Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

What is ATAS?

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is for security clearance from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office for courses where students’ knowledge could be used against the UK. The subjects and research areas are those where knowledge could be used in programmes to develop Advanced Conventional Military Technology (ACMT), weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) or their means of delivery.

Who is exempt?

Applicants who are Nationals of the EU, (EEA), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the United States of America do not need an ATAS certificate when applying for a VISA.

Which courses require ATAS?

The ATAS requirement means the applicant must obtain a valid ATAS certificate prior to study and provide it with a Student route visa application to study in any of the specified subjects or fields of research listed in this Appendix ATAS 4.1.

At Oxford Brookes University, ATAS is currently needed for applicants applying for the following taught programmes:

Research degree students

If you are a research degrees student, please contact to find out which courses require an ATAS certificate. If you are a continuing research degrees student who had ATAS clearance before, you need to apply for a new ATAS certificate, unless you are exempt.

How do I apply for ATAS clearance?

In order to apply for ATAS clearance, visit the ATAS website, which will also provide more information and support on ATAS.

To apply for your ATAS certificate you will need a CAH3 code, which can be found in your offer letter provided by the admissions team. For research degrees students, please email for this code.

When should I apply?

When you have received your offer, you should apply for ATAS up to 6 months before the start date of your course. You do not need to wait for your CAS before applying. Please apply within good time prior to the start date of your course as ATAS processing times may be slower at peak times (June to September). 

How long is an ATAS certificate valid for?

An ATAS certificate is valid for 6 months from the date it is issued, to enable applicants time to apply for their visa.