Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is a Government verification scheme for international students.

ATAS is compulsory for the majority of International offer holders (see exemptions below) who are applying for a programme that requires ATAS clearance. This includes current students who wish to change programmes from a non-ATAS programme to an ATAS programme, student visitors and study abroad students.

Do I need to provide an ATAS clearance certificate?

Having an ATAS clearance certificate is mandatory for some postgraduate applicants who wish to study in the UK.  

This may affect you if are from outside the UK and you plan to undertake postgraduate research in one of the following disciplines:

  • Medicine
  • Biological Sciences
  • Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects
  • Physical Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Computer Sciences
  • Engineering 
  • Technology disciplines

OR if you are applying for one of the following Postgraduate Taught courses:

  • MSc (Eng) Advanced Aerospace Engineering
  • MSc (Eng) Advanced Mechanical Engineering
  • MSc Nuclear Science and Technology 
  • MSc Radiometrics: Instrumentation and Modelling
  • MSc Mechanical Engineering Design with Management
  • MSc Mechanical Engineering with Management

OR if you are applying for an Undergraduate degree, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate in one of the following disciplines:

  • Materials Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Avionic Systems and Pilot Studies
  • Physics (including Nuclear and Theoretical Physics)

If the criteria above applies to you and you do not have an ATAS certificate, your Entry Clearance application will be refused.

It is your responsibility to check if this scheme applies to you.  The University is unable to issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) until the ATAS approval has been received.

For all Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught programmes the latest deadline to apply where an ATAS is required is the 14th July, however programmes may close earlier if they are deemed to be full.


What is a CAH3 code?

The Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) has now replaced JACS codes for ATAS purposes.

You will only need a CAH3 code if you are applying for a programme that requires an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate.

If this is the case, you will receive with your offer letter an ATAS Statement containing the relevant CAH3 code. If your programme does not fall under the ATAS scheme you will not need your programme's CAH3 code.


Please note, the following nationals are exempt from ATAS: 

  • EU nationals
  • EEA nationals
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • USA

Further information

The ATAS application is an online only process and is free of charge. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) aim to process applications within 30 working days after the submission of the application. Processing times will increase between the months of April and September and can take longer to complete. Details of applying for ATAS can be found on the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website.

If you require further help please contact

Information and assistance is also available from:

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