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Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES)

The Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) allows the University to sponsor completing PhD students to remain in the UK for up to 12 months in order to work in either paid employment or on a self employed basis.


You may be eligible to apply under this scheme if you meet all of the following criteria:

  1. You have a valid Tier 4 (General) visa
  2. You will be able to submit a valid Tier 4 online application from within the UK no more than 60 days before the expected date of your pass list*
  3. You can apply online before your current Tier 4 visa expires
  4. You have all the appropriate supporting documents
  5. You can meet all the requirements for making a valid application

*Pass lists are issued by the Academic Support Office normally 2-3 days after you have uploaded your e-thesis (after your viva and any corrections neccesary).

If you are interested in the scheme

The Student Immigration Office will contact all potentially eligible students 5 months before their expected submission date with details about how to register your interest in applying and how the process will work.

Please note: Do not contact the Student Immigration Office unless you plan to submit your thesis within the next 5 months and have not been contacted already.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

If you required ATAS clearance to study on your current programme, while ATAS clearance is not required for the time you spend on the DES, you may be required to apply for a new ATAS certificate if:

" are currently studying a course (or period of research) that requires an ATAS Clearance Certificate, and your course end date given on the CAS is postponed for a period of more than 3 calendar months, you must apply for a new ATAS Clearance Certificate to cover the rest of your time on that course." (Tier 4 Policy Guidance)

Therefore, you will need to apply for an ATAS Clearance Certificate if the end date stated on your DES CAS is more than 3 months after the end date that was stated on the CAS you used for your Tier 4 Student visa.

Further information

For guidance on the eligibility requirements please refer to the Tier 4 Policy Guidance