Doctorate Extension Scheme

The Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) is a sub-category of Tier 4 designed to allow Research graduates additional time in the UK to look for and start work. You must have completed your research (had your viva) at Derby but not yet been officially awarded to apply for the DES, which will work in a similar way to Tier 4.

What are the conditions to apply under this scheme?

You must have current Tier 4 leave to study a Research-level degree at the University of Derby. If you are completing your research at another institution then we will not sponsor you under this scheme.

When can I apply?

The application for the scheme must be submitted before you have been awarded your Research degree but no more than 60 days before that date. You will need to inform the Research Office of your intention to apply for the scheme so they can delay the awarding of your degree. Ideally you should do this before your viva. Email researchoffice@derby.ac.ukand visa@derby.ac.uk to express your interest.

What happens if I need to do further corrections to my thesis?

You may need to extend your current Tier 4 visa if these corrections take place after it expires. You can express your desire to apply for the DES again when the corrections are submitted.

How do I apply?

You would apply using the same application process as a regular Tier 4 student, including the documents that will need to be submitted. Find out more information on applying for Tier 4 inside the UK, including a list of applicable documents required. The Research Office will issue your CAS once it is confirmed that you will pass and have met the Maintenance requirement.

What is the Maintenance requirement?

Applicants under this scheme can show lower amounts of funds than other Tier 4 applicants. You will need to show that you have at least £2,030 available to you and that they have been held in a personal bank account for at least 28 consecutive days. If you have any Dependants, you will need an additional £1,360 for each one. See our Maintenance and Dependants pages for more detailed information on the documents required.

How long will the visa be valid for?

You will be issued with a new BRP which will be valid for 12 months from your course end date as listed in your CAS.

What responsibilities will I have with the university once the application is granted?

You must remain in contact with Derby during the 12 months that your visa is valid for. Once it is granted the Immigration Advisor will inform you of your responsibility to respond to two contact points at even times during the 12 months. These contact points will be by email, but if there is anything in particular you want to discuss a telephone or face to face conversation can be arranged.

You must inform us immediately the moment you believe you won’t be able to attend or respond to one of the appointment dates. Failure to do so will result in a report made to UKVI that could lead to the curtailment (cancellation) of your visa.

What work can I do? Are there any restrictions?

Once your award has been confirmed you can start working full-time as per the usual Tier 4 guidelines. Once your DES application has been granted you may continue to work full-time in almost any job up until the expiry date on your BRP. You cannot work as a doctor or dentist in training or as a professional sportsperson or coach.

Whilst any other work is permitted, it is advisable that you consider employment or self-employment that will meet the requirements for specific work-related visas under Tier 1 or Tier 2 if you plan to remain in the UK after your DES visa has expired.