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Academic Technology Approval Scheme

what is atas certificate

All students studying for certain science and technology programmes in the UK must now apply for ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance before starting their studies.

Download our guide to applying for your ATAS certificate.

ATAS is one of the UK government’s measures to prevent the spread of knowledge and skills used to develop weapons of mass destruction and associated technology.

Do I need an ATAS certificate?

You will need to apply for an ATAS certificate if you are studying a subject that is defined by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as requiring ATAS.

It is your responsibility to check if you require ATAS clearance. We advise you to find out if you need an ATAS certificate before applying for a student visa or extension.

Which programmes require an ATAS certificate?

Only certain programmes are affected by the scheme. You can check if the programme you are studying requires ATAS clearance in our degree finders or on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

When should I


You must apply for your ATAS certificate before you can begin your programme. If you need to apply for a visa or extension of stay, you must obtain your ATAS certificate before you can make your visa application.

Processing times vary but it can take up to 20 working days for an ATAS certificate application to be considered and approved.

If you are a new student you can apply for ATAS after you have received an official offer from us.

You must use the details provided in your offer letter to complete your application.

How do I apply?

To apply for an ATAS clearance certificate you need to complete and submit an online application form on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website. There is no charge for the application.

We have produced a guide to the application process which you should read before you apply. Further guidance is also available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Download our guide to applying for your ATAS certificate

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