions of your Tier 4 or Student Route visa

You can work on a full-time basis for the work placement. Any additional work you undertake outside the work placement will be restricted to 20 hours per week and must not interfere with the work placement itself.

If you need to register with the police, you must continue to do so and keep your police registration certificate up to date.

If your work placement is terminated prematurely

You should discuss this with your School or placement officer as soon as possible. If there will be a gap between the work placement ending and the start of the new term, you may have to return home during this time, and apply for a new Student Route visa once you are ready to return to the UK to resume your studies.