Academic technology approval scheme (ATAS)

Information on the ATAS certificate for non-EU students.

ATAS clearance

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is designed to limit the spread of knowledge and skills that could be used in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery. Most (but not all) international students planning to undertake postgraduate study in Informatics will need to acquire an ATAS certificate before applying for a student visa, entry clearance (EC) or extension of stay (EoS).

Find out if you need an ATAS certificate

Applying for an ATAS certificate

Before applying for an ATAS certificate you will need an official document from the University of Edinburgh which contains the agreed research proposal and a HECOS code. New entrants will be provided with this document automatically shortly after they receive an offer of admission; existing students may request a document from the IGS.

Once you have obtained your ATAS certificate you will be able to apply for your student visa, EC or EoS in the normal way.

If you have any questions related to ATAS, please direct these to the Student Immigration Service or visit their ATAS webpage

You can also read the Foreign and Commonwealth Office information about ATAS.

Important notes

  • Possession of an ATAS certificate does not guarantee you a studnet visa, EC or EoS, but your application for a student visa will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate but cannot provide one. When applying you must also provide evidence that you meet the usual student criteria. The UK GOV immigration webpage provides the information on what documentation you need in order to successfully apply for a student visa, EC or EoS. 
  • An ATAS certificate is specific to both the programme of study that you intend to undertake and the University / Higher Education Institution. If you are in possession of a number of offers from different Universities / Institutions and have not decided which one you are going to accept you must apply for separate ATAS clearance certificates for each University / Institution and programme of study.