Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is the UK's immigration approval system for international students and researchers in selected science areas.

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) applies to all international students and researchers (apart from exempt nationalities) who are subject to UK immigration control and are intending to study or research at postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects.

Please visit Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) - GOV.UK ( for further details.

Common Aggregate Hierarchy (CAH3)

All subject areas studied at UK Higher Education Institutions are identified by CAH3 code. Your HEI or research institute will provide you with a CAH3 code and confirm whether you require an ATAS certificate. ATAS uses V1.3.4 of the CAH3.

The subjects and research areas are those where knowledge could be used in programmes to develop Advanced Conventional Military Technology (ACMT), weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) or their means of delivery. Researchers and students in these sensitive subjects must apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before they can study or start research in the UK.

Our Master programmes do not require ATAS clearance.

Some of our Research programmes require ATAS clearance.

Students and researchers who are nationals of EU countries, the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the United States of America do not need an ATAS certificate.

Researchers of all other nationalities where applicable must apply for an ATAS certificate. Find out if you need an ATAS certificate - GOV.UK (

Research students must contact their supervisors to request the CAH3 code after they receive the conditional offer, this CAH3 code must be check to confirm if ATAS clearance is required, the ATAS certificate where applicable must be submitted to the CAS Team prior to issuance of the CAS.

The subject and research areas must be checked by your respective supervisor, they must provide and confirm the CAH3 code, this can be done at  Check if you need an ATAS certificate (academic-technology

ATAS applications are processed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO). Applications are made online by the student, and once clearance is granted they receive an ATAS certificate as confirmation, the certificate where required must be in place before a CAS can be issued for submitting the student visa application.

The FCDO suggest it can take up to 4 weeks to receive the ATAS certificate, this can be delayed during peak times.

Please note: care should be taken to ensure the details submitted in the ATAS application are correct in particular to the CAH3 code and match those held by the School. Please contact your supervisor for assistance on submitting the ATAS application if required.

Apply for an ATAS certificate? Please visit Guidance on how to apply for an ATAS certificate - GOV.UK (

You will be asked for:

  • biographical information
  • CAH3 code – XXXXXXX – provided by supervisor
  • information on your previous studies
  • information on your previous and current employment (if applicable)
  • all published papers (if applicable)
  • full names and contact details of 2 referees
  • information on any financial sponsorship (scholarship or funding) that you have

Students will also be asked for:

  • details of your conditional offer from the School
  • Postgraduate research students ( PhD, etc):
    • the research statement agreed with your supervisor, along with your CAH3 code once you hold an offer.
    • ‘Supervisor’s name’ – this is your main academic supervisor.