If you are coming study in the UK for less than 6 months or you are returning to the UK for a short period as part of a longer programme, you can apply for a Short-Term Study visa.
If your nationality allows you to enter the to the UK without a visa (Non-visa national), you can request entry to the UK for Short-Term Study when you arrive. You will not need a visa but you must still be able to demonstrate that you meet the same requirements (see 'Documents required', below) if requested.
The Short-Term Study visa is an alternative to the Tier 4 (General) visa and is not part of the Points Based immigration System (PBS).
Please note: You cannot undertake employment or apply for another visa whilst in the UK for short-term study
Coming to the UK for short-term study
You can apply for a Short-Term Study visa if you do not have a valid Tier 4 visa and one of the following situations applies:
You are returning to the UK to re-sit exams*
- You will be required to leave the UK again within 30 days of your re-sit final exam
- Information about support available during time spent out of residence pending further exams can be found in the Learning & Teaching Handbook
Your are a postgraduate student returning to attend a viva exam
Where re-entry to the UK after your thesis submission date is required
- You will be required to leave the UK again within 30 days of your viva exam
You are a Distance Learning (or part time) student attending for a short period
- If attendance at Durham is required for supervisory or similar meetings providing the period does not exceed 6 months
- You will be required to leave the UK again within 30 days of your final scheduled meeting
Pre-sessional English students
An 11 Month Short-Term Study visa is available for English Language programmes (pre-sessional or below degree level) not longer than 11 months and not leading directly to a 'main programme'.
Officially sponsored students may be required by their sponsor to apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa and this can be arranged
Students from universities overseas undertaking a period of research at Durham, not leading to a formal award from Durham
You will be required to leave the UK again within 30 days of the end of the period of research (or before the visa expires, whichever is sooner)
Please note: Where a period of longer than 6 months is required, you should apply for a Tier 4 Student visa
Studying on a full time programme of less than 6 months
- If you are coming to study on a programme which is less than 6 months
- Erasmus Exchange programmes fall into this category
- You will be required to leave the UK again within 30 days of the end of your programme and before the visa expires
Applying for a Short-Term Study visa
You must provide the evidence listed on the UKVI website, including:
- An original 'Short-term study letter' from your academic department* (or from the exams team if attending resit exams, see below) giving details about your study, the University and when you are required to attend. You should request the letter from your department well in advance of your visa application or travel to the UK
- Evidence that you can pay for your visit and have money to support yourself without assitance or working
- Bank statements or payslips covering the last 6 months
- A valid Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate must also be provided if the programme would normally require one (this will be confirmed on the Short-Term Study letter from your department)
*Attending resit exams
If you are returning to take resit exams in May or June, a 'Short-Term Study letter' will be issued to you automatically by the Student Registry Exams team, usually in February. You can then apply up to 3 months before the start date stated on the letter.
Arriving in the UK
Students applying for a Short-Term Study visa before travelling to the UK and non-visa nationals requesting Short-Term Study permission on arrival in the UK should show the Short-Term Study letter to border officials on entry, if asked.
Entry using eGates not allowed for Short-Term Study
If you are entering the UK for Short-Term Study (as described above), you should not use eGates at the airport as you must have your visa / passport stamped by a border official. This applies if you apply for a Short-Term Study visa before you travel or if you request permission to enter the UK on arrival.
If you do enter the UK using eGates, your will only have permission to study in the UK up to a maximum of 30 days.
Leaving the UK
Although your Short-Term Study visa may appear to allow you to stay in the UK for up to 6 months, the Immigration Rules state that you should leave the UK no more than 30 days after the end of the period of attendance required, as stated in the letter from your department.
Additional information available from the UK Council for International Affairs (UKCISA)