Certain courses at postgraduate level require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate before you will be granted a Tier 4 visa. The ATAS certificate is issued by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which gives you the clearance to study certain subject areas that could be used to aid in the development of weapons of mass destruction (such as science, medicine, engineering).
Will I need an ATAS certificate?
The only taught Masters programme at Derby that requires an ATAS certificate is MSc Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. For Research students it depends on your field of research. The Research Office will inform you if you need an ATAS certificate.
When do I need to apply?
You should apply as soon as you have received your offer letter. You must provide your ATAS certificate with your Tier 4 application, so you will not be given a CAS until you can provide to the university your certificate. Tier 4 applications submitted without an ATAS certificate where one is required are likely to be refused. ATAS certificates are valid for six months and should be used in a visa application within that timeframe.
How do I apply?
You need to complete an online application form through the ATAS website. There is no fee to pay and you do not need to submit any supporting documents. The application will just ask for your personal details, details of any previous study or employment and an outline of your proposed research or study modules.
What if I change my course or need to extend my visa?
You will need to apply for a new ATAS certificate if you are extending your visa to continue studying a course that requires one. If you are changing your course and the new course requires an ATAS certificate you will also need to apply. As before, you need the certificate before you can apply for the visa.