Once you have your visa

There are restrictions on the amount of time you can stay in the UK before and after your studies.

Arriving before your courses starts

The start date of the course will be stated in the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) email you receive from us.

Courses lasting six months or more

You can come to the UK before up to one month before your course start date if your visa is for a course of six months or more (undergraduate or postgraduate courses) or for a pre-sessional English language course.

Courses lasting less than six months

You will only be able to come to the UK seven days before the course start date if you're coming for a course that is less than six months and is not a pre-sessional English language course.

Length of study

Students coming to the UK on a Tier 4 student visa are limited to studying five years on courses at degree level.

Exceptions to this are if:

  • your undergraduate degree course is four or five years long (for example, Mechanical Engineering).
  • you want to study an undergraduate degree and then a Master’s degree and/or PhD at a UK University.
  • you are studying one of the following:
    • architecture
    • medicine
    • dentistry
    • Graduate Diploma in Law/CPE
    • Legal Practice Course (LPC)
    • Bar Professional Training
    • the Common Professional Examination.

If you're currently studying in the UK and you are worried about whether your visa application might be refused because it would result in going over the time limit, please contact the International Office before you apply for your Tier 4 visa.

How long your visit can last

Type and length of courseLength of stay allowedExample of course
12 months or moreThe full length of the course
+ four months after the end of your course
Undergraduate or Master's
Six months or more but less than 12 monthsThe full length of the course
+ two months after the end of your course
International Foundation Programme
Pre-sessional course of less than six monthsThe full length of the course
+ one month after the end of your course
English Language Pre-sessional course
Course of less than six months that is not a pre-sessional courseThe full length of the course
+ seven days after the end of your course
Bridge Programme
Postgraduate doctor or dentistThe full length of the course
+ one month after the end of your course
 

If you think you are not given the correct length of time to complete your course, our International Student Team can contact the Home Office to look at your case and correct any mistakes free of charge. Please contact them as soon as possible after you arrive.

Sign outside Cardiff city hall

Travelling to the UK

All the ways to get to Cardiff, along with advice on arriving early or late, clearing immigration and declaring any money you're carrying.