Visiting postgraduate researchers
Schools may be approached by potential PGR visitors. To be eligible for PGR miscellaneous study, the applicant must be studying a research degree and must be registered at their home institution throughout their visit. They must also be visiting the University of Leeds to undertake research that contributes towards their home institution degree. PGR miscellaneous visitors receive no award from the University of Leeds.
Types of visit
Miscellaneous Postgraduate Researchers come to the University of Leeds to conduct research that contributes towards their degree at their home institution, for which study in Leeds is necessary. A School must provide an academic mentor who is able to provide information about the intention and need of each PGR visitor. PGR visitors come to the University of Leeds for 12 months or less. If the visitor has other needs, there are varying types of visits that may be more applicable. Further information is available via Human Resources.
PGRs visiting for over one month must pay for the use of University facilities, unless they are participating in a pre-existing formal exchange arrangement.
There is a minimum standard annual fee for 12 months of study: 2022/23: £1830
This can be broken down pro-rata as follows:
This minimum fee only covers University overheads. Schools do not derive any income from this. Schools may agree to pay on behalf of the visitor using an FA1 form.
If the PGR visitor will have a significant consumption of academic resources, a School can choose to charge the normal full time international fee. The definition of “significant consumption of academic resource” depends on the individual School, but may include some or all of the following:
a supervisory and advisory load upon a member(s) of the academic staff which is similar to that provided for a research degree candidate
significant technical assistance and support
use of laboratory facilities and consumables
participation in advanced skills and generic training courses offered by the faculty, OD&PL or other University providers.
In addition to the academic fee, the School may charge a ‘bench fee’. This is charged where there is evidence that the miscellaneous postgraduate researcher will use consumables, equipment and other resources. All consumables, equipment and other resources must be clearly identified in any correspondence with the student/sponsor and in information sent to Doctoral College Admissions.
International visitors will need to comply with immigration rules. These rules are on a country by country basis. To check what the particular requirements are for different combinations of duration and nationality please visit https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa
An international PGR visitor who is coming to the UK to undertake study must normally hold either a Standard Visitor Visa or a Student Visa. If the person already has some other form of visa they should contact the Student Visa Advice team for advice before travelling. Commencing full time study may breach the terms of a current visa or cause unexpected consequences for the visa holder.
Student Offer Letter
Students who need a Standard Visitor Visa or Student Visa will need to apply for this with an offer letter from the University of Leeds. This will be provided upon successful application.
Up to 1 month (International and Home)
Registration as a student is not required.
PGR visitors coming for up to one month do not register as students at the University of Leeds. These individuals do not complete a University application form. However, the applicant must be registered to study at a higher education institution for a research degree level qualification for at least the duration of the visit.
International PGR visitors will require a Standard Visitor Visa. This visa status entitles the holder to remain in the UK for a period of up to six months and this cannot be extended. No work, paid or unpaid, is permitted. Where a Standard Visitor Visa is issued, the University is not required to undertake Home Office Student Visa sponsorship duties, such as attendance monitoring or reporting on leavers/non-registration. The school will need to produce an Offer Letter if the visitor is international for visa purposes.
In most cases of this kind, no fee will be due to the University. The school can make their own arrangements to charge a fee if they wish.
1 month - 6 months (International and Home)
This guidance covers International applicants visiting for 1-6 months, and Home applicants visiting for any period over 1 month. These visitors will register as students.
International student visitors will require a Standard Visitor Visa. This visa status entitles the holder to remain in the UK for a period of up to six months. This cannot be extended. No work, paid or unpaid, is permitted. Where a Standard Visitor Visa is issued, the University is not required to undertake Home Office Student Visa sponsorship duties, such as attendance monitoring or reporting on leavers/non registration. The School will need to produce an Offer Letter if the visitor is international for visa purposes. Following a successful application, Doctoral College Admissions will produce a formal offer letter.
Unless there is a formal exchange arrangement between the University of Leeds and another university, PGR visitors must make payment for the use of University facilities. Doctoral College Admissions should be advised of the number of months of the visit (including dates) via the Schools Recommendation Report. Doctoral College Admissions will inform the Strategy and Planning Office for Resource Allocation Model purposes.
Visitors must apply using the online admissions system.
The applicant must be registered to study at their home higher education institution for a research degree level qualification for the duration of the visit.
Schools must check and complete the school section of the Schools Recommendation Report. It should then be sent to Doctoral College Admissions.
In the conditions box it should state:
a) the number of months (including dates) that the visitor will be studying for, and
b) what fee is to be charged.
International applicants studying with a School that comes under the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ATAS scheme will require ATAS clearance and the School must provide Doctoral College Admissions with the relevant 'Initial Proposed Summary of Research Area Letter' alongside the School Recommendation Report.
Doctoral College Admissions update the Banner record and inform Student Finance (Fees) of the fee details. Student Finance (Fees) will amend Banner. Where a fee is payable it should be noted that the student will not be able to register until this fee is paid in full.
If there are no issues with the application, Doctoral College Admissions will issue an unconditional acceptance letter containing the details of the offer.
If applicable the ATAS statement will also be included with the offer letter.
Applicants accept as normal.
The school will issue their usual communications and instructions to the visitor.
Schools must produce a Student Visitor Letter for International Students to use in a visa application.
