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Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is a UK government scheme for international students who plan to study specific subjects in the UK.

If you are an international student applying for specific Undergraduate or Postgraduate courses, you may need to apply for an ATAS certificate before you can apply for your visa. The ATAS certificate must state the institution where you plan to study and any course units you might take. You must include a printed copy of your ATAS certificate with your visa application or the visa will be refused.

If you are already studying in the UK on a student visa, you may need an ATAS certificate if you change your course or any units.

You will also need to apply for ATAS clearance if you are coming on a course or a period of research of less than six months in eligible subjects. You will also need to provide the ATAS clearance certificate as part of your Short Term Study visa application, or at the border if you are a non-visa national asking for permission to enter the UK on arrival.

  • Students on a short-term study visa

    You must apply for an ATAS certificate if you require a short-term study visa to study in the UK or if you are a non-visa national asking for permission to enter the UK, and will be studying in one of the programme listed in the table below.

    Please note, you will need a new ATAS certificate every time you make a short-term study visa application.

  • Students on a Student route (formerly tier 4) visa

    You should apply for your ATAS certificate as soon as you receive an Conditional offer because you will need it to apply for your visa.

    It usually takes at least four weeks for applications to be processed but it may take longer in the summer. You can use your ATAS certificate to apply for your visa for six months from the date it is issued.

    If you are already studying in the UK and need to make a new visa application, you will need a new ATAS certificate.

Postgraduate research students

You must apply for an ATAS certificate if you require a visa to study in the UK and have an offer for a Postgraduate research course in one of the programme listed in the table below.

You will also need to apply for a new ATAS certificate if:

  • There are any substantial changes to the course content (or research proposal)
  • You are studying a research PhD course and there are major changes to the areas of research or the use of any new research technique
  • You apply for an extension of leave in order to continue on your course.

Eligible courses

You may need to apply for an ATAS certificate if you’re studying:

Undergraduate course

Taught master's

Enhanced MEng Undergraduate course

Research master's /  PhD / doctoral level / visiting research student

F2 – Materials Science

F3 – Physics (including Nuclear Physics)

H3 – Mechanical Engineering

H4 – Aerospace Engineering

H8 – Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering

J5 – Materials Technology not otherwise specified

F2 – Materials Science

F3 – Physics (including Nuclear Physics)

H3 – Mechanical Engineering

H4 – Aerospace Engineering

H8 – Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering

J5 – Materials Technology not otherwise specified

F2 – Materials Science

F3 – Physics (including Nuclear Physics)

H3 – Mechanical Engineering

H4 – Aerospace Engineering

H8 – Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering

J5 – Materials Technology not otherwise specified

B1 – Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology

B2 – Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacy

B9 – Others in Subjects allied to Medicine

Biological sciences - JACS codes beginning:

C1 – Biology

C2 – Botany

C4 – Genetics

C5 – Microbiology

C7 – Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry

C9 – Others in Biological Sciences.

Veterinary sciences, agriculture and related subjects - JACS codes beginning:

D3 – Animal Science

D9 – Others in Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects

Physical sciences - JACS codes beginning:

F1 – Chemistry

F2 – Materials Science

F3 – Physics

F5 – Astronomy

F8 – Physical Geographical Sciences

F9 – Others in Physical Sciences

Mathematical and computer sciences - JACS codes beginning:

G0 – Mathematical and computer sciences

G1 – Mathematics

G2 – Operational Research

G4 – Computer Science

G7 – Artificial Intelligence

G9 – Others in Mathematical and Computing Sciences

Engineering - JACS codes beginning:

H1 – General Engineering

H2 – Civil Engineering

H3 – Mechanical Engineering

H4 – Aerospace Engineering

H5 – Naval Architecture

H6 – Electronic and Electrical Engineering

H7 – Production and Manufacturing Engineering

H8 – Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering

H9 – Others in Engineering

Computer sciences - JACS codes beginning:

I1 – Computer Science

I4 – Artificial Intelligence

I9 – Others in Computer Sciences

Technologies - JACS codes beginning:

J2 – Metallurgy

J4 – Polymers and Textiles

J5 – Materials Technology not otherwise specified

J7 – Industrial Biotechnology

J9 – Others in Technology

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