University Centre Colchester | International Applications and Entry Requirements

Applying as an Overseas Student

To ensure that all students have the best chance of succeeding, students at the start of the course must meet the entry requirement for the course and have a minimum level of English Language ability. We require an IELTS score of 5.5 or equivalent for Further Education and IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent for Higher Education courses. English Language support is provided while you are following your main course of study. For overseas fee payers this language support is included in the tuition fee.

International Students entering or currently in the UK on a Tier 4 Student Visa are only eligible to apply for full-time Bachelor Degree programmes offered at University Centre Colchester and full-time courses in English Language or full-time courses at National Qualification Framework Level 3 offered at Colchester Institute.

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If you meet the International entry requirements, all that’s left to do is apply for your chosen course. To do this, see the information below for further information and application forms: When your application form is received we will send you an acknowledgement within 7 working days. Where possible this will be done by email. Your application form will then be passed to the relevant course tutor to decide whether you can be made an offer of a place, depending on the course you may be asked to provide more information. If an offer is made you will need to decide to accept your offer after this acceptance we will request payment of a deposit or full tuition fee to confirm your place on the course. Further information on deposit and tuition fee payment is available in the fee payment and refund policy.

After you have made an application and received an offer of a place on your chosen course you need to plan your arrival before you enter the UK.

Use the checklist to help you identify the areas that need advance planning:

  1. Immigration permission to study in the UK
  2. Accommodation
  3. Finance
  4. Traveling to Colchester
  5. Health
  6. Working part-time

Immigration permissions to Study in the UK

Check from the following UK Border Agency web links whether you need immigration permission to study in the UK.

International Students who need a visa to Study in the UK

If you are an international student and know that you will need a visa to study in the UK you will need to apply for one of the following:

Tier 4 (General) Student Visa

Apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa if you intend to study on one of the following full-time courses:
  • Level 3 course
  • BA (Hons) degree
  • English as a Foreign Language (EFL)

Tier 4 (General) visa information from the UK Border Agency

Student Visitor Visa

Apply for a student visitor visa if you intend to study on a part-time or full-time English language course for 6 months or less.

Extended Student Visitor Visa

Apply for an extended student visitor visa if you intend to study on a part-time or full-time English language course for 11 months or less. Student visitor visa information from the UK Border Agency

Changing your Tier 4 sponsor to University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute

University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute is a Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS).

If you are already in the UK as a Tier 4 (General) student and would like to change to study at University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute you will need to make a new application for a Tier 4 (General) visa using the CAS issued by us. If you applied for your current student visa before the 5 October 2009 you may be able to make an application to the UKBA for permission to switch your Tier 4 sponsor to University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute. If you do not have enough time left on your current visa to complete your new course, you will also have to make a new Tier 4 application before your current visa expires.

See the UK Student Visa Guidance for full details on what you must do if you want to take the same or a different course of study in the UK with a new Tier 4 sponsor.

Where to apply for a visa to study in the UK

You should contact your local British Embassy, High Commission, Consulate or Visa Application Centre in the country where you are resident.

Locate embassies, high commissions and other diplomatic posts across the world

UK Border Agency information on where to apply

EU, EEA and SWISS Nationals

Nationals of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are able to enter the UK without a visa / entry clearance. Please check if you are classed as an EU/EEA or Swiss national.


You need to arrange where you are going to live during your studies before you arrive in the UK. University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute is able to offer accommodation to students but it is limited depending on demand.

Accommodation offered

If you would like to arrange accommodation through us you will need to complete an Accommodation Request Form, you can email the Accommodation Officer to ask for this form once you have received your course offer.

Please contact:

University Centre Colchester Operations

Tel: 0044 (0)1206 712613 Email:

Academic Services
University Centre Colchester
Colchester Institute
Sheepen Road
Colchester, Essex


If you are an International or EU/EEA student intending to study in the UK then you need to arrange your finances so you can pay for your tuition fees and living costs for the duration of your course.

EU/EEA Students

If you are an EU/EEA member and live within the EU/EEA you may be able to apply for a tuition fee loan from the UK.

Information is also available from Student Services.

Please contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1206 712297 Email:

Student Union
University Centre Colchester
Colchester Institute
Sheepen Road
Colchester, Essex

NON EU/EEA International Students

Please refer to the preventing hardship section within the:

This will provide you with information on the required minimum cost of financing your studies. Also, you will be required to pay a small deposit when accepted onto your course. On receipt of your deposit the College will issue you with a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) number to use in your visa application for studying in the UK.

