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.

Any questions for us?

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

If you have applied and received an offer for a programme that requires ATAS approval, we will send you an email 6 months prior to the start of your course. This email will detail the module information for your course and provide further instructions on applying for your ATAS certificate. Your offer letter will detail the relevant JACS and CAH3 codes needed for your ATAS application. The ATAS application will also ask you for either the JACS or CAH3 code relating to your programme, depending on when you make your application. You must follow the instructions in the ATAS application form to decide which code you need to use.

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

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.