Applying to Surrey

International applicants

Find out about applying for a visa or ATAS certificate and learn more about Surrey's English language requirements for international students.

Surrey is proud to be one of the most culturally-diverse universities in the UK, with students from over 120 different countries. 

To help international students apply to Surrey, we've information about: 

Entry requirements

Applicants taking non-UK qualifications must obtain a suitable equivalent for entry onto an undergraduate programme at Surrey.

View entry requirements for students from:

Search for entry requirements for your country.

 

Visas

If you’re an international student you may need to apply for a visa or approval by the Academic Technology Approval Scheme before commencing your studies at Surrey.

Student visas

To study at the University of Surrey, international students require a Tier 4 (General) student visa.

Tier 4 is the student tier of the Points Based System for immigration (PBS), operated by the Home Office.

It costs £322 to apply for a Tier 4 visa from outside the UK. You must also pay £322 per person for any dependants.

To apply for a Tier 4 visa you must: 

For more details and to apply, visit the government visas and immigration website

How long will my visa application take?

You can apply for a visa up to three months before the start of your course. You should receive a decision within three weeks. 

Processing times can vary between countries and at certain times of the year. Check the government website for further information about visa processing times.

How long can I stay?

Once your visa has been approved, you can arrive in the UK before your course starts: 

      • Up to one week before, if your course lasts six months or less
      • Up to one month before, if your course lasts more than six months

Learn more about applying for a visa.

 

Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) 

Once you have been offered an unconditional place on one of our programmes, we will issue you with a reference number called a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS). You will need to enter this number on to your visa application. 

Although we try to issue the CAS number within 48 hours, at certain times of the year this may take longer so we ask for your patience. 

We are aware of visa application processing times around the world and we do our best to issue CAS reference numbers as a matter of priority. 

 

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

You may need to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate in order to study certain subjects in the UK.

Students applying for postgraduate study in certain sensitive subjects, knowledge of which could be used in programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) or their means of delivery, will need to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before they can study in the UK. 

If you are a UK, EEA or Swiss national you do not need to apply for an ATAS certificate. 

How to apply for an ATAS certificate 

If you have applied and received an offer for a programme that requires ATAS approval, we will send you an email from the April of the year you are applying. This email will detail the JACS code and module information for your course in order for you to make your ATAS application.

An ATAS certificate is valid as long as the details of your course and university remain the same. 

Please ensure that the text you enter on your application form is exactly the same as the text provided in your offer letter. If these two documents do not match, you may have difficulties when applying for your visa. 

When to apply for an ATAS certificate

If you require an ATAS certificate you will need to apply for this before applying for your visa or extension of stay. Visa applications will be automatically refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one. The possession of an ATAS certificate does not guarantee you a visa or extension of stay. You must also provide evidence that you meet the usual student criteria. Visa applications will be automatically refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.

You can apply for an ATAS certificate up to six months in advance of the beginning of your course. We encourage you to apply as soon as you have received your offer from Surrey.

How long will it take? 

Allow at least four weeks (20 working days) for the application process. We advise against making any travel plans before you have received an ATAS certificate. 

 

English Language requirements

To benefit fully from an undergraduate or postgraduate degree programme at the University of Surrey, all students need a good standard of English language.

The score or level of English language required varies between programmes. Please visit the individual undergraduate and postgraduate programme pages to discover the requirements for each one.

English language requirements for undergraduate applicants

The following qualifications are accepted by the University as evidence that you meet our minimum level of competence in English: 

      • GCSE Grade C
      • Country equivalences for GCSE English Language (please contact the Admissions Department for further information on acceptable equivalences)
      • IGCSE English as a First Language grade C, Second Language grade B *from 2016 entry
      • GCE A-Level in either English Language or English Literature
      • Pearsons Test of English (the test must have been taken within two years of the start of the course)
      • IELTS (Academic)
      • International Baccalaureate English grade 4 at either standard or higher level
      • European Baccalaureate English 1 or 2 at grade 6 or English 3 at grade 7
      • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English 
      • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English
      • TOEFL (the test must have been taken within two years of the start of the course) *from 2016 entry

