PGT

Guidance for students on masters programmes

Masters students, whether taught or by research, are studying at degree level (RQF 7) and have quite clear rules and conditions for study under Tier 4. Most students will receive a CAS to apply for a visa to cover the whole of their masters programme, but if there are changes to study plans or personal circumstances, it may be necessary to make a Tier 4 application either in the UK or in your home country.

Can I apply for my visa in the UK?

Time limits for Tier 4 students studying at degree level

Students may only spend a limited number of years in the UK on a Tier 4 visa. When calculating the permitted time spent in the UK, UKVI take in to consideration all of the time spent in the UK on the visa, not just the time spent studying.

The time limits for Tier 4 students studying at degree level can be found on the UKCISA website.

Students are normally restricted to a limit of 5 years in the UK for study at degree level. If you have completed a 4 year undergraduate degree in the UK on a Tier 4 visa and you then wish to study a masters degree, the limit is 6 years.

If you have any concerns that applying for a new programme or extending your time on your current programme at degree level might not be possible under Tier 4 due to time limits, please contact the Visa Support Team.

Requirements for making a Tier 4 application in the UK

There are very specific requirements for students making a Tier 4 application in the UK.

Students holding offers for Newcastle University who are already in the UK and students already studying at Newcastle University may make a Tier 4 application with the assistance of the Visa Support Team, if they meet all appropriate Tier 4 requirements.

Students holding an offer for Newcastle University, who currently have a Tier 4 visa for study at a Private Provider, may not make a Tier 4 application in the UK. You can check whether your current institution is a ‘private provider’ by looking at the list of Tier 4 Sponsors.
This list is updated regularly.

English language requirements

Tier 4 General has specific English language requirements for students studying at degree level. Please refer to the list of acceptable English language evidence for Tier 4 sponsorship.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

A limited number of undergraduate programmes lead to a qualification at masters level (RQF7) and may require ATAS clearance (some MEng programmes, for example). If you are making a Tier 4 application for a programme which requires an ATAS certificate, please visit the UKCISA website for further details.

Tier 4 Pilot Scheme for one year masters students

Students applying for a one year masters in the UK are subject to special arrangements when making a Tier 4 application. Our International Study webpages has more information about the Tier 4 Pilot Scheme for one year masters students.

Switching to another masters programme at Newcastle University

Sometimes, students choose to transfer to another masters programme before they have completed their original programme. This too can have implications for a Tier 4 visa. Before you make any decisions about transferring to another programme, you must ask the Visa Support Team for advice on how this could affect your Tier 4 visa. You can contact the Visa Support Team at a visa drop-in session or by e-mail.

Moving to a new programme at Newcastle University

If you have completed a programme at Newcastle University and you are moving to a new programme here, you can register for your new programme on your existing visa. You must, however, make a Tier 4 application within 6 weeks of registering on your new programme, or before your visa expires, whichever is soonest.

How can the Visa Support Team help you?

The Visa Support Team can assist you with your Tier 4 application in the UK. Please see our webpages for further information.

I am a masters student. Can I work in the UK during my studies?

Tier 4 students studying at degree level should be granted a visa which states that they are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during term-time. You should check that your visa gives you this permission. If it does not, please contact the Visa Support Team.

You can work more hours than the limited hours stated on your Tier 4 visa during the Christmas and Easter vacations and for the time remaining on your visa at the end of your programme. Please see our university regulations webpages for your term dates.Masters students studying on a 12 month programme do not have a summer vacation, as they are required to complete dissertations or projects during this period. This means that masters students studying on a 12 month programme cannot work more than 20 hours per week after the Easter vacation until they have fully completed their programme and they no longer have any academic work to complete or submit.

You can work more than the hours stated on your visa without further permission, if you are on a work placement as a requirement of your programme. Any additional work you do alongside your placement should not exceed 20 hours per week.

If you wish to work more than the hours stated on your visa, you should obtain written confirmation that it is either a vacation period or that you have completed your programme. Your employer will need written confirmation of this before you can be employed for more than the hours stated on your visa.

If you are in the UK on a Short Term Study visa, you may not undertake any employment in the UK.

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