Visas for Executive Masters

and part-time programmes


ISVAT are the only team authorised to provide immigration and visa advice at LSE


This page has information about applying for a visa for students taking Executive Masters programmes and part-time degree programmes.

Who should Executive Masters students contact for immigration advice?

The International Student Visa Advice Team (ISVAT) are the only team who are trained to provide immigration advice to our students. If you have any questions about visas to attend teaching, please contact us directly using our online query form.

I'm an EU/EEA/Swiss national. Do I need a visa post-Brexit?

Information as of 22 January 2020

The UK is expected to leave the EU with a deal.  This means that we will enter the transiition period and the ability to enter the UK on the basis of free movement will remain in place until the 31 December 2020. This means that you will not require immigration permission to attend teaching for your Executive Masters degree up to the 31 December 2020.

We anticipate that from 2021, EU/EEA nationals may need to  immigration permission to come to the UK to study.  

I'm residing in the UK and my Executive Masters degree will end after the 31 December 2020.  What do you advise I do?

If you are residing in the UK and your Executive Masters degree will end after the 31 December 2020, we recommend that you apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.  All EU/EEA nationals who are residing in the UK and arrived prior to the 31 December 2020 must submit an application to the scheme by the 30 June 2021 to continue residing in the UK.

More information can be found on our dedicated web page for EU/EEA and Swiss nationals.

EU/EEA nationals

I'm not residing in the UK and will only travel to LSE for my teaching.  What options will I have?

EU/EEA nationals will be able to continue using the e-Gates to enter the UK after the 31 December 2020.  However, entering via the e-Gates currently only gives tourist permission for the UK.  You will only be able to study for a maximum of 30 days and the activities you will be able to undertake in the UK will be restricted e.g. you will no longer have the right to work in the UK.  We will update this page once more details are available.

Short Term Student

LSE does not sponsor Executive or part-time Masters students on the Tier 4 part-time route.

The list below shows programmes eligible for a Short-term Student visa. 

  • TRIUM Global Executive MBA
  • MSc Health Economics, Policy and Management (modular)
  • Executive MSc Health Economics, Outcomes and Management in Cardiovascular Sciences 
  • Executive Global Masters in Management
  • Executive LLM
  • Executive MPA
  • Executive MSc Behavioural Science
  • Executive MSc in the Political Economy of Europe
  • Executive MSc in Cities
  • Executive MSc Social Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Executive MSc in Health Policy (LSE & Chicago Double Degree)
  • Executive MSc in Evaluation of Healthcare Interventions and Outcomes in Collaboration with NICE
  • Inequalities Institute - Atlantic Fellows (Non-Residential)

What are the facts for Short-term Students?

  • You should plan to leave the UK within 30 days of the end of your course  or when the visa expires, whichever is soonest. 
  • You cannot extend your Short-term Student visa in the UK
  • You cannot switch into another visa category in the UK e.g. Tier 4 or Tier 2
  • You cannot undertake any work or business in the UK
  • You can only study a course of more than six months as long as it is distance learning and you spend no more than 56 days in the UK in a six month period.  This can include intensive face-to-face learning, induction, exams or assessments.
  • You are not entitled to free treatment from the National Health Service. 
  • The 11 month Short-term Student route can only be used for English Language programmes.

FAQ: I'm a student on the Executive MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy. Can I use a Short-term Student visa for this programme?

The Short-term Student visa is not suitable for this programme because  it is a full time programme, which is eligible for Tier 4 sponsorship.  If you do not already hold immigration permission for the UK which permits you to study, you may be eligible for a Tier 4 visa. Contact us for more information on your options.

You should not plan to apply for a Tier 4 visa and not remain in the UK on a full time basis during your programme.  Full time students are expected to be within a reasonable distance of LSE during term-time and you are only eligible for a full-time Tier 4 visa if you are residing in the UK. LSE may choose to withdraw sponsorship if you are not compliant with the conditions of the visa.

Do I need to apply for a visa?

Depending on your nationality, you will either need to obtain your visa before travelling or you can request entry as a Short-term Student at the border. You can check if you need to apply for your visa before travelling on the website.

