Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is aimed primarily at specific postgraduate research areas, but also includes a number of taught Master's and certain four year undergraduate MEng and MPhys degree courses.

ATAS is compulsory for applicants and for current and returning students who need a Tier 4 Student visa, in specific areas of study. UK, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals do not need an ATAS certificate.

The following degrees at Sussex require ATAS approval:

Research (MPhil / PhD)

Subject areaJACS Code
Astronomy F500
Biochemistry C700
Biology C100
Chemistry F100
Cognitive Science I450
Engineering H100
Genome Stability C450
Geography F800
Informatics I100
Mathematics G100
Neuroscience B140
Physics F300


Masters by Research (MRes)

Subject areaJACS Code
Neuroscience B140


Masters (MSc)

CourseJACS Code
Advanced Mechanical Engineering H300
Frontiers of Quantum Technology F300
Mechanical Engineering H300
Particle Physics F370
Physics F300
Physics (Euromasters) F300


You also require ATAS approval if you are currently registered on one of the above courses and need to extend your visa.

The ATAS application is made online, before applying for your visa, and it is free of charge. It is your responsibility to check if this scheme applies to you.

If you require an ATAS certificate you will need to apply for it before applying for your visa or extension of stay. The possession of an ATAS certificate does not guarantee you a visa or extension of stay. However, applications will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.

The application form and details of applying for ATAS can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

If you need an ATAS certificate we will automatically enclose with your offer letter a form containing the information that you require in order to apply.

You must allow sufficient time for your University application to be considered and processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance and your Tier 4 visa. For example, for Masters courses starting in September, applications should be received by 1 August at the latest. Research applicants will need to leave more time for their application to be considered.