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International Students


The short-term study route allows non-EEA and non-Swiss national to come to the UK to undertake a short course of study that does not exceed six months. Examples of such programmes offered at Cambridge include the International Summer Programmes and part-time courses provided by the Institute of Continuing Education and the Cambridge Executive MBA at Judge Business School. If you believe you already have a visa which would allow you to enter the UK for such a course, you must contact the International Student Team for confirmation.

Short-term study immigration permission is also appropriate for students registered at a University overseas who wish to make single, or multiple, visits for study or research with supervisors at Cambridge. In this instance, a letter from the home institution confirming that the study at Cambridge is part of, or relevant to, the overseas course must be provided in the visa application in addition to the letter from the University of Cambridge.

Where a course requires a number of occasional visits to the UK, each of less than six months, students can be considered under the short-term study immigration category (even if the course in its entirety spans more than six months). Students attending part-time study at Cambridge with sessions spread across a longer period of time are expected to leave the UK at the end of each session. For certain part-time programmes which are longer than six months, attendance is required on a weekly basis and these courses cannot be undertaken on the Short-Term Study route.

Whilst this visa allows you to study up to six months in the UK it has the following restrictions.

  • You cannot take employment in the UK (including part-time or full-time vacation employment);
  • You cannot undertake a work placement/internship (paid/unpaid) as part of the course of study;
  • You must intend to leave the UK at the end of the study period or before your leave expires, whichever is earlier;
  • You cannot extend your stay in the UK. If you require more time you must apply for a new visa in your home country. (You may not receive consecutive visas, and generally you should have a gap between one study visit and the next);
  • You must demonstrate support and funds to pay for any course costs, accommodation, and flights home.

Your host institution will provide you with a letter explaining the purpose of the visit. If you come from certain countries, i.e. a visa national, then you are required to make a short-term study visa application before travelling to the UK. Non-visa nationals may obtain the visa at the UK border but you need to make sure you speak to the Border Officer and ask for and obtain the correct short-term study visa stamp in your passport. You should carry this letter in the hand luggage when entering the UK and present it at the UK border, even if not asked, to support this application as a short-term student.

The University is required to hold evidence of your immigration permission to study and you will need to present your passport and visa on arrival at Cambridge. For non-visa nationals making multiple visits, this will need to be repeated on each occasion. Your Faculty or Departmet will advise as appropriate.

Please note that the Registered Traveller Service cannot be used to enter the UK under the Short-term Study route as this is not one of the visitor categories that it covers. If you have a Registered Traveller Service card you should not use this to enter the UK if you are entering for the purposes of study, as your conditions of stay will not be correct and you will not receive the required Short-term Study stamp in your passport which would allow you to start your course.

The University requires all students, including those visiting for six months or less on a short-term study visa, to meet the English language conditions. The standard of English language needed for admission to the University is higher, normally equivalent to an overall band score of 7.5 in IELTS, with 7.0 in each element. Some nationalities are exempt from the requirement, where English is deemed to be the majority language, and alternatives to an English test certificate are possible depending on nationality and academic background - the Graduate Admissions Office provide full detail of the English language requirements.