International applicants

The student experience

To support your student experience within the DTP, we have a dedicated SWBio DTP International Student Representative.  This is in addition to socials, cultural events, networks and representation provided across our partner institutions, designed to connect international students and to ensure you get the most out of your PhD experience.

Further information can also be found on the relevant university website listed below.  These also include guidance and support for starting a PhD in the UK such as your PhD and VISA applications, funding, travelling to and starting at the university, accommodation and language support.  :

Below is some useful information to be aware of as an international student studying with the SWBio DTP.  More detailed information can be found in the university links above.

Documentation needed to study in the UK

If you will be considered as an international student, there is some documentation that you will need to complete ahead of starting with the DTP.  Below is an overview of these documents.

  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) reference number – This will be provided by your registered university once you have met the conditions attached to your offer and will indicate if you require ATAS clearance.  The reference number is needed for your visa application.  You must apply for your visa within 6 months of receiving your CAS.
  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate – Needed for some students who are intending to study or research at postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects and from a specific country.  Needed for your visa application and is valid for 6 months once it has been issued.  You can apply for your ATAS before you receive your CAS.  Please do confirm with your registered university that an ATAS is needed for your visa application.
  • Visa application – An approximate time indicator is up to 3 weeks but this could be longer if your application is not straight forward.  Priority services are available to help speed up your application but additional costs normally apply.  Further information about visa application waiting times. Please note, visa applications can be rejected.

Further information about documentation needed to study in the UK, the process and who to contact with queries can be found on the university websites listed above.


Further information about UKRI fully-funded SWBio DTP studentships >> – also includes information for if you will be externally-funded to the SWBio DTP.

Note: A UKRI fully-funded studentship will only cover what is listed under the ‘UKRI-BBSRC funded studentship’ section.  However there may be other costs that you may encounter and need to take into consideration which will not be covered by the studentship or via the institution. For example, visa feeshealthcare surcharge, relocation costs and guarantor services.

Starting with the DTP

It is expected that all students start at the beginning of the programme in September in person, so please ensure you have considered the length of time it may take to obtain necessary documentation needed to study in the UK (CAS reference number, ATAS certificate, visa), as otherwise your offer of a studentship may be withdrawn.  An option to defer studies is not available.