Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)


The UK government's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) operate an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS). Most non-UK nationals planning to study certain science, engineering or technology disciplines in the UK need to acquire an ATAS certificate before they can apply for a visa.

The majority of subject areas covered by the scheme are postgraduate research, but it also applies to a number of postgraduate taught Masters and four-year undergraduate Masters courses.

The scheme applies to all overseas nationals with the exception of those from EU/EEA countries, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and the USA.

If you will need an ATAS clearance certificate before you can apply for your visa, the Admissions Service will contact you with information about how to submit an ATAS application. The application is made online, and is free of charge. The FCDO undertakes to process applications within 20 working days (four weeks).

We recommend that you apply for your ATAS clearance as soon as possible after receiving confirmation from us that you need to do so, as a late application may delay you obtaining your visa. If you need an ATAS clearance certificate and you do not have one, your visa application will be refused.

Please note that you will need to re-apply for ATAS clearance if you change course once you have registered at the University, or if there is a change in the relevant modules/area of study.

More information about the scheme, including the application form, is available on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office website.

You can find more information about the CAS application process at Sheffield on our CAS application webpages.

Frequently asked questions about ATAS

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