International Study Centre

Visa information

Do I need a student visa?

In order to study in the UK at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, you will need a Tier 4 (General) student visa. You can check if you need a visa on the UK government website.

How do I apply for a student visa? 

Your student visa application will work via a points-based system; if you score 40 points you will be granted a visa. In order to apply for your visa, you must:

  1. Apply for your chosen programme at The University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.
  2. Receive an offer of a place on the course. 
  3. Send the requested documents to be checked by the Admissions team or your Student Enrolment Adviser. This will include a tuberculosis certificate, your IELTS scores, financial statements and exam results if you have them.
  4. Pay a deposit and CAS payment.
  5. Receive a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), this is worth 30 points.
  6. Apply for your visa by submitting relevant documents required for the visa application, including financial documents which prove that you have the funds to cover the costs of course and living expenses (financial documents worth 10 points).
  7. You may also be invited to a credibility interview.
  8. You will be contacted by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to let you know whether or not your visa application has been granted.

You can apply for a visa from three months before the start date of your course at the International Study Centre. Apply early to make sure there is enough time for your application to be processed.

In addition to the period of leave given to you to carry out your course of study, leave to remain will also be granted depending on your length of course. See section 5.66 in Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance document to find out more.

If you are a Tier 4 student, you are entitled to work during your pathway programme at the International Study Centre providing that your visa is granted on or after 1 August 2019. 

The main purpose of the Tier 4 visa route is for students to come to the UK to study. Where a student is permitted to work, the intention is that this should be an opportunity to gain work experience in their field of study. In most cases we expect this to be taking a part-time role for an established business/organisation (for example, a customer service role at a retailer) or as part of a work placement provided it is an integral and assessed part of your course.

Students on a Tier 4 visa can work full time (up to 40 hours per week) during term breaks, including students studying English language preparation programmes. During term time, a Tier 4 visa allows you to work for a maximum of 10 hours per week if you are studying at undergraduate level or 20 hours per week during term-time if you are studying at postgraduate level. This is the maximum hours in any one week, including paid or unpaid work and for one or more organisation. This cannot be averaged over a longer period. A 'week' is defined by the Home Office as a period of 7 days beginning with a Monday. This also includes both paid and unpaid work.

If allowed to work, students cannot:

  1. be employed as a doctor in training (except on a recognised foundation programme)
  2. be employed as a professional sportsperson (including a sports coach)
  3. be employed as an entertainer
  4. be self-employed (except where the student is awaiting a decision on an application they have made for leave to remain as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur
  5. engage in business activity
  6. fill a full-time, permanent vacancy (except on a recognised foundation programme or as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer).

If you stop studying before completing your course, you will no longer be entitled to work and will be in breach of your conditions of leave if found working.

For a comprehensive guide to working during your studies visit UK Council for International Student Affairs.

Credibility interviews

A credibility interview is carried out by an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) to establish that you are a genuine student. If they believe you may be planning to use a student visa for holiday or work, they will refuse your visa application. The interview is nothing to worry about; you just need to show that you have done your research and are coming to the UK for the right reasons.

You will normally be interviewed at the visa application centre when you submit your visa application documents. This interview is via a secure video system. You will be interviewed by a UKVI member of staff who is in the UK.

Research the International Study Centre and our chosen course. Avoid yes and no answers; try and go into more detail. Try to speak naturally, so that the Entry Clearance Officer does not suspect that you are repeating rehearsed answers.

The ECO will ask you a variety of questions about your reasons for wanting to study in the UK, and how you think it will help you in the future. Here are a few examples: 

  • Why did you choose the University of Strathclyde?
    Tell the interviewer why you think the University is a good fit for you. 
  • Why did you choose your course?
    Demonstrate that you have a genuine interest in your chosen subject, and that it fits into your future career plans. 
  • How will you fund your studies? 
    The ECO needs to feel confident that you are aware of the costs involved with living and study in the UK, and that you can finance your stay.
  • Are you planning to work during your time at the International Study Centre?
  • If you would like to work during your studies, explain how work experience will help you in your chosen field of study. You will also need to show the interviewer that you are aware of how many hours per week you are permitted to work, and that you will not exceed them. You must reassure them that you are not dependent on this income to pay your tuition fees or accommodation costs.

If you do not meet the criteria set out in UKVI’s immigration rules, your application will be refused. If you receive a visa refusal, you have 28 days to submit an Administrative Review to the UKVI and challenge the decision made by the ECO. You will need to respond in writing to each of the points raised in the refusal.