Academic Technology Approval Scheme


Applying for an ATAS certificate

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) applies to a small number of postgraduate students who intend to study sensitive subjects. All international students who are subject to UK immigration control will need to apply for an ATAS certificate before they can apply for a visa to start or continue their study in the UK. More information about the scheme and if it applies to you can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Do I need an ATAS certificate?

Only students studying certain Science, Engineering and Technology subjects studied at a higher level will need a certificate.

If you are a new student you will receive a separate letter with your offer letter which will state whether you need an ATAS certificate and will contain all the information you need from the University to complete your ATAS certificate application.

If you are a continuing student an Immigration Adviser will be able to confirm if you need an ATAS certificate as part of your application.

If you know the Common Aggregate Hierarchy (CAH3) code for your course find out if you require an ATAS certificate on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

When should I apply for my ATAS certificate?

An application for an ATAS certificate will take up to 20 working days to process. You'll need to upload your ATAS certificate to your UWE Welcome portal before we can issue your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

It's a good idea to make your ATAS certificate application as soon as you have your offer letter if you are a new student. If you are applying to several universities you can apply for an ATAS certificate for each course.

If you are a continuing student you should apply for your ATAS certificate at least two months before you submit your visa extension application.

An ATAS certificate can be used as a valid part of a Tier 4 (General) visa application for up to six months after it has been issued.

How do I apply for my ATAS certificate?

Applications are free of charge and should be made online via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

What information will I need to apply for my ATAS certificate?

To apply online, you will need a letter which should include information about your programme of study  or research, including the relevant CAH3 code.

You will be asked to provide details about:

  • your previous studies
  • your previous/current employment (if applicable)
  • full details of your published papers (if applicable)
  • your previous ATAS applications (if applicable)
  • optional modules you anticipate taking in a taught Masters
  • your area of research and a description (for research degrees)
  • full names and contact details of two referees
  • how you will be funding your studies.


What happens after I have applied for my certificate?

  • You should receive an email confirmation that your application has been received.
  • Allow up to 20 working days to receive another email letting you know the outcome.
  • If your application has been successful you'll be emailed a copy of your certificate.

If you're a new student, please upload this certificate to your UWE Welcome website.

If you are a continuing student you should email your ATAS certificate to Your CAS will not normally be produced until you have provided your ATAS certificate.