University of Bath

Applying to the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Find out if you need an ATAS certificate to get your visa, how to apply for your certificate and what to do when you have it.

ATAS certificates

ATAS is a UK government scheme for international students who plan to study certain subjects in the UK. The ATAS certificate must state the institution where you plan to study and any course units you might take.

People who should apply for an ATAS certificate

If you are an international student applying for certain undergraduate master's or postgraduate subjects, you may need to apply for an ATAS certificate before you can apply for your visa.

You will need to do this whether you are already in the UK or are in another country when you make the application. 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.

If you entered the UK on a time-limited Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa for more than 6 months, you may need to apply for an ATAS certificate before starting your course.

Undergraduate master's students

You must apply for an ATAS certificate if you need a visa to study in the UK as an undergraduate student and have an offer to study:

  • MPhys (hons) Physics
  • MPhys Physics with Professional Placement
  • MPhys Physics with Professional & Research Placements
  • MPhys (hons) Physics with Year Abroad
  • MPhys (hons) Physics with Research Placement
  • MSci (hons) Mathematics and Physics
  • MSci (hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study Year Abroad
  • MSci (hons) Mathematics and Physics with Placement
  • MPhys (hons) Physics with Astrophysics
  • MPhys Physics with Astrophysics with Professional Placement
  • MPhys (hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Research Placement
  • MPhys (hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional and Research Placements
  • MPhys (hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study Abroad
  • MEng (hons) Chemical Engineering
  • MEng (hons) Biochemical Engineering
  • MEng (hons) Integrated Mechanical & Electrical Engineering
  • MEng (hons) Mechanical Engineering
  • MEng (hons) Mechanical with Automotive Engineering
  • MEng (hons) Aerospace Engineering
  • MEng (hons) Integrated Design Engineering

Taught postgraduate students

You must apply for an ATAS certificate if you need a visa to study in the UK and have an offer for a full-time postgraduate research course to study:

  • MSc Sustainable Chemical Engineering with five-week pre-sessional English
  • MSc Sustainable Chemical Engineering with ten-week pre-sessional English
  • MSc Automotive Engineering
  • MSc Automotive Engineering with five-week pre-sessional English
  • MSc Automotive Engineering with ten-week pre-sessional English
  • MSc Engineering Design
  • MSc Engineering Design with five-week pre-sessional English
  • MSc Engineering Design with ten-week pre-sessional English
  • MSc Innovation and Technology Management
  • MSc Innovation and Technology Management with five-week pre-sessional English
  • MSc Innovation and Technology Management with ten-week pre-sessional English
  • MRes Sustainable Chemical Technologies
  • MRes Sustainable Chemical Technologies with five-week pre-sessional English
  • MRes Sustainable Chemical Technologies with ten-week pre-sessional English

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 full-time postgraduate research course in the:

  • Faculty of Science (excluding Statistics)
  • Faculty of Engineering and Design (excluding Architecture)
  • Department for Health in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

People who should not apply for an ATAS certificate

You do not need an ATAS certificate if:

  • you are a UK, EU, EEA or Swiss national
  • you are applying for an undergraduate course that does not lead to a master's degree
  • you are applying for a distance-learning course
  • you spend most of your time studying abroad and only come to the UK for visits of less than six months
  • you have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

When to apply for an ATAS certificate

If we offer you a place to study and you need an ATAS certificate, we will contact you through Bath Application Tracker and give you the information you need to complete the application process.

You should apply for your ATAS certificate as soon as we contact you because you will need it to apply for your visa. Do not try to apply for a certificate unless we tell you to.

You can apply for your ATAS certificate from nine months before your course starts. 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's issued.

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

How to apply for an ATAS certificate

If we confirm that you need an ATAS certificate, you can apply for it through the UK government website.

You will need to provide details of two referees who you have known for three years or more. These should be academic contacts from your studies at home. Consult an adviser if you do not think you have any referees based overseas - it may be possible to use one based in the UK.

Undergraduate master's and taught postgraduate students

If you're studying an undergraduate master's or a taught postgraduate course, we will send you a list of units to choose from as part of your course. You must include the full list of units you might study in your ATAS application.

Doctoral students

If you're a doctoral student, you must include your research abstract when you apply for your ATAS certificate. This information must be accurate, so please contact the Doctoral College if you do not have your official research abstract.