International Students FAQ


International Students FAQ's

Will I need a visa to study in the UK? 

  • South West College is a UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) Tier 4 Sponsor.  International students need to apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa, or a Student Visitor Visa to come and study as a full-time student at our College. You will have to obtain your visa before you travel.

  • Students who have a non-EEA passport, or have lived outside the European Union for all or part of the last three years may be liable for international fees.

  • Please contact our International Office for information on the different types of visas, our full-time courses, fees assessment and our application to study process.

What evidence will I need to have to enrol on a course?

  • Passport and any other immigration documents;

  • Evidence of your English language ability;

  • Documentary evidence of your educational qualifications;

  • Details of your UK immigration history (including details of any studying you have done in the UK previously);

  • Details of any criminal convictions in the UK or elsewhere;

  • Results of health screening. This is applicable to certain countries only;

  • Bank statements showing proof of availability of funds for tuition fees and maintenance.

What funds will I need?

As part of your application for a Tier 4 Student Visa, you will be asked to show that you have the funds to support yourself while living in the UK.  This is approximately £1,015 per month for up to nine months, in addition to the first year fees which you are to pay to the college.

Will my qualifications be recognised?

Many overseas school-leaving certificates, college diplomas, university degrees and other qualifications are recognised.  To check the equivalence of your qualification with those in Northern Ireland, contact NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre) for advice and translation.  The full and original translation must include:

  • Confirmation from the translator or translation company that it is an accurate translation of the original document;
  • Date of the translation;
  • Full name and signature of the translator or of an authorised official of the translation company; and
  • Translator or translation company's contact details.

T: +44 (0) 1242 260010
F: + 44 (0) 1242 258600
A degree or qualification obtained in Northern Ireland has the same status as any other qualification obtained in the UK.  All UK qualifications are generally recognised and well respected throughout the world. 

How long will it take before a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) will be issued?

South West College will issue a CAS letter when international students have received and accepted an unconditional offer and paid 50% of the fees, providing they have met all of our academic and immigrations assessments. A CAS will not be issued more than three months prior to the course start date.

Can I work while I am in the UK?

Students attending South West College on a Tier 4 Student Visa will not have permission to take paid work.  Students on a Short Term Study Visa cannot work while they are in the UK and must also leave the UK as soon as their course is finished.

Can I bring my family with me?

Dependents e.g. spouse, partner or child of Tier 4 students who study at South West College who wish to come to the UK, must apply in their own right as a general visitor.  You can only apply to bring a dependent to the UK if you are:

  • sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at level 7 on the Ofqual register or above that lasts 1 year or more
  • a new government-sponsored student on a course that lasts longer than 6 months
  • a Doctorate Extension Scheme student

I have a disability - will this affect my application?

UK institutions are legally required not to discriminate against disabled students, and not to treat them less favourably than students without a disability.  Institutions are also required to make adjustments to services for disabled students so that they are not disadvantaged in comparison with non-disabled students.  These laws apply to international students as well as to students who are UK citizens.

Do I have to register with the Police?

Some nationals are required to register with the Police within seven days of arriving in the UK.  When you are issued with a visa it will indicate if you are required to do this.

What if I become ill?

As a student in the UK, registered on a course for more than six months, you can receive medical care, including hospital treatment, from the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). If your course lasts less than six months, you will not be entitled to treatment except by a hospital in an emergency, unless you come from a country which has a reciprocal healthcare agreement with the UK.

When you arrive in the UK, you should register with a General Practitioner (GP). If you are ill you should go to your GP for treatment unless there is an emergency.  The majority of this will be free, but you will normally have to pay for dental and optical treatment. Please note that these laws are subject to change and all students, whether or not eligible for NHS treatment, must have insurance to pay the costs of returning home in an emergency or if you have an accident in the UK – “emergency repatriation.”

Contact information:
For further information click on the links below or contact the International Office email: