Short-term study visa

Travelling to Bristol via Ireland

If you are coming on a short-term study visa and have not secured your visa before travelling, do not arrive via Ireland.

The UK and Ireland have a Common Travel Area and you will not go through UK immigration after transferring in Dublin. You will not have a valid visa to study.

Who can apply

You may be able apply for a short-term study visa if you are:

  • studying in the UK on a part-time or full-time course that lasts less than six months, for example a Study Abroad course
  • returning for exams
  • a visiting postgraduate research student
  • coming to the UK to do a medical elective (see heading below for more information)

A short-term study visa would normally be granted for the dates of your course + 30 days for a maximum of 6 months.

Read the UKVI Short-term study visa eligibility information.

Some nationalities are required to apply in advance for a short-term study visa, while others can be stamped in as a Short-Term Student on entry into the UK at the airport. Even if you can be stamped in on entry you will still need to travel with the required documents. Furthermore, you must have a Short-term study visa letter which states your study dates. This should only be issued by the relevant School/Faculty Office (not by supervisors or academics).

If you are eligible to receive a stamp at the border and are a Registered Traveller, please do not use eGates as you will be admitted to the UK as a visitor and not as a short-term student.  

Please see the UKVI Short-term study visa application information on how to apply for the visa if you are required to apply before travelling into the UK.

Please contact us to check which visa you need.

A short-term study visa cannot be extended. If you want to study a full-time course which lasts more than six months you will need a Tier 4 student visa.

Study Abroad students

If you are not sure if you want to stay for a year or just one semester, you should apply for a Tier 4 student visa to come for a year, because the short-term study visa cannot be extended.

If you are on a short-term study visa and you later decide you want to extend your stay, you will have to return home and apply for a Tier 4 student visa before you can return to the UK.

Medical electives

If you are coming to study a medical elective, you can come on a Tier 4 student visa or on a Short-term study visa. On 16th January 2018, UKVI published an update to the Short-term students guidance to state 'an amendment has been made to allow students to complete electives when they are studying towards a medical, dentistry or veterinary degree at an overseas higher education institution through the STS route - those studying electives will continue to be unable to complete any other type of work.'

See the UKVI website to check if you need a visa.

If you require a visa to travel to the UK, you should apply for and obtain a visa before travelling. You will require a Short-term study visa letter in order to apply. This should be issued by the Faculty of Health Sciences.

If you are a non-visa national to the UK, you do not have to apply for and obtain a Short-term study visa before travelling. You can be stamped in as a Short-term student on arrival in the UK. In order to be stamped in as a Short-term student, you should present a Short-term study visa letter (which can be issued by the Faculty of Health Sciences) upon arrival in the UK. You should ensure that you are able to meet the eligibility requirements before you travel.

Distance learning

If you who choose to study through distance learning the University cannot offer sponsorship for a Tier 4 student visa.

You will instead need to secure a short-term study visa for every visit to the University, throughout the duration of your course.

There are risks associated with doing this, which should be carefully considered: 

  • For most nationalities, you will have to pay a visa application fee for each visit.
  • UK immigration rules and policies change often and with little notice. The University cannot guarantee that the short-term study visa rules in place when you begin a distance learning course will remain in place throughout the duration of your course. The rules in place at the time of each visa application will apply, not those in place when you begin your course.
  • If at any point your short-term study visa application is refused, this may affect future visa applications.

For those courses where we offer the choice of full-time residential study or distance learning, the full-time residential mode with a Tier 4 student visa carries significantly less risk.

How to apply

If you do need to apply before travelling to the UK, read UKVI how to apply information.

Documents you must provide

Read the UKVI list of documents you must provide when you apply.

Working

You cannot work on a short-term study visa.

Health insurance

If you enter the UK on a short-term study visa, you are not entitled to National Health Service (NHS) treatment. We advise that you take out private medical insurance.

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