Most international students need a student visa to study in the UK. Finding out whether you need a visa to study is easy - simply check here on GOV.UK.
Your student visa will allow you to live and study in the UK throughout your course.
If you attend a pre-departure briefing in your home country, you will pick up more handy tips on your visa application. British Council holds pre-departure briefings in many countries. To find out more about these events in your home country, go to the British Council website and select your country from the drop-down menu.
Types of student visa
Tier 4 (General) student visas
If you are 16 or over and want to study at higher education level, you’ll need to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa.
You need to wait until you have an offer from a university or college before applying for your Tier 4 (General) student visa. Your university or college will then be able to give you a document called a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). To do this, your chosen institution needs to be approved by the UK government as a ‘licenced Tier 4 sponsor’.
Find out more about Tier 4 (General) student visas.
Short-term study visas
Short term study visas are available to students who want to join courses that are up to six months long or English language courses up to 11 months long.
Find out more about short-term study visas.
Can I work in the UK on a study visa?
Many international students in the UK take a part-time job, work placement or internship alongside their studies. The hours and type of work you do will depend on the type of visa and your sponsoring university or college.
Where can I find the latest updates?
If you are looking for the latest updates and advice about visas in light of Covid-19, visit our dedicated page for starting your degree in 2020.