The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) applies to all international students and researchers applies to all international students and researchers (apart from exempted nationalities) who are subject to UK Immigration Control and are intending to study or research at the postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects.
The subject and research areas are those where knowledge could be used in programs to develop Advanced Conventional Military Technology (ACMT), Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), or their means of delivery.
Students and researchers in these sensitive subjects must apply for an ATAS certificate before they can study or start research in the UK.
Students and researchers who are nationals of EU countries, the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, or the USA do not require an ATAS certificate.
All other nationalities must apply for an ATAS certificate if you are undertaking a postgraduate course or research in certain sensitive subjects in the UK. It may also be noted that, if you are applying to study an undergraduate course with an integrated master's degree, you may require an ATAS certificate.
ATAS is obligatory to process a UK visa in all the cases mentioned above.