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Academic Technology Approval Scheme

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) was introduced by the UK government in November 2007. The scheme is managed by the ATAS team based at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study at The University of Manchester 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 School if your course requires ATAS clearance. You should also be able to clarify this with your School. You must obtain an ATAS certificate before you apply for a Tier 4 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 must list all your course modules 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 an entry clearance application, your visa will be refused.

The ATAS Team processes 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 for entry clearance 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 for more than six months 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;
  • you have changed your MPhil/PhD research topic.

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:

Information and assistance is also available from: