The UK operates a points-based immigration system underpinned by the principle of visa sponsorship. A Tier 4 visa is issued to study in the UK. The sponsor for Tier 4 purposes is the educational institution where the student will study. The visa is issued for a particular course at the institution.
You must apply for a Tier 4 visa prior to travelling to the UK unless you are already in the UK holding a valid visa that permits you to make an application for further leave to remain under Tier 4.
The following webpages provide detailed information on the Tier 4 application process and requirements:
The International Student Team's Visa Advice Service can provide further assistance on applying for a Tier 4 visa as well as information on related areas of immigration and post-study visa options for after you have completed your course.