  • If you need to apply for a visa before travelling, you are known as a Visa National
  • If you do not need to apply for a visa before travelling you are known as a Non-visa National
  • If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national please refer to the advice at the end of this web page.

Applying before travelling to the UK: Visa Nationals

It currently costs £97 to apply for a  six month Short-term Student visa at the embassy. You will be granted with a multi-entry sticker in your passport which will be valid for 6 months.  This means you can leave and re-enter the UK using the same Short-term Student visa, but you must be able to show you have studies to complete.

UK Visas and Immigration 

Guide to completing the Short-term Student Application Form (pdf)

Short-term Student Document Checklist (PDF)

Applying at the UK border: Non-visa nationals

If you are from a country which does not need to apply for a Short-term Student visa before travelling, you can request to enter the UK as a Short-term Student at the border.

You will need to ask the Border Force Office to enter as a Short-term Student and show them the letter you have been given by LSE.  Please make sure you have this in your hand luggage. The stamp should say STS or Short-term Student.

The stamp you receive at the border is only for a single-entry.  If you plan to travel outside of the UK and have further sessions of teaching to attend, you will need to request to enter as a Short-term Student each time you arrive at the UK border.

e-Gates from 20 May 2019

The following nationalities will now be able to enter the UK using e-Gates with exceptions. Watch this You Tube video to find out more.

  • USA
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Canada

Entering the UK using the e-Gates only grants you permission to be in the UK as a tourist, so you must to speak to a Border Force Officer to obtain the correct immigration stamp.  However, even if you speak to a Border Force Officer, if you are an e-Gate national, they reserve the right not to stamp  your passport. If you enter via the e-Gates there is a concession allowing you to study for 30 days.  Please bring a printed copy of your boarding pass or flight details to registration so that we are able to record your date of arrival to the UK. We advise that it would be quicker at registration to obtain a Short-term Student stamp.

Travelling through Ireland

If you are travelling through Ireland, this is known as the Common Travel Area.  You will not go through UK immigration controls so you will need to show that you have entered Ireland (e.g. a stamp in your passport) and provide your boarding pass as evidence of how you travelled to the UK.

Work visas

If you have immigration permission to work in the UK, this means that you also have permission to study. This includes:

  • Tier 1 routes
  • Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (ICT)
  • Tier 5 Youth Mobility and Tier 5 GAE
  • Startup and Innovator Routes
  • Turkish Worker Visas

As long as you are able to fulfil the requirements of your work and will continue to have immigration permission until the end of your programme, you will be able to study at LSE. 

Diplomatic status

If you are posted to the UK on diplomatic business, you can study on any of the programmes at LSE as long as your term in the UK lasts until the end of the LSE programme.

If you are based outside the UK, you will need to obtain immigration permission to study in the UK. This usually means applying to enter the UK as a Short-term Student for the periods of study in London.

Information on applying for the Short-term Student visa can be found on the Short-term Student section of this page.

Studying on a Standard Visitor Visa

Note: This information does not apply to the Executive MSc in International Strategy and Diplomacy, which is classified as a full time degree.

Case One: Standard Visitor visa (six months)

UKVI guidance means that you will not be able to register/re-register for your programme using a Standard Visitor visa which is valid for six months.  If you do not already hold immigration permission for the UK and do not require a long-term Standard Visitor visa, you should apply for a Short-term Student visa.

Case Two: Standard Visitor visa (2,5,10 years)

If you already hold a long-term Standard Visitor visa, you can enter the UK for a maximum of 30 days study using this visa, even if your main reason for being in the UK is to study.  This means that you will be able to register/re-register for your programme on a long-term Standard Visitor visa.

However, the main intention of your visa must remain to be the permitted activities (business, tourism etc.).  If the UKVI believe that you have only obtained this visa for the purposes of study, you risk it being cancelled.

If you have regular business in the UK and also attend one of our Executive Masters programmes (excluding International Strategy and Diplomacy) you may wish to apply for a long-term visitor visa to undertake both activities.

Re-registering with the LSE

If you require immigration permission to study at LSE, you will be required to show that you have a visa which allows study when returning for teaching.  If you do not obtain immigration permission which allows you to study your programme, you will not be able to attend teaching.




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