Re-taking Assessments

Advice for Students returning to LSE to re-take assessments in 2016

Tip! Please ensure that you check our updated advice before applying for your visa.  You may be affected by the change in the academic year as there will be two assessment periods and by the change in the calculation of the cap on degree level study.  

Students with Week Zero re-take assessments (January 2016)

The LSE will run Week Zero assessments for the first time in January 2016.  If you have already been reported to the UKVI for non-progression, we advise returning on a Short-term Student visa rather than Tier 4.  A Tier 4 visa would only be granted for the week of the assessments plus a week at the start of your visa and a week at the end of your visa.  It would not be possible to extend this in the UK for the main assessment period.

If you are a 12 month Masters student who may have re-sit assessments in Week Zero, please contact ISIS for advice on your options.

Students with re-take assessments in the main examination period

Depending on your circumstances you can choose to return either on a Tier 4 (General) visa or a Short-term Study visa. You can find out more about the two visas in the table below:


Tier 4 Student                            

Short Term Student

How much time will I get to study in the UK?

If the course is less than six months the visa will be granted for the length of the programme plus one week.

If the course is longer than six months but less than 12, you will granted for the length of the programme plus two months.

Please note - LSE students returning to re-take exams will obtain a CAS that lists the exam period only.  This means that you are likely to be granted just one additional week after the end of the exam period.

Visa will be granted for a maximum of 6 months (this is the standard period regardless of how long you intend to remain in the UK)

Do I need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from LSE? 


You need a Short Term Student visa letter.

Do I need to take an English test?

If you are coming to study on a full time degree programme you can take an English test or you may be assessed by LSE - the admissions team can advise you.

If you are continuing on your programme, LSE will confirm your English language programme.

If you are coming to study on the Language Programme or are studying a Summer School programme as a condition of your offer at LSE, you will need to pass a Secure English Language Test  (SELT) from an approved UKVI provider and show that you have obtained an English language level of 'B2'  (this is IELTS 5.5).  The LSE Language Centre or Graduate Admissions (for conditional offers) can advise.


Do I need a letter from LSE to show I have accepted an unconditional offer or that I am already a LSE student?



Can I get this kind of immigration permission at the airport?

No. You must apply at the embassy or the visa application centre in your home country or the country where you are living.

Yes, but only if you are a 'non-visa national'.  You can check the list of 'visa nationals' on the UK Visas and Immigration website. If your country is on the list, you cannot apply at the airport and you must apply at the embassy or the visa application centre

UK Visas and Immigration

Can I travel in and out of the UK?

Yes. The visa does not 'lapse' when you leave the UK. 

If you have applied at the embassy, and the visa says 'multi' on it, it does not 'lapse' and you can come in and out of the UK several times.

If you apply at the airport you are granted 'single entry'. This means that you have to apply again each time you arrive at the airport (and need to show the correct documentation each time).

Can I extend my time in the UK?

Yes. You can apply to stay in the UK as a student if you are continuing on your programme or you decide to study for longer in the UK.   Please note, there must be no longer than 28 days from the end of your visa and the start date of your new programme.

You can also extend if you are eligible to switch into a work category

No.  You must leave the UK within six months. You are only able to spend a maximum of six months in the UK as a visitor in any 12 month period. 

 Can I work?

Yes, you can work a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time (or 10 hours if you are studying below degree level). From the official end date of your programme you will be able to work full-time until your visa ends. 

