Visas for Executive Masters Programmes

and part-time programmes


Student Advice and Engagement 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 and part-time students contact for immigration advice?

The Student Advice and Engagement Team 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.

Electronic Travel Authorisation - ETA

The UK is rolling out Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), which will need to be applied for prior to travelling to the UK for nationals of countries who do not require a visa to travel to the UK as a visitor.

The rollout commenced with Qatari nationals, who will now need to apply for an ETA to travel to the UK on or after 15 November 2023. An ETA will cost £10 and permits multiple journeys over two years. You can find out more on the official UK government factsheet.

You can apply for your ETA on the UK government website:

Apply for an ETA

From 1st February 2024, nationals of the following countries will need to apply for an ETA in advance of any planned travel on or after 22 February 2024:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Oman
  • Bahrain
  • Kuwait
  • UAE
  • Jordan

It has not yet been announced when ETAs will be rolled out to other nationalities.

Will LSE sponsor me on a part-time Student visa for my Part-time or Executive Masters degree?

Whilst there is a provision to be able to study part-time under Student visa at Masters level and above, LSE will not sponsor new applicants under this route.   It is a much more restrictive route than the Student full time visa but you are still required to meet the same as a full time student rules when applying for your visa:

  • You cannot start your programme on a full-time basis and then switch to part-time using the same visa.  To be able to study on a Student part-time visa, you would need to leave the UK and re-apply for a visa before you change your mode of attendance;
  • You cannot work on a Student part-time visa or undertake a work placement;
  • You cannot bring dependants with you.
  • The UKVI have confirmed you can access the NHS but you will need to pay the full amount of the Immigration Health Surcharge for the length of your programme.  This is £776 per year of study plus the additional time you would be granted on your visa.

If you are a part-time MSc student, you will need to hold an alternative immigration route which enables you to study your programme in the UK.

Part-time MSc students should not plan to use the Standard Visitor visa due to the requirement to attend more frequently and the length of the programme.  Frequent and successive visits are not permitted on the Standard Visitor visa and the attendance requirement for your programme may lead to issues at the UK border, should you travel regularly for teaching.

Will I be able to study an Executive Masters Degree using a Graduate Route/HPI visa?

The Home Office have confirmed that you cannot study a programme using the Graduate Route/HPI visa where sponsorship on a Student visa is a possible option.

Whilst LSE has chosen not to sponsor on the part-time Student Route visa for Executive and Part-time Masters programmes, as this visa is a legal option it means you will not be able to use your Graduate Route visa to study an Executive or Part-time Masters degree at LSE.

Which Executive MSc programmes are eligible for the Standard Visitor

The list below shows programmes eligible for study on a Standard Visitor visa:

  • TRIUM Global Executive MBA
  • Executive MSc Health Economics, Policy and Management
  • Executive MSc Health Economics, Outcomes and Management in Clinical 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 Healthcare Decision-Making, in collaboration with NICE 
  • Inequalities Institute - Atlantic Fellows (Non-Residential)
  • Executive MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy (non-residential only)

From 15 November 2023 Qatari nationals will need an Electronic Travel Authorisation in place to travel to the UK as a visitor. From the 22 February 2024, nationals of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE will need an Electronic Travel Authorisation in place.

Further details can be found on the UK government web pages:

Electronic Travel Authorisations

What are the facts for Standard Visitors?

  • You cannot extend your Standard Visitor visa in the UK
  • You cannot switch into another visa category in the UK e.g. Student Route or Skilled Worker Route
  • 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.  This can include intensive face-to-face learning, induction, exams or assessments.
  • You are not entitled to free treatment from the National Health Service. 

FAQ: I'm a student on the Executive MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy Residential Pathway. Can I use a Standard Visitor visa for this programme?

The Standard Visitor visa is not suitable for the residential programme because  it is a full time programme, which is eligible for Student Route sponsorship.  If you do not already hold immigration permission for the UK which permits you to study, you may be eligible for a Student visa. Contact us for more information on your options.

You should not plan to apply for a Student 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 Student 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.

If you are studying the non-residential pathway and do not already have a visa that allows you to live and study in the UK, you will require a Standard Visitor visa for your teaching blocks. You will be unable to switch to the residential format to obtain sponsorship and the expectation is that most of your studies will take place outside the UK.

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 Standard Visitor visa 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 start of this web page.

Applying before travelling to the UK: Visa Nationals

It currently costs £115 to apply for a Standard Visitor visa. 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 Standard Visitor visa.

UK Visas and Immigration 

Details on how to apply for a Standard Visitor visa can be found on the following web page:

Standard Visitor visa

Applying at the UK border: Non-visa nationals

If you are from a country that does not need to apply for a  visa before travelling, you can request to enter the UK as a Standard Visitor at the border.

You will need to ask the Border Force Office to enter as a Standard Visitor and show them the letter you have been given by LSE.  Please make sure you have this in your hand luggage. 

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
  • EU/EEA/Swiss nationals

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 2 and Skilled Worker Routes
  • Youth Mobility and Government Authorised Exchange
  • Startup and Innovator Founder Routes


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 Standard Visitor for the periods of study in London.