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Postgraduate Admissions


If you are applying for a PhD/Masters-level course in certain science or technology subject areas and you will be studying in the UK on a visa, you will need to apply for ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance. The following applicants are exempt:

  • those who have been granted indefinite leave to remain;

  • nationals of the European Economic Area and Switzerland;

  • nationals of the following countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, Singapore, Japan, South Korea.

If ATAS clearance is required, it will be a condition of your offer. You will need to apply for ATAS clearance online. The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) manages this scheme and the application is free. Please visit the FCDO ATAS website for further ATAS application guidance.

You will find your ATAS research statement on your Self-Service account; this is the statement which you must use in your application. Once you have received ATAS clearance, you will be issued a certificate. You must upload this certificate to your Self-Service account.

You may not commence your studies without a valid ATAS clearance certificate for the course to which you have been admitted – if you change course, you will need to obtain new ATAS clearance.

An ATAS clearance certificate must be provided as a supporting document for a student visa application where it is required. You must obtain this clearance before making your visa application.

If you have more than one offer from different universities or institutions, you will need to apply for separate ATAS clearance certificates for each university or institution and programme of study.

Please note:

  • The issuance of an 'ATAS Certificate' does not guarantee that a visa will be granted.

  • It can take 20 working days to obtain an ATAS certificate. Between April and September this can increase to 30 working days or more. If ATAS applies to you, you will not be able to obtain your visa until you have ATAS clearance.

  • Make your ATAS application as early as possible but no more than 6 months prior to the course start date. This is because an ATAS certificate is only valid for 6 months. Errors and omissions in your ATAS application may cause delays to the process so take care to complete the application accurately and in full.

Does Your Course Require an ATAS?