Points Based System

The UK Government made several important changes to the immigration system for students in 2009. The changes are likely to affect you whether you are a current student or an applicant. We suggest you check our web pages regularly to keep up to date and look at the websites we have provided (below). If you have applied through the British Council or one of our local agents, you will also be able to ask them for advice.

Student visa applications are points-based: in other words, your application will be assessed against specific criteria set up by the UK Government. By consulting the Home Office website, it is possible to check that you have sufficient points to be granted entry to the UK before you make your application.

Tier 4 Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies Letter (CAS):

You will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies Letter(CAS) before you can apply for a visa. You can obtain this from the International Admissions Office after you have received an unconditional offer from the University and you are in a position to accept this offer.

You will need to provide the CAS when you make your application to the British Consulate or High Commission in your home country. It is important that you bear in mind that once the CAS has been issued, you will be expected to join the issuing institution, so if you change your mind you will need to contact International Admissions so the Home Office can be informed of your decision.

To gain a Tier 4 General Student visa, you will have to score points against two sets of objective criteria with an overall pass mark of 40 points:

  • 30 points are awarded for the CAS;
  • 10 points are awarded for the Maintenance and Funds Test. (You will have to show you have funds to pay the first year’s fees plus £9,135. This means you must be able to demonstrate you have, and have had for a minimum of 28 days, £9,135 plus any outstanding tuition fees for undergraduate or postgraduate courses.

You must also be studying on a full-time course, involving a minimum of 15 hours per week organised daytime study; or a course which includes a work placement element which is no more than 50% of the full course length if the course is at NQF Level 6 (a degree course or higher).

You must also choose whether you wish to undertake a work placement before your arrival in the UK.