To do some of our courses in science and technology, you need to have clearance under ATAS (the Academic Technology Approval Scheme) if your nationality is outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. 

ATAS is a security check the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office makes. Once successful, you get an ATAS Certificate, which you need when you apply for your Tier 4 student visa.

How to get an ATAS Certificate

If your course needs ATAS clearance, we let you know when we offer you a place. If you’re already in the UK on a student of non-student visa, you still need ATAS clearance before you start your course.

You can apply for an ATAS Certificate up to 9 months before the start of your course. Your ATAS Certificate is then valid for 6 months. This gives you enough time to apply for your Tier 4 student visa, which you can apply for 3 months before the start of your course.

When to apply

Apply for your ATAS Certificate as soon as possible after we offer you a place. Applications can take up to 30 days to process and there’s no ‘fast track’ option if you leave it late.

What you need to apply

As well as providing information about your studies and current or previous employment, you’ll need the offer letter we send you and your course’s ‘CAH3 code’.

You’ll find the CAH3 code for courses that need ATAS clearance, below. 

CAH3 codes

  • PhD Biological Sciences – CAH03-01-02 (biology – non-specific)
  • PhD Civil Engineering and Surveying – CAH10-01-07 (civil engineering)
  • PhD Computing – CAH11-01-01 (computer science)
  • PhD Cosmology and Gravitation – CAH07-01-02 (astronomy)
  • PhD Creative Technologies – CAH11-01-01 (computer science)
  • PhD Earth and Environmental Sciences – CAH08-01-02 (natural sciences – non-specific)
  • PhD Energy and Electronic Engineering – CAH10-01-08 (electrical and electronic engineering)
  • PhD Mathematics and Physics – CAH09-01-01 (mathematics)
  • PhD Mechanical and Design Engineering – CAH10-01-02 (mechanical engineering)
  • PhD Operations and Systems Management – CAH11-01-03 (information systems)
  • PhD Pharmacy and Biomedical Science – CAH02-03-10 (biomedical sciences – non-specific) or CAH03-01-02 (biology – non-specific)

More information about ATAS

You can see more information about ATAS and how to apply on the website.