Doctorate Extension Scheme

The Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES) is intended to enable students gaining a doctorate to remain in the UK for an additional 12-month period (after being awarded the PhD) in which to seek work with a Tier 2 employer, to set up as an entrepreneur or to undertake some form of employment.

You can undertake any type of work but you are not permitted to work as a doctor or dentist in training, or as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.

You can only apply for the DES up to 60 days before your expected completion date, i.e. the date you will be awarded your doctorate. You must apply after all corrections have been approved but before your current Tier 4 visa expires and before your award is confirmed at the final Research Degree Award Board (RDAB).

Before making an DES application

Before making an application under the Scheme, you should:

Please note: Unless you have completed the above steps, UWE Bristol cannot issue you a CAS which you will need to make an application under this scheme.

Applications for DES under the university’s sponsorship are required to be made under supervision of the Immigration Advice team.

If you are granted a visa under this Scheme, it will have a duration of 12 months from the expected PhD completion date. This period cannot be extended.

UWE Bristol DES sponsorship

If UWE Bristol sponsors you under the Scheme, the following will apply:

  • you agree to comply with the conditions of the Scheme and with all conditions of your visa as set by the Home Office, including leaving the UK when the visa expires (unless you have obtained a different visa eg you are applying for a Tier 2 visa)
  • you agree to maintain contact with the Graduate School as required while your visa is valid
  • you agree to notify the University if you are no longer participating in the Scheme or intend to permanently leave the UK
  • you understand that you are not a registered student at the UWE Bristol once the award has been made and that you will not have access to student facilities under this Scheme.

In submitting an expression of interest form, you are agreeing to these conditions; if you have any questions concerning them, you should email the Immigration Advice Service at before doing so.

If you do not comply with these conditions throughout the 12-month period under this scheme, the Points Based System Team will withdraw sponsorship and inform the Home Office in accordance with its responsibilities.

Back to top