New International Postgraduate Researcher (Doctorate) checklist

Everything you need to do before you start your doctoral degree if you're a student paying overseas fees or with a visa and immigration tasks.


Before you arrive

Complete your online registration

You need to register in order to join us here at Sheffield. At the beginning of September we’ll send you information on how to complete your online pre-registration.

Guide to completing registration for international students

Book your in-person Right to Study check

In the pre-registration email you receive in September, we’ll ask you to book an appointment to attend an in-person Right to Study check to have your immigration documents verified. You’ll then be able to complete your registration with the University. Appointments will be available from the week commencing 11 September 2023.

Complete the CAS application task

Anyone who applies for a Student visa to study in the UK must include with their visa application a unique Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number, linking them to the institution where they intend to study. You will be asked to complete the CAS Application task as part of your pre-registration tasks.

CAS number applications

If you do not require a Student visa because you have a different visa type that permits study in the UK, you will not need to request a CAS number. However, you should check carefully if your visa permits you to study on your specific course as early as possible. If you’re unsure you can contact our International Student Support, Advice and Compliance team (ISSAC).

Apply for your student visa

Once you have received your CAS from Admissions you should apply for your visa as soon as possible.

Applying for a student visa

Before applying for your visa:

Check if you need to provide evidence of a tuberculosis (TB) test as part of your visa application. 

Tuberculosis screening

Check if you need to provide ATAS clearance as part of your visa application. If you’re unsure what you need for your application, contact our International Student Support, Advice and Compliance team (ISSAC).

ATAS clearance

Contact ISSAC

Register for university accommodation

If you want to live in University accommodation, you’ll need to register if you haven’t already done so.

University accommodation

Access your University IT account

Look out for an email containing instructions on accessing your IT account, and follow the steps.

Register with the University Health Service

If you will be living in Sheffield, you can register with the University Health Service. If you have any dependants (spouse/partner or child) they can also register.

  • If you haven’t already, we recommend getting your MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) and MenACWY (Meningitis) vaccinations.
  • Please remember to bring any current medications you take with you and make sure you have enough for your first few weeks.
  • If you have an existing medical condition, bring a summary of your medical records with you, translated into English if possible - including any information on medications you currently take.
Complete your Financial Declaration

All students must complete the Financial Declaration, online, in advance. You will be sent a link, via email, asking you to complete your pre-registration actions; this includes completing the Financial Declaration.

If you’re a Sheffield University graduate, and are funding your Doctorate yourself, you’re entitled to a discount on your tuition fees (if applicable).

Information about tuition fees

Information for scholarship award holders

If you will be receiving a University or UKRI funded scholarship, find out about your payment schedule and terms.

Inform us of any accessibility requirements

If you have a disability, let us know about any additional support you will need.

Familiarise yourself with the Code of Practice

The Code of Practice for Research Degree Programmes contains a wide range of information for PGR students, from registration to the point of award. Here you will find guidance on everything from supervision, to working and taking annual leave.

Prepare to travel to the UK

Take a look at our international student essentials for advice on what to bring with you and important information for moving to the UK.

Check that you have your new address and you know how to get here. 

Travel guidance

Connect with other PGRs at the University

Once you have access to your University IT account, you can download and access Umii - a free app that can help connect you with other University students, based on your programme, interests and societies.

You can also join our Facebook group to meet and chat with other new students.

Follow us on social media

Join our QQ postgraduate research student group (ID 541037648)

Ask a question

If you need support you can get advice from the Student Services Information Desk (SSiD).

For immigration related information or advice, please contact the International Student Support, Advice & Compliance (ISSAC) team.

When you arrive

Attend your in-person Right to Study check

You’ll need to attend your in-person Right to Study check to complete your final registration steps and receive your UCard. You will also collect your BRP (Biometric Residence Permit), if you have requested for it to be posted to the University.

If you are a part-time or distance learning student, you do not need to attend an in-person registration event.

Check your visa details and responsibilities

Check your visa details are correct. If there’s a problem, let us know straight away.

Student visa duration

Check your visa conditions and responsibilities.

Student visa responsibilities

Open a UK student bank account

You will need a bank letter from the University to open a bank account in the UK. Bank letters can only be requested once you have completed your student registration.

How to open a student bank account

Download our safety app

Download our safety app, so you can contact security if you need help and stay safe around campus.

Download SafeZone

Get involved in Orientation and Welcome Week

Orientation Week runs from Monday 11 September to Friday 15 September, and is a non-mandatory programme of information sessions, social events and activities designed to give you a little extra help to settle into life in Sheffield and the University, and to start making friends.

Orientation 2023

Welcome Week takes place from Monday 18 September and is full of new activities, nights out, exclusive offers, and support, brought to you by your Students’ Union - the no.1 SU in the UK!

Find out more about Welcome Week

Find support

If you need support you can get advice from Student Services. You’ll find the Student Services Information Desk on level 3 of the Students’ Union.

Ask a question

There is also a wealth of support and information available in your Faculty to help make your doctoral research degree successful.

Find your Faculty Graduate School

In your first few weeks

Attend induction events

Please attend any departmental or Faculty PGR induction events you are invited to. You will receive information about these via your University email address.

Attend your Race Equality and Sexual Consent talks.

Register for PGR mentoring and social events

PGR Connect provides opportunities to meet your colleagues across the University through mentoring, events and socials. As a mentee you can connect with someone more experienced and further along in their research.

Register your interest

Complete your mandatory training

There are 11 mandatory training courses that all postgraduate research students and University staff must complete, which form an essential part of keeping us all safe and healthy at work, keeping our data secure and building a positive, supportive community for all students and staff.

Familiarise yourself with the Research Ethics Policy

If you’re conducting research with people, their data, or their tissue, please make sure that you’re familiar with the University Research Ethics Policy and how it applies to you.

Begin working with your supervisor

In your first meetings you will:

  • Establish the expectations for your supervisory relationship;
  • Be introduced to the key people, processes, resources and facilities in your department; 
  • Discuss the timeline for your doctoral programme, and the requirements, milestones and deadlines you need to be aware of;
  • Develop plans for your project, building on the initial research proposal defined during the admissions process; 
  • Complete your Training Needs Analysis for the Doctoral Development Programme (DDP) and identify any additional training you will require in your first year.
Explore the University Library

Get to know our library services and how they can support you throughout your doctoral degree.

Find a club or society

Take a look at our Clubs and Societies to explore what you could get involved with. This is a great way to meet new people, unwind and develop skills beyond your research area.

Make new friends from all over the world

Throughout the academic year we have a wide range of weekly events and activities including Global Hangouts, Local History Walks and Global Cafe. These events are open to everyone so you can meet people, make friends and settle into life at the University and Sheffield.

Join our global campus

Explore our sport facilities

Start exploring the sport facilities at the University and find out more about gym memberships.

Sport Sheffield

The start date for the majority of programmes is 25 September 2023. You should aim to arrive in Sheffield and complete your registration before this date so you can begin your studies from the start of term.

Late registration

If you arrive after 25 September 2023, the start date for most courses, you may be able to register late. The final deadline for arriving in Sheffield and registering as a student is 16 October 2023, but some courses have earlier deadlines (for example, if your start date is earlier than 25 September 2023).

Check if your course has an earlier start date

Late registration guidance

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