Doctorate Extension Scheme

Are you currently studying for a PhD or Professional Doctorate at SHU on a Tier 4 visa?

If yes read on…

The following information is for the attention of Doctoral students currently studying for a PhD or Professional Doctorate at SHU on a Tier 4 visa

Sheffield Hallam University now offers sponsorship under the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES), a Home Office scheme which grants an additional 12 months of leave in the UK to Tier 4 Doctoral students who successfully complete their doctorates at Sheffield Hallam.

Successful applicants can use the additional 12 months to gain further experience in their chosen field, seek skilled work, or develop plans to set up as an entrepreneur.

Who can apply for the Doctorate Extension Scheme?

Doctoral students attending SHU on a Tier 4 visa, who are nearing the end of their studies and are about to submit their thesis for assessment. It is important to note that applications must be made BEFORE the completion of their award, so students interested in the scheme should start to think about their application before they submit their thesis (see below for details).

However, applicants must gain a straight pass or pass with minor amendments in order to be eligible to apply for the new DES visa.
Please note that students who are required to make major corrections to their thesis, following their viva, may need to extend their current Tier 4 visa and cannot apply for a DES visa at this stage. These students will be eligible to apply for a DES visa closer to their final submission date.

How to apply:

Step 1: As soon as possible after submitting your thesis for assessment and prior to your oral examination (the viva), please make an appointment to attend a visa group workshop with the Sheffield Hallam International Student Support Team (ISST). Here you will receive guidance on the application process and will be issued with a SHU DES Application Form.

Step 2: Complete Part 1 of the SHU DES Application Form.

Step 3: After you have completed your oral examination, you should arrange to meet with your Research Supervisor as soon as possible. You and your Supervisor must complete Part 2 of the form, confirming your final thesis submission date to the examiner(s) when any amendments have been undertaken and your ‘Completion Date’ (see application form for details).

Step 4: Complete Part 3 of the SHU DES Application Form and submit it as a hard-copy via post to the SSR Research Team. If there are any issues with your form – for example if any part is incomplete – you will be notified and asked to resubmit your Application Form.

Step 5: If your form is approved, SHU will issue you with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statement and DES CAS number by email. As soon as you receive your CAS statement and number, you must make a further appointment with SHU ISST to complete and submit your Tier 4 DES Visa application to the Home Office. You will need your DES CAS number to do this. Note: applicants must meet the requirements of the visa application, including providing the visa application fee and demonstrating sufficient funds. Please contact ISST for further details.

If you have any queries about the Doctorate Extension Scheme application process, please contact International Student Support Team via email at

Find about more about the Doctorate Extension Scheme.