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Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme

The Doctorate Extension Scheme is intended to enable students gaining a doctorate to stay in the UK for an additional period to find work with a Tier 2 employer, set up as an entrepreneur or gain practical work experience.


In order to be eligible to apply for the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme you must meet the following requirements:

  • have permission to stay as a Tier 4 (General) student, or as a student under the old rules, to study a course that leads to the award of a PhD qualification
  • be studying with a Tier 4 sponsor that is a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI)
  • not yet have completed your course
  • have a CAS from your Tier 4 sponsor confirming that they expect you to complete your course on the stated expected course end date and that they will sponsor you during the 12 months you are on the scheme
  • be applying no more than 60 days before the expected course end date, as specified on your CAS
  • be able to demonstrate that you have the required maintenance costs

How to apply

In the first instance you should contact Student Support for an application to be sponsored under the Doctorate Extension Scheme.

You then need to submit this to the Registry for a decision to be made. In most cases continued sponsorship will be provided, however the college reserves the right to refuse continued sponsorship where this is deemed appropriate.

Once the sponsorship has been confirmed you will be issued a CAS by the Registry, which you will need in order to apply.

You should then complete the Tier 4 (General) student application form

Before completing the form you should read the Tier 4 Policy Guidance carefully.

In addition to completing the form you will need to provide the following documentation:

  • passport/ID card
  • a passport photograph
  • CAS
  • evidence of finances – you must be able to show that you have held two months maintenance (£2,530) in a bank account in your name, for a minimum of 28 consecutive days prior to applying.

Responsibilities of those granted a visa under the scheme

  • You can undertake any type of work (including as a self-employed person), but you are not permitted to work as a doctor or dentist in training, or as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.
  • You must maintain contact with the College; the College will determine the nature and frequency of the contact in consultation with you. In order to facilitate this you must keep your contact details (address, email, telephone number) with the College up to date.
  • You must inform the College if you are no longer participating in the scheme or intend to permanently leave the UK.
  • You must leave the UK when the visa expires unless you have obtained further valid leave (eg by applying for a Tier 2 visa if you begin a job meeting the Tier 2 criteria.

Responsibilities of the College

Where individuals are sponsored under this scheme, the College is required to inform the Home Office of the following circumstances:

  • The student completes their course, or fails their course, or is awarded a qualification lower than doctorate level.
  • The individual misses a scheduled contact with the sponsor and fails to provide an adequate explanation for doing so.
  • The individual permanently leaves the UK.
  • The sponsor has reason to believe the individual is breaching the conditions of their leave.
  • The individual is no longer participating in the Scheme.
  • The institution withdraws sponsorship. 

How long can you stay in the UK

You will be issued a visa to stay in the UK for a period of 12 months.


You can have your dependent(s) with you in the UK under the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme.

Information on financial requirements and how to apply can be found on the Home Office website.


Apply online – £448

Apply in person – £ 948

Dependent(s) fees

Apply online – £448 (each dependent)

Apply in person – £ 948 (each dependent)

For further information contact Student Support.


Student Support Office

+44 (0)20 7590 4140

[email protected]


Home Office