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Postgraduate Study


What is ATAS?

If you're applying for a PhD or Masters-level course in certain science or technology subject areas and you'll be studying in the UK on a visa, you'll 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 Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, Singapore, Japan, South Korea.

If ATAS clearance is required, it will be a condition of your offer and you'll need to apply online. The application is free and managed by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). Visit the FCDO ATAS website for further guidance.

Your ATAS Certificate

You'll find your ATAS research statement on your Self-Service account; this is the statement you must use in your application.

Once you've received ATAS clearance, you'll 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'll 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.

Does my course require an ATAS?

Select your course from the drop-down list to check if an ATAS is required.


Important notes

  • You will not be able to obtain your visa until you have ATAS clearance.
  • An ATAS Certificate does not guarantee 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.
  • Apply for your ATAS 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.