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.

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 visa 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.

As of 6 July 2018, 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 need to provide the ATAS 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.

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:

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

Taught postgraduate students

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

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

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 one of the following faculties:

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

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

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 following faculties:

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

Please note, you will need a new ATAS certificate every time you make a Short Term Study visa application.

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 have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

When to apply for an ATAS certificate

Students on a Tier 4 visa

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. 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.

Students on a short-term study visa

If we offer you a place to study and you need an ATAS certificate, the Doctoral College will contact you 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. It usually takes at least four weeks for applications to be processed, but it may take longer in the summer. We will issue you with your short-term study visa letter once we have received a valid ATAS certificate for you. An ATAS certificate is valid for six months from the date it is issued.

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.

Full details of the scheme can be found on the UK government website.

Undergraduate master's and taught postgraduate students

If you are studying an undergraduate master's or a taught postgraduate course, we will send you a list of units applicable to your course. You must include the full list of units in your ATAS application.

Doctoral students

If you are a doctoral student, you must include your research abstract or the list of your modules if your first year comprises of taught modules, when you apply for your ATAS certificate.

If you are a visiting research scholar, 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 or list of taught modules.