Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Our pages include information for international students

Please read the following questions and answers carefully. (Click on the questions to reveal the answers).

These should answer many of the questions you have about the ATAS scheme. You should read this guidance in conjunction with theStudent Visa Guidance.

What is the ATAS scheme?
  • The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is operated by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It requires international students who intend to come to the UK to study on certain science and technology postgraduate and 'undergraduate masters' degrees to get approval through the scheme as part of the UK national security processes. Details can be found on the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.
Do I need to apply to ATAS?

Only applicants for certain degree programmes need to go through the ATAS scheme. The programmes are defined by something called a JACS code (this is different from the UCAS course code in some cases).

If you are coming for a postgraduate degree your offer letter will tell you that you need to apply for an ATAS certificate. Some 'undergraduate masters' (MEng/MPhys) degrees (four-year programmes) in physics and engineering are included in the scheme from September 2012.Find out more about programmes at the University of Hull requiring an ATAS certificate.

Do I need ATAS if I don't need a Tier 4 visa?

From April 2015 the ATAS scheme has been extended to include students who will study with a limited leave immigration status in the UK (not only Tier 4 visas).  You cannot register with the University until we have a satisfactory ATAS certificate).

How do I apply?

Application is online via the ATAS website. The ATAS certificate will be specific to a named programme and a named institution. You will need to give your personal details including your passport number (of the passport that you will use for your visa application) and ensure that the name and date of birth you give on the ATAS application matches your passport.

How much will it cost?

There is currently no charge for the ATAS process (as at April 2015) but as the system is not run by the University we cannot guarantee this will continue.

Do I need to have an unconditional offer to apply to ATAS?

No, you can apply when you have a conditional offer but you need to be sure of the programme you are going to study as the ATAS certificate will be specific to the programme and institution.

How do I get the course details needed for the ATAS certificate?
For postgraduate research degrees, when you accept your offer, the Admissions Service will provide a research statement that you submit with your ATAS application.

For postgraduate taught degrees you will need to submit a list of the modules you will take - if you are unsure of the optional modules you will take you should include all possibilities that are currently available*.

For 'undergraduate masters' degrees you will need to submit a list of the modules you will take in the final year of the degree - if you are unsure of the optional modules you will take you should include all possibilities that are currently available*.

*please note some modules may change before you reach the final stage of your programme

Module details are available in the Programme and Module Catalogue.

How long will it take?

ATAS certificates normally take about 3 weeks to process but the University cannot influence or speed up the time to get the ATAS certificate. Please apply several weeks before your start date, but no more than 6 months before.

How will I know if I have been successful in the ATAS application?

Normally the ATAS certificate is emailed to you by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. You must keep that safely and provide a copy with your visa application. You must send a copy of your ATAS certificate to the University's Admissions Service.

How is the ATAS scheme linked to the visa process (Tier 4 CAS issue)?

There is no automatic link between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ATAS process and the UKBA Tier 4 visa process. If your programme requires you to have an ATAS certificate this will be stated on your CAS statement and the Home Office (UKVI) will expect you to provide a copy when you make your visa application. You need to be aware, however, for programmes that require an ATAS certificate the University will not issue the CAS until we know that you have a valid ATAS certificate for that programme.

What happens if I change my start date?

You will need to apply for a new ATAS certificate if your start date is more than 6 months after the date of the ATAS certificate or if the new expected end date of your course is 3 months or more later than the original end date.

What happens if I change my programme or field of research?

If you decide to change programme before you formally register with the University of Hull you will need to apply for a new ATAS certificate and you will not be able to register until that certificate has been received and seen by the University.