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Academic Technology Approval Scheme

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is designed to provide additional security checks on students who study certain courses in Science and Engineering courses. The scheme is managed by the ATAS Team based at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

If you require a visa to study at The University of Manchester and your course of study is listed in Appendix 6 of the Immigration Rules you will need to obtain ATAS clearance from the FCO. This is compulsory for you if your studies fall into specific postgraduate research areas, or is one of a number of taught master’s and four-year and five-year undergraduate master’s programmes (see below).

It is your responsibility to check with your academic School if your course requires ATAS clearance. You must obtain an ATAS certificatebeforeyou apply for your visa. An ATAS application is free of charge.

You should submit an online ATAS application as soon as possible after receiving an offer from your School. You do not need to wait until your offer is unconditional to apply for ATAS. You must list all your course modules or a summary of your research in the application – you can obtain this information from your School. Please note that late applications will result in a delay in obtaining your visa. If you do not obtain an ATAS certificate before you submit your visa application, your application will be refused.

The ATAS Team aims to process applications within 20 working days of the submission of a complete application. During busier periods the process can take longer than this, so please ensure you submit your ATAS application in good time. If you have any concerns about the remaining time to complete your ATAS application please email visa@manchester.ac.uk with your full name, seven-digit student ID number and ATAS application ID number.

You must obtain prior ATAS approval before you apply for your visa if:

you are applying for an undergraduate master’s in the following subjects:

  • F2 Materials Science
  • F3 Physics (including Nuclear Physics)
  • H3 Mechanical Engineering
  • H4 Aerospace Engineering
  • H8 Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering
  • J5 Materials Technology not otherwise specified

you are applying for a taught master’s in the following subjects:

  • F2 Materials Science
  • F3 Physics (including Nuclear Physics)
  • H3 Mechanical Engineering
  • H4 Aerospace Engineering
  • H8 Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering
  • J5 Materials Technology not otherwise specified

you are applying for a master's by research in the following fields of study:

  • Medicine
  • Biological Sciences
  • Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects
  • Physical Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Computer Sciences
  • Engineering disciplines
  • Technology disciplines

you plan to undertake postgraduate research in the following fields of study:

  • Medicine
  • Biological Sciences
  • Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects
  • Physical Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Computer Sciences
  • Engineering disciplines
  • Technology disciplines

you are a visiting research student who is coming to the UK to carry out research that will not form part of a UK postgraduate qualification, in the following fields of study:

  • Medicine
  • Biological Sciences
  • Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects
  • Physical Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Computer Sciences
  • Engineering disciplines
  • Technology disciplines

You must also obtain ATAS approval if:

  • you are currently registered on one of the above courses and need to extend your visa;
  • you have changed course from a undergraduate degree (BSc/BEng) to an undergraduate master’s (MEng) or from an MPhil to a PhD programme;
  • if there are any substantive changes to your course contents or your MPhil/PhD research topic or title;
  • if your course end date (as stated on your CAS) is postponed for a period of more than three calendar months.

Further information

The ATAS flowchart gives you an overview of the process:

The application form and details of applying for ATAS can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website: