If you are someone looking to travel to UK to get your postgraduate degree, there’s some amazing news for you. If you remember, the UK Government, in 2016, had introduced a pilot program for the UK Tier 4 Visa aimed at postgraduate students. However, the pilot was limited to just 4 universities, namely Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Imperial College London. Beginning 2018, they are expanding the UK Tier 4 Visa pilot by including 23 additional universities as indicated by the UK Government in a release.

Here’s how the scheme works and how its different from the regular Tier 4 visa.

UK Tier 4 Visa Pilot – What is it?

The UK Tier 4 Visa pilot is aimed at point based Tier 4 visa seeking international students who aim to get their postgraduate degree in the United Kingdom. The UK Tier 4 Visa pilot aims to:

Reduce the paperwork and documents required for a Tier 4 visa for students admitted to a select list of universities

Allow a longer duration of stay post completion of degree which might help them secure a job within UK itself

In addition to a reduction in paperwork required, the pilot would allow the students to obtain Tier 4 visas with additional 6 months during which they would be allowed to stay back in the UK post graduation in order to look for jobs or experience.

However, the usual rules for the visa still apply.

Who is it for

The visa is applicable to all postgraduate seeking students who have been admitted by universities included in the pilot. It goes without saying that the UK Tier 4 Visa pilot is applicable only to international students.

In a nutshell, following are the major pre-requitisites in order to be eligible for the visa UK Tier 4 Visa pilot.

Postgraduate : The student must have secured an admit in one of the universities in the list and course must be a postgraduate masters course

Duration : The degree the applicant has secured an admit into must be 13 months or less in duration

International Student : You must be an international (citizens of countries outside the UK, EU, EEA and Switzerland) student in order to be eligible.

University : The University should be among the 27 that have been selected by the UKVI for the UK Tier 4 Visa pilot

If you satisfy all the above, breathe a sigh of relief. You are eligible for the pilot.

The participating universities

In addition to Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Imperial College London, the UK Government added 23 other universities from across the United Kingdom to participate in the program. Following is a full list of all the participating universities.

University Country
University of Bath England
University of Bristol England
University of Cambridge England
Cardiff University Wales
Durham University England
University of East Anglia England
University of Edinburgh Scotland
University of Essex England
University of Exeter England
University of Glasgow Scotland
Goldsmiths, University of London England
Harper Adams University England
Imperial College London England
University of Leicester England
University of Liverpool England
University of Manchester England
Newcastle University England
University of Nottingham England
University of Oxford England
Queen’s University, Belfast Northern Ireland
University of Reading England
Royal Central College of Speech & Drama England
University of Sheffield England
University of Southampton England
University of Wales, Trinity St David Wales
University of Warwick England
University of York England


All of the above universities will be able to sponsor students under the new Tier 4 pilot visa scheme for courses beginning in the 2018-19 academic year.

What people have to say

UK Immigration minister Brandon Lewis said he was “delighted” to extend the pilot to 23 universities across the UK. “This is a clear indication that genuine students are welcome and there is no limit on the number who can come to study in the UK,” he said in a statement released by the Home Office.

Chief executive of the Russell Group of UK universities, Tim Bradshaw, welcomed the extension as “good news”. “We hope to see this scheme rolled out more widely as soon as possible to those universities that can demonstrate high levels of compliance with the visa regulations,” he said in a statement.

For additional information, head over to the UK Tier 4 Visa guidelines. The pilot is outlined in Annex 6.

If you are looking for a Management degree in the United States of America, click here for the complete guide.