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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 or look for suitable employment.


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

  1. You currently have a valid Tier 4 (General) visa
  2. You will be able to submit a valid Tier 4 (DES) application online 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 have been issued with a valid CAS specifically for the DES (see below)

*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).

How & when to apply

You can only apply for the Tier 4 DES visa once you have completed your viva and you have been given permission to upload your final e-thesis.

Follow the timeline below which explains the process:

  • Pass your Viva exam
  • Submit Tier 4 DES Request Form (so that a CAS statement can be prepared for you)
  • Forward your 'Pass Forthwith' email to us (you will receive this following the completion of any corrections required and / or confirming that you are in a position to upload your final e-thesis
  • Receive your CAS statement by email from Student Immigration Office
  • Start to complete your Tier 4 (DES) application
  • Submit Tier 4 (DES) visa application (meet with Immigration Advisor if you would like to have your application checked first)
  • Upload your final e-thesis
  • Forward copy of official pass-list to Student Immigration Office
  • Wait for your Tier 4 (DES) visa to be issued
  • Forward copy of your Tier 4 (DES) to Student Immigration Office visa when it arrives

Please note: 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.


In order to be granted the Tier 4 (DES) visa you must make sure you can meet the application requirements and provide the supporting evidence as follows:


You will to show that you have enough money (£1015) to live on (maintenance) for each month of the DES visa up to a maximum of 2 months. Therefore you will need to provide a bank statement demonstrating that you have held at least £2030 in your bank account for at least 28 consecutive days up to the closing balance.

  • The bank statement must show that the required amount has been held for a minimum of 28 consecutive days
  • The closing balance must be dated before the date you submit your visa application online, but not more than 31 days

Further details on financial requirements and evidence

Government sponsored students

If you have received financial support towards your course fees and / or living costs from an 'official financial sponsor' during your studies (within the last 12 months) you must provide an original letter from them confirming that they give consent for your application to remain in the UK following your study.

Further details on financial requirements and evidence

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