Our offer

IELTS

6.5 overall with 6.0 in each band

7.0 overall with 6.5 in each band

7.5 overall with 7.0 in each band

Equivalent

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency

176 overall with 169 in each component

185 overall with 176 in each component

191 overall with 185 in each component

Equivalent

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English

176 overall with 169 in each component

185 overall with 176 in each component

191 overall with 185 in each component

Equivalent

Pearsons Test of English

62 overall with 56 in each component

68 overall with 62 in each component

74 overall with 68 in each component

Equivalent TOEFL 92 overall with 20 in each component 100 overall with 22 in each component 110 overall with 25 in each component

English language requirements for postgraduate applicants

We accept a range of English Language tests for postgraduate applicants:

      • IELTS (Academic)
      • Pearsons Test of English (the test must have been taken within two years of the start of the course)
      • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English  
      • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English
      • TOEFL (the test must have been taken within two years of the start of the course) *from 2016 entry

Our offer

IELTS

6.5 overall with 6.0 in each band

7.0 overall with 6.5 in each band

7.5 overall with 7.0 in each band

Equivalent

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency

176 overall with 169 in each component

185 overall with 176 in each component

191 overall with 185 in each component

Equivalent

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English

176 overall with 169 in each component

185 overall with 176 in each component

191 overall with 185 in each component

Equivalent

Pearsons Test of English

62 overall with 56 in each component

68 overall with 62 in each component

74 overall with 68 in each component

Equivalent

TOEFL

92 overall with 20 in each component

100 overall with 22 in each component

110 overall with 25 in each component

You will be exempt from this requirement if:

1. You are a national of a majority English-speaking country:

      • Antigua and Barbuda
      • Australia
      • The Bahamas
      • Barbados
      • Belize
      • Canada
      • Dominica
      • Grenada
      • Guyana
      • Jamaica
      • New Zealand
      • St Kitts and Nevis
      • St Lucia
      • St Vincent and the Grenadines
      • Trinidad and Tobago
      • United States of America

2. You have studied for a minimum of two years and successfully completed a qualification at least equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree taught in a majority English-speaking country, if the qualification was taught in one of the following countries: 

      • Antigua and Barbuda
      • Australia
      • The Bahamas
      • Barbados
      • Belize
      • Dominica
      • Grenada
      • Guyana
      • Ireland
      • Jamaica
      • New Zealand
      • St Kitts and Nevis
      • St Lucia
      • St Vincent and the Grenadines
      • Trinidad and Tobago
      • The UK
      • United States of America 

3. You have studied for a minimum of two years and successfully completed a qualification at least equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree from a Russell Group university, taught entirely or in part at an overseas campus. 

4. You have studied for a minimum of two years and successfully completed a qualification at least equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree from an institution listed on the Qualifications Database from one of the following countries: 

      • Nigeria
      • Ghana
      • India
      • Pakistan
      • Hong Kong
      • Singapore
      • Malaysia
      • Brunei
      • Kenya 

 

English language courses at Surrey

The University of Surrey offers twelve-week, eight-week and five-week pre-sessional English programmes for international students.

These intensive programmes are designed for students who need to improve their English in order to meet their degree offer, and for those who wish to improve their language skills prior to starting at Surrey.

Learn more about English languages courses at Surrey.

English language and visa applications

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) authority has introduced new rules regarding English language tests, effective from 6 April 2015. As a result, the types of English Language tests that we can accept as proof of English language proficiency have changed.

If you require a Tier 4 (General) Student visa, you will need a UKVI approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) if you intend to study on one of our pre-sessional English language programmes. Currently IELTS (Academic) is the only Secure English Language Test that we accept.

You do not need to take a Secure English Language Test if you intend to study an undergraduate or postgraduate degree level course, as the University can use its own method of assessing your language level under our Tier 4 Sponsor status. For further details please see our information for international applicants.

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