ATAS Academic Technology Approval Scheme

If you are planning to take a postgraduate course you may need to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate.

What is ATAS?

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme applies to all students (apart from exempt nationalities) who plan to undertake postgraduate study or research in certain subject areas. 

The ATAS condition applies irrespective of the length of the course.

Do I need an ATAS certificate?

You do not need to apply for ATAS if you are a national of any of the following countries:

  • United Kingdom (or you have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK)
  • Countries in the European Union (EU)
  • Countries in the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • The United States of America.

All other nationalities must apply for an ATAS certificate before undertaking a postgraduate course in certain sensitive subjects in the UK.

Your offer letter will confirm if your course requires ATAS. Please check your offer letter carefully to see whether your subject area is included. Whether or not you need ATAS depends on your course or programme’s Common Aggregate Hierarchy (CAH3) code.

  • If you are a taught postgraduate student or an undergraduate student studying a course with an integrated Masters, you can find your CAH3 code on the Course Search page for your course (in the ‘Applying’ section).
  • If you are a postgraduate research student, you will receive a separate ATAS information sheet as part of your offer letter. This will confirm the details you need for your ATAS application.

If you think your course requires ATAS clearance and you have not received this information, or you are not sure what your CAH3 code is, please email the Admissions Enquiries team via

When to apply for an ATAS certificate

  • If you are applying for a Student visa, your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) will also confirm whether or not your course requires ATAS clearance. You must obtain your ATAS certificate before applying for your Student visa (whether you are applying to study in the UK for the first time or extending your stay). Do not submit your Student visa application before your ATAS certificate has been issued to you, as without it your visa application will be refused.

  • If you have any other type of time-limited visa or are applying for asylum, you must obtain an ATAS certificate before you begin your studies. You do not need ATAS if you have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK.

  • If you are studying a pre-sessional course before you study a course that requires ATAS clearance, you must obtain your ATAS certificate before applying for the visa for your pre-sessional course.

How to apply for an ATAS certificate

You must apply for your ATAS certificate on the GOV.UK website. It can take at least 30 working days (six full weeks) for your application to be processed.

When your application is granted your certificate will be emailed to you. There is no charge for this process.

Your certificate will be valid for six months. If you change your course of study, research area, university or need to extend your studies, you will need to apply for another ATAS certificate.

You will need to provide the following details with your ATAS application:

  • your CAH3 course code and the name of your supervisor at the University of Leeds. If you are an undergraduate or taught postgraduate student, you can find these details on the Course Search page for your course (in the ‘Applying’ section).
  • details of what you will be studying in the UK:
    • If you are a taught postgraduate student you must list all the compulsory and optional modules for your course. You can find a list of the modules for each course on Course Search and in the Module and Programme Catalogue.
    • If you are an undergraduate student studying an integrated Masters course you only need to list the final year modules.
    • If you are a postgraduate research student you must enter your initial research area statement sent to you with your offer letter.

Find more guidance on how to apply for an ATAS certificate, and what information you will need to provide, on the GOV.UK website.

What to do if there are changes to your course or end date

Your ATAS certificate must match the details of the course you are studying. You must apply for a new ATAS certificate as soon as possible if any of the following changes occur:

  • your course end date changes and is extended by more than 3 months; or
  • your course contents or research proposal change; or
  • your supervisor changes; or
  • you need to apply for a new Student visa and your previous ATAS certificate is no longer valid.

If there is a change to your course and you are not sure if you need to apply for a new ATAS certificate, please contact your school or email the Student Visa Advice team via