A Registration Report will be produced by the Doctoral College as normal and sent to the School at the point that the person is eligible to register as a student. This report is for information only.
If the School chooses to use an FA1 form, this must be sent to the Fees Office before informing the student that they can register.
The visitor can then register as a miscellaneous research non-degree (non-award bearing) student via the normal online registration system route and obtain a student ID card.
+6 months (International)
These visitors will register as students.
International student visitors will require a Student Visa. The University must issue a CAS for the applicant before they are able to apply for a Student Visa. To be issued with a CAS, the applicant must demonstrate that they meet University academic and English language requirements and must be eligible to hold an unconditional offer. They will also need to apply for ATAS clearance if required. Doctoral College Admissions will then issue a formal offer letter.
The PGR visitor must make payment for use of facilities, unless there is a specific, pre-existing exchange agreement between the University of Leeds and another institution. Doctoral College Admissions must be advised of the number of months of the visit (including dates) via the Schools Recommendation Report. Doctoral College Admissions will inform the Strategy and Planning Office for Resource Allocation Model purposes.
PGR visitors must apply online.
Applicant must be registered to study at a higher education institution for a research degree level qualification for the duration of the visit. Additionally, for a Student Visa, the applicant must be enrolled on a course that is at least equivalent to the level of a UK bachelor’s degree.
International applicants requiring a CAS must demonstrate:
- English language – all Student Visa sponsors must assess their students’ level of English language competence. This means the applicant must have met the required standards by:
- Academic evidence – highest awarded qualification to date.
Schools must check and complete the school section of the Schools Recommendation Report. It should then be sent to Doctoral College Admissions. In the conditions box it should state:
- the number of months (including dates) that the visitor will be studying for, and
- what fee is to be charged.
International applicants studying with a school that comes under the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ATAS scheme will require ATAS clearance and the school must provide Doctoral College Admissions with the relevant 'Initial Proposed Summary of Research Area Letter' alongside the School Recommendation Report.
Doctoral College Admissions update the Banner record and inform Student Finance (Fees) of the fee details Student Finance (Fees) will amend Banner. Where a fee is payable it should be noted that the student will not be able to register until this fee is paid in full.
Doctoral College Admissions will, assuming no problems with the application, issue an unconditional acceptance letter containing the details of the offer. (If applicable the ATAS statement will also be included with the offer letter.)
Applicants accept as normal.
For international students, Doctoral College Admissions need the School Recommendation, evidence of English language, academic evidence and, if relevant, ATAS summary of research area, before an offer can be made/CAS issued. The University does not issue conditional offers to these applicants.
Doctoral College Admissions will issue a CAS Statement to the applicant that contains the CAS number, University Sponsor Licence number and details of the fee to be charged where appropriate. This will enable the student to apply for a Student Visa. The CAS has a life span of 6 months but can only be used up to 3 months prior to the start date. Therefore, Doctoral College Admissions will issue the CAS when appropriate.
On arrival, individuals must register via the online registration system as miscellaneous non-degree (non-award bearing) students and obtain a student ID card. The University will also need to take a copy of relevant passport and visa information.
Attendance monitoring for international Students
The University is required to undertake visa sponsorship duties for international PGR visitors on a Student Visa. This means the University has responsibility for reporting non-registration, unauthorised non-attendance and apparent leavers and monitoring the attendance of these individuals. Schools must have arrangements in place for monitoring attendance and for reporting non-attendance to Doctoral College Operations.
Examples of attendance monitoring events at research level are:
- Formal supervision meetings with supervisor
- School activities associated with registration and other routine communication
- Induction and training courses
- Meeting with supervisor to discuss and review any training plan
- OD&PL courses and faculty training (including research seminars involving giving presentations)
- Formal review meetings
- Meetings with Director of Postgraduate Research Studies or other relevant staff
- Attendance at external conference/meetings
- Other events at school level
It is recognised that there are different events and timelines within different schools, reflecting the varying nature of research study. Schools may already have their own practices that relate to these events. Therefore, as a minimum, schools will be required to put the following procedure in place:
- Supervisors (or other relevant staff) will be required to report to the school/faculty when there has been no contact with individual research students within any 1-month period (unless absence has been authorised for events such as fieldwork, illness, etc.), or where there is a pattern of absences that is affecting the student’s work or causing concerns for the student’s wellbeing.
- An investigation should then be carried out within the school that will provide an opportunity for issues to be resolved with the student.
- Where issues are not resolved, a full report will be sent by the faculty/school to Doctoral College Operations indicating that the student should be required to withdraw from the University.
- Doctoral College Operations will carry out any other appropriate enquiries and then, after further review, notify the Home Office of withdrawal.
Partnerships – e.g. Centre for Doctoral Training CDTs
These students will normally either apply online for the specific miscellaneous programme code or we will accept a copy of the application to their main University providing it has the core data we need to create a Banner registration record.
Student visitors wishing to undertake taught studies
These student visitors must contact the appropriate office:
Undergraduate and taught admissions – email@example.com
Language Centre – firstname.lastname@example.org
Study Abroad – email@example.com
Visits by international visitors (equivalent to staff status)
Enquiries about the position of international visitors who are not students but have a more senior status may be addressed to HR.
You can find more information on research, study and academic visits on the University of Leeds website. Further questions about postgraduate research student visitors and visa issues may be directed to Doctoral College Admissions and the Student Visa Advice Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) respectively.