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International Students


Students accepted for a part-time research degree or on most Master of Education (MEd) routes in the Faculty of Education can be sponsored by the University for a part-time Tier 4 student visa. 

Requirements and restrictions

The Tier 4 requirements and application process for a part-time visa are the same as for full-time studies but the visa is more restrictive as you:

  • cannot undertake any work in the UK, including placements or voluntary work;
  • cannot bring family members as visa dependants;
  • cannot switch to a full-time Tier 4 visa inside the UK if mode of study changes.

Part-time students should read the Tier 4 responsibilities guide for part-time students.

Research degrees - applicants

A Tier 4 visa granted to study part-time enables a student to be based mainly outside the UK and to come to Cambridge for short or extended visits as part of their research degree, in accordance with arrangements agreed with their Department or Faculty. 

Applications from students who intend to be based in the UK will also be considered but the reasons for wishing to study part-time will be reviewed alongside the visa restrictions and the arrangements must be approved by the Board of Graduate Studies in consultation with the International Student Office. 

In accordance with UK immigration requirements, it is not possible for a part-time research student to study as a visitor or under the short-term study route, including where attendance at Cambridge is only for short occasional periods. In order to matriculate and commence studies, you will be required to provide evidence of a Tier 4 visa, or an alternative UK visa which permits you to study on a course of more than 6 months.

In addition to the visa application fee, students will need to pay the immigration health surcharge, currently £300, for each year the visa will be granted. A student starting a part-time PhD will be sponsored for a 7-year visa and 4 additional months will be granted from the end date. The immigration health surcharge will therefore be £2250, in addition to the visa application fee, and paid at the point of application. 

Master of Education (MEd) - all routes except MEd Transforming Practice

Students who will be studying part-time on most MEd routes in the Faculty of Education can be sponsored by the University for a Tier 4 part-time visa. This will enable students to be based in the UK during their studies but the requirements and restrictions of the visa should be considered prior to accepting an offer of admission. Non-EEA nationals will be required to provide evidence of a Tier 4 visa or an alternative UK visa, which permits study on a course of more than 6 months, in order to commence the course. MEd Transforming Practice has different attendance requirements and cannot be sponsored under Tier 4. 

Other part-time courses

Other part-time courses cannot be sponsored under Tier 4. This includes courses at the Institute of Continuing Education, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, other programmes in the Faculty of Education (including MEd in Transofrming Pratice) and some courses at Cambridge Judge Business School. These courses are generally supported under the short-term study immigration route but you are advised to contact the relevant institution to check whether visa support is possible for the course you intend to do. 

Research degrees - current students

Current students considering changing from full-time to part-time study should read the information under ‘Changing your mode of study’ in the Tier 4 Changes in Circumstances section.