Academic Technology Approval Scheme

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) requires that students studying certain subject areas at MEng/MPhys/MSci undergraduate level, master's or PhD level obtain ATAS clearance. The scheme is managed by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

You should apply for an ATAS clearance certificate if your course requires it, unless you're exempt because you're a national of the UK, EU, EEA, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or the USA.   

If you have a visa that permits study already, or you're seeking asylum in the UK, you should still obtain ATAS clearance before starting your course. 

Application processing

Processing times of ATAS applications can vary, but you should expect to wait at least four to six weeks to receive clearance. The ATAS website will give an estimated date by which you should receive your certificate; however, at peak times, application processing can be much slower.

Take care when completing the ATAS application form and check your answers before submitting your application for assessment. If you are requested to amend/update information that you have submitted as part of your application, this can further delay the date by which you'll receive a decision. When your application is granted, your certificate will be emailed to you by the FCDO. 

If you're a new student, you can apply for ATAS after you have received your offer from us, using the information in your offer letter. You don't need to wait for your CAS before applying for ATAS clearance. 

You should be aware that any changes to your programme of study, including a change of modules or research focus, will require new ATAS clearance. 

Further information

For information about ATAS, to check whether you need to apply for ATAS clearance and to access the online application form, go to the FCDO website.

We receive many queries about how to complete sections of the ATAS application and have put together a guide to completing the application.