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ATAS (the Academic Technology Approval Scheme) is a scheme by which the UK government screens students from outside of the European Union who may, through studies in engineering, science or technology, have access to information and technology which could be used to develop weapons of mass destruction. All non EU students who intend to study a relevant course must obtain an ATAS certificate before enrolling on the programme.

  • What is an ATAS certificate?

    You will need to apply for an ATAS clearance certificate before applying for a student visa if you plan to undertake postgraduate research in some science or technology disciplines. If you will be studying on another type of visa you must apply for an ATAS certificate before starting the course.

    An ATAS certificate is not required for undergraduate study and where the period of study or research is less than six months. The disciplines that require an ATAS clearance certificate are identified according to the beginning of their Joint Academic Coding of Subjects (JACS) codes. At Stirling the programmes that require an ATAS certificate are as follows:

    • Research in Computing Science (JACS codes beginning G0, G1, G2, G4, G7, G9, I1, I4, and I9)
    • Research in Biology or Research in Ecology (JACS codes beginning C1, C2, C4, C5, C7 and C9)
    • Master of Research (for JACS codes beginning as above, for Computing, Biology or Ecology). Currently we have no programmes on offer.
  • How Do I Apply?

    You will need to complete and submit a form online through the ATAS website. You will need to apply for your ATAS certificate before applying for your visa or extension of stay, allowing at least four weeks (20 working days) in order to obtain it.

    You should submit your ATAS clearance certificate with your visa application.

  • Do I Need to Provide the University with a Copy of my ATAS Certificate?

    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will send the University a copy of your ATAS certificate. As there is a Home Office (UK Visas and Immigration) requirement for institutions to hold a copy of the ATAS certificate, this will be held electronically against your central student record and maintained by the Student Immigration Team.

  • What if I Change my area of research or programme of study?

    If your programme of study or your focus of research has changed, you should consult with the Student Immigration Team as there may be implications for your visa. You may have to obtain a new ATAS certificate.

  • Extensions to study

    If you have to extend your Tier 4 visa to complete a programme of study which is subject to ATAS clearance then you will have to obtain a new ATAS certificate. You should complete a CAS request form which should be submitted to the Student Immigration Team via the Student Hub. You will not be able to apply for your visa until you have received your ATAS clearance certificate.

    If you have any questions please contact the Student Immigration Team at 

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