Graduate Route Eligibility

Below you can find out more information about your eligibility for the Graduate Route.

Am I eligible?

Loughborough University (including the London campus) is a ‘Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance’ and therefore our ‘graduates’ will be eligible.

In accordance with University regulations all tuition fees must have been cleared to allow a degree award.

During your most recent grant of Student visa/Tier 4 you must have successfully completed:

  • The degree for which your CAS was issued, this can include when a work placement or study abroad has been added later. If the course title has been changed but the content has remained the same this will be accepted, or
  • An alternative course that you were allowed to take instead of that detailed on your CAS without having to apply for a new visa, or
  • Either the bachelor’s or master’s degree if your CAS was issued for an integrated undergraduate master’s. Beware that not all undergraduate master’s routes at the University will necessarily permit the award of a bachelor’s degree instead, this will depend on your programme and you may need to check options with your School administration.

If you do not achieve the grades required for a degree you may qualify for a lower award e.g. a post graduate diploma instead of a master’s or a certificate or diploma of higher education in place of a bachelor’s degree. However, these lower-level qualifications are not acceptable for Graduate route eligibility.

If you hold Tier 4/Student permission as a Student Union sabbatical officer you may still be eligible if you obtained the relevant degree with Tier 4/Student permission immediately before your current permission.

In general* studies should have been undertaken in the UK while holding Tier 4 or Student permission for a minimum period, the minimum period depends on the length of course:

Total length of courseRelevant period of Student permission granted during which all study took place in the UK (apart from permitted study abroad programmes)
12 months or less Full duration of course
Longer than 12 months At least 12 months

*There are concessions for students if their programme has allowed distance learning outside the UK due to Covid-19:

  • Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or spring 2021 via distance learning, and who had not previously entered the UK to study that course will be able to make a Graduate application if they made a successful Student visa application and arrived in the UK either before their visa ended or by 27 September 2021, whichever was sooner.
  • Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021 who have existing permission as a Student to study that course, and who have already travelled to the UK during that period of permission, will be able to make a Graduate application as long as they are present in the UK before the end date of their permission.
  • Students who commence a course of 12 months or less in autumn 2021 or spring 2022 via distance learning from overseas must enter the UK no later than 30 June 2022 and complete that course of study in the UK with permission as a Student to be eligible for the Graduate route. Students should travel once they are able to do so.
  • Students sponsored for a course lasting longer than 12 months will not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate route as a result of any distance learning that took place either in the UK or overseas between the period of 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021 or any distance learning which took place overseas between 27 September 2021 and 30 June 2022. If a Student’s current permission expires prior to 30 June 2022, they must enter the UK prior to the expiry of their Student permission rather than 30 June 2022.

If you complete your studies with any other type of visa you will not be eligible, e.g. students who re-enter the UK as a visitor or to complete a short period of reassessment or a viva and correction.

If you have previously held permission under the Doctorate Extension Scheme or Graduate route UKVI will not grant further permission under the Graduate route.

Will I be eligible if I have to take reassessments/extend my studies?

Needing to take reassessment or extend your studies does not necessarily make you ineligible for Graduate route. However, you must have Student permission at the time that your degree is awarded and when you apply, if the timings change so that your degree will be awarded after any Student permission expires you may then be ineligible to switch to the Graduate route.

If your studies are extended and your degree award is delayed beyond your current Student permission, to retain Graduate route eligibility you will have to consider:

  • Whether you can extend your Student permission for attending further studies, and
  • Whether any deferred degree award would be made before any further Student permission expires

A CAS and further Student permission can be issued to allow attendance to studies but not solely for the purposes of an assessment, receiving results or for potential Graduate route eligibility.

To preserve potential Graduate route eligibility taught students may have to register to take reassessments with attendance rather than opt to take reassessments without attendance, depending on the timings a Student visa extension may allow Graduate route eligibility later. If you are a taught student and granted an extension for a coursework submission you would not be able to extend your Student visa for this purpose, you should check with your School when your degree might then be awarded in order to assess whether it would be before Student visa expiry to remain eligible for Graduate route.

Our separate guide gives further information on Student visa implications of changes to study.

Last Updated: 27th April 2023