Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) guidance

If you are a non-EU/EEA student planning to undertake postgraduate programmes in certain sensitive subjects, you will need to apply for clearance under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) before you apply for your Tier 4 student visa.

Your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) form will indicate whether or not you require ATAS clearance. Your faculty/school will also let you know prior to, or at the point of making an offer whether you need ATAS clearance.

ATAS clearance applies to:

  • Students planning to take a postgraduate taught master’s programme in:
    • materials science,
    • materials technology,
    • aerospace engineering,
    • mechanical engineering,
    • physics.
  • Some MEng programmes.
  • Programmes that have a Joint Academic Coding System (JACS) code allocated. A full list of JACS codes is available on the ATAS website.

To apply

  • Once you have received a conditional or unconditional offer, complete and submit an ATAS form online, following the guidance provided.
  • Application is free and will ask for details of your previous studies/employment and your proposed research/taught modules.
  • ATAS forms take around 20 days to process, after which the government will confirm whether you have been cleared or refused.
  • ATAS certificates are valid for six months.
  • You will need a new ATAS certificate prior to registering on a new programme, or if you change programmes, or if you wish to extend leave to remain as a student.
  • If you switch to a programme that requires ATAS clearance, you must obtain a certificate before you can transfer (eg if you are switching to an undergraduate course that leads to a postgraduate exit qualification covered by ATAS).
  • If your area of research or programme requires an ATAS certificate, and is likely to change to another which also requires an ATAS certificate, then you should wait until you have applied for and received your new ATAS certificate before you register on the new course or start the new area of research.

If you currently have an ATAS for your studies, and want to change to another area of research or programme requiring an ATAS:

  • Apply for a new ATAS certificate
  • Wait until you have received it before you register on your new programme or start the new area of research
Edit this page