This article explains the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension scheme and how to apply for it.

If you are studying for a PhD or other doctorate qualification, you may be able to apply for the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES); giving you an extra 12 months to work in the UK, or to look for work.

To qualify for this visa you must:

  • Currently be on a valid Tier 4 (General) visa

  • Be studying a PhD and or other doctorate level qualification

  • Have not yet completed your PhD (handed in your final bound thesis)

  • Apply from inside the UK.

You must apply:

  • Before completing your course (expected submission date of the final version of your thesis)

  • Up to 60 days before your submission date (hand in of your final bound thesis, after your viva).

If you are unsure of the official end date of your course, please contact Department of Student and Academic Administration at

You will need:

  • To show £2030 (two months of maintenance at £1015 per month)

    • If you have dependants, you will need to show £1360 per dependant (two months of maintenance at £680 per month)

    • These funds need to be held in your bank account, or your parents’ bank account, for 28 consecutive days 

  • To request a CAS statement before you can apply

    • Please note that you will need to have your bank statement checked by the International Student Advisers before your CAS statement is released

  • Your current passport and any previous passports you have used to travel to the UK

  • BRP visa card (if you have one)

  • Police Registration Certificate (if applicable).

You then need to complete the online application form.

The application fee is currently £475. You will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge of £300. 

The International Student Advisers can check your form and send it for you. Please bring all your supporting documents and your online application form (fill it out as far as you can but STOP at the declaration page) to the Global Office, Nuffield Centre to be checked.

Further information about the Doctorate Extension Scheme can be found on the UKCISA website.

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