Time limits on study and academic progression
If you have previously studied in the UK with a Student route (or Tier 4) visa, there are additional factors you need to consider before submitting your application.
You are permitted to study courses below degree level in the UK using a Student route visa for up to two years.
Undergraduate degree level
You are permitted to study courses at degree level using a Student route visa for no more than 5 years UNLESS you are studying on an exempt subject.
There are other, very limited exceptions to the five year limit at degree level. For further information, please contact us directly for advice.
Postgraduate degree level
There is no time limit on study at postgraduate degree level and above.
Academic progression is an important part of the Student route visa application, and it will dictate whether you can make your visa application in the UK.
If you make your Student route visa application from inside the UK, your new period of studies must represent academic progression from your studies in the UK to date.
Academic progression means that:
- You have successfully completed (i.e. achieved the award for) the most recent programme of study in the UK for which you were given a Student route or Tier 4 visa
- Your new course is:
- At a higher level than your previous programme, OR
- Complementary study at the same level
- This means it must be a specialisation of your previous studies, or a new programme which, combined with previous studies, will allow you to achieve your career goals
You do not need to show academic progression if:
- You are making a Student route application from outside the UK
- You are applying to resit an exam or repeat a course, or you have previously resat an exam or repeated a course, and you need extra time to complete your programme
- You wish to undergo a period of study abroad or a work placement, or you have already done so, and you need extra time to complete your programme
- You are applying for more time to complete your PhD for which you were last granted a Student route (or Tier 4) visa (including at a new sponsor)
- You are applying to undertake a role as a Sabbatical Officer
- You are applying under the Doctorate Extension Scheme
Students who are applying to move to a higher level on certain integrated programmes do not need to have successfully completed their most recent programme to demonstrate academic progression.
The University will assess whether you meet the academic progression requirements before we issue you with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.