International study for six months or less

If you are 18 years or older, and want to enter the UK to study for less than six months, the appropriate visa to apply for is the Short Term Study Visa.

The Short Term Study Visa can be used to:

  • come for up to six months to study a short course
  • come for up to six months to do a ‘study abroad’ semester as part of a degree course you are doing overseas
  • come for up to six months for a short residential programme, or period of research, as part of a university course you are doing overseas
  • return to the UK for a semester to complete a retake module
  • come for up to 11 months to study an English language course.

(If you are coming to ARU to study an English language course lasting less than six months, but intend to continue studying with us on a degree programme the Tier 4 visa route is more appropriate for you.)

When to apply

You can apply for a visa up to three months before your date of travel to the UK.

You should get a decision on your visa within three weeks.

Application process

Apply online.

Once you have submitted your online form, you’ll need to book an appointment at a visa application centre to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photograph).

When your application has been processed successfully, you’ll receive your passport back with your Short Term Study Visa sticker inside.

When you apply you need to provide the following documents:

  • an official letter from ARU giving details of the study you are coming to do, including the course’s name, duration and cost
  • a current passport, with a blank page available for your visa
  • evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, for example bank statements for the last six months
  • details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans – you should not pay for accommodation or travel until you get your visa.

You also need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in English.

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances, such as evidence of your:

  • previous study, for example academic certificates, references or transcripts
  • English language qualifications, for example certificates or awards
  • permission to be in the country you’re applying from (if you’re not a national)
  • financial sponsor’s occupation, income, savings or funds that will support your studies.

Non-visa nationals

Students from a small number of countries (eg USA, Malaysia, South Korea) do not need to apply in advance for a Short Term Study Visa. Instead, you can simply arrive in the UK and request entry as a Short Term Student at the airport.

Find out whether or not you need to apply for a Short Term Study Visa in advance.

Important: even if you are a non-visa national, you should still have all the documents listed above in your hand luggage when you arrive in the UK. Border Force officials may ask to see them in order to permit you entry. You should also have a return flight ticket with you, to show your intention to leave the UK at the end of your period of study.

In addition, you must use an eGate (electronic gate) when you arrive. You must queue to speak with a Border Force officer and show them your letter from ARU. Make sure you receive a stamp in your passport showing you have entered under the Short Term Study Visa category.

Restrictions of the Short Term Study Visa

Under the Short Term Study Visa category, you cannot:

  • work (including on a work placement or work experience) or carry out any business
  • extend the visa
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) with you – they must apply separately
  • get public funds.

How long you can stay

Although a Short Term Study Visa is granted for six months, you are expected to leave the UK within 30 days of the completion of your period of study, or before the end date of the visa, whichever is sooner.