You can also manage your money and build a budget for living and studying in the UK by using the International Student Calculator:

Travelling to Colchester

We offer a friendly and supportive learning environment close to the centre of the historic town of Colchester, only 50 minutes from London by train. It has good road and rail links to the rest of the UK and to Europe through the ports of Harwich, Felixstowe, Dover and the Channel Tunnel. Colchester is an ideal place to study with its Roman past, it has a large Norman castle and in the north lies the countryside made famous by the painter John Constable. The area offers a wide range of leisure and sporting activities, including golf, swimming, football, riding and sailing. Colchester is in the region of England called East Anglia and it is situated about 100km north-east of London. The main road from London to East Anglia is the A12. Harwich is about 25km away and from there you can take ferries to Belgium, Holland and North Germany.

Nearest Airport

If you are flying into Stansted Airport – London’s third international airport you can get to Colchester town by car or taxi in around 45 minutes via the A120 and A12. You can also take the National Express coach service from Stansted Airport direct to Colchester.

International Ports

The campus is only 45 minutes by road from the port of Harwich. If travelling by car from Harwich follow the A120 to Colchester. If travelling by train get off at Colchester (North) station and follow directions on our campus location page.

Nearest Train Station

Trains run between London Liverpool Street and Colchester station every 20 minutes. The journey takes approximately 50 minutes – 1 hour. Train services from Colchester also run to Norwich, Ipswich, Felixstowe and Harwich. (Note: Colchester has three stations – these directions refer to the main station (North) and not Colchester Town or Hythe.) To plan your route you can visit National Rail Enquiries:

Travel within Colchester Town and Surrounding areas

Colchester offers an efficient bus service, click on links to see maps showing bus services in Colchester, bus stops in Colchester town centre and street map of Colchester Town.

Information on Colchester and the East of England

For information on Colchester town, visit
To learn more about the east of England visit

Health Check

Your health is important and knowing how to access the health care facilities available to you will help save you time and stress.


The UK has a national health care service called the NHS. It provides treatment to UK residents, some of which are free and some you have to pay for.

The following treatment is free for everyone:
  • some emergency treatment (not follow-up treatment)
  • family planning services
  • treatment of certain communicable diseases
  • compulsory psychiatric treatment

If your course is six months or more

You will be eligible for NHS treatment from the beginning of your stay on the same basis as anyone who is ordinarily resident in the UK.

If your course is less than six months

It is advisable to have private medical insurance for the duration of your stay. If you do not have medical insurance you may find that you are limited to the amount of treatment you receive for further information please see the UKCISA fact sheet on Keeping Healthy:

European Economic Area (EEA) nationals

All non-UK European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and their family should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before coming to the UK. This card entitles the holder and their family to full NHS treatment on the same basis as the student categories described above.

Visit the European Commission’s website for more information on the EHIC at

Registering with a Doctors Surgery

Please register with a Doctor within the first couple of weeks of your arrival rather than waiting until you need to see one. Register with a GP’s surgery that is near your accommodation. You can search for the nearest Doctors Surgery in Colchester and the surrounding areas on the NHS web page:

Registering with a Dentist

To find the local Dentists in your area please check the following web page on the NHS website:

Working Part-time

This will depend on your visa. If you have a Tier 4 (General) student visa and are studying a full time degree level course or full time NQF level 3 course you are allowed to work part-time (10 hours per week) during the term and full-time during vacations. If you have a Student Visitor Visa then you are not permitted to work. For further information go to:

If you are a European national then different rules apply for working in the UK. For more information please visit the UKCISA website:

Entry requirements are generally given as GSCE and A Levels. These are the UK standard qualifications that are awarded at the end of a student’s time at school or college, and your country may have equivalent qualifications that can be used to support your application. You must be a minimum age of 16 or over to apply for one of our courses. Check the course finder for the exact qualification for each course.

When you search for courses, don’t worry if the entry requirements don’t specify your qualifications – we can accept alternative equivalent qualifications for many of our courses. We are happy to consider qualifications from other countries for entry onto our courses and an assessment will be made of their equivalence to our UK qualifications.

You can get a statement about how your qualifications compare to UK equivalents from UK Naric (the UK’s National Recognition Information Centre), or contact the UCAS Qualifications Hotline on +044 371 468 0472 (or 0371 468 0472 if you’re calling from inside the UK) or If your qualification is not listed and you would like to make an application to one of our courses please email our International Admissions Team:

Students whose first language is not English need to provide evidence of their English language ability. This is a requirement for all students and provides an indication of a student’s ability to succeed on a course. University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute usually require an overall IELTS score of:

  • 5.5 (minimum of 5.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking) for Further Education courses
  • 6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in reading, writing, speaking and listening) for Higher Education courses

Students intending to enter the UK on a Tier 4 (general student) Visa will need to provide evidence of completing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) with their application; the result must meet the minimum requirement stated by the Home Office and University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute. For more information on the SELT and Tier 4 Visa requirements please visit the UK Border Agency website.

Cambridge Assessment English
EL Gazette