Visiting research students

The Faculty of Engineering welcomes research students from other universities who wish to spend time studying with us.

If you wish to come to the Faculty as a visiting research student, you must be registered as a research student at another university.

Definition of a Visiting Student

  • A student who is not studying for credit and is not administered by the International Office, i.e. is not on a recognised exchange or study abroad arrangement.
  • The student will normally be registered as a student at an HE institution elsewhere and will normally be visiting Bristol to carry out research (at postgraduate level) or to undertake an undergraduate project (not for credit).
  • The student will not be seeking credit and will not undergo formal assessment. No credit can be awarded, and these students are not returned to external agencies including HESA and HEFCE.


  • Provide a complete application through the University online Postgraduate Application System which includes degree certificates and transcripts of qualifications, a letter of support from the home institution and in the case of students outside of the UK or a non-English speaking country evidence of English Language proficiency that fulfils Profile E of the University English Language requirements.
  • Postgraduate research students can NOT come to the Faculty without having received and accepted an official invitation to visit through the University online Postgraduate Application System.
  • Confirmation of academic supervision for the duration of the visit will be required before the official invitation can be issued. In the case of students requiring Tier 4 visa sponsorship this supervisor will hold responsibility for monthly monitoring of academic engagement.


Please note that we will require 4-6 weeks to process a complete application. Applicants are therefore advised to complete their application forms 3-6 months prior to the anticipated visit dates to ensure enough time to process the application, secure the relevant supervisory approvals and make the necessary pre-arrival arrangements.

  • If you wish to apply to come to the Faculty of Engineering as a visiting research student, you must first secure the agreement of a member of academic staff to act as your supervisor for the duration of your visit. Please see our research pages to find members of staff whose research area matches your interests. You should contact them directly, using the contact details given.
  • Once you have secured the agreement of a potential supervisor, and have agreed dates for your visit with them, please complete an application form to the relevant Department I.e. Aerospace Engineering (PhD) using the online application form.
  • Once your application has been processed you will be issued a formal offer of study letter which will confirm your supervisor(s), visiting student duration and fees liable. You will be asked to formally respond to this offer of study letter.

Please note, applicants whose first language is not English are also required to demonstrate that they meet the English language requirements for the programme (IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with no sub-test score lower than 6.0) - further guidance is set out in the Profile E guidelines. Please note that your language test certificates must be dated no more than two years before your start date as a Visiting Research Student; i.e. all tests for entry in September 2020 must have been taken in October 2018 or later.

Applicants who are non-EEA citizens will require a visa to undertake their visit. A Student Visitor Visa may be used for visits less than six months of duration. Please note that a student visitor visa cannot be extended in the UK.

Visiting students wishing to come for a period of more than six months will need to acquire a Tier 4 visa. The Faculty Office will issue a CAS for this category of student, but the student must be attending for the purposes of study only and should not be undertaking work whilst in the UK.

Further visa information and advice can be found at:

Application and Bench Fees

Fees will be charged as per the table below according to the number of terms/months in which the student will be using University facilities.

Length of stay

Office based

Using workshop or
laboratory facilities

< 3 months



3 - 6 Months



7 - 9 Months



10 - 12 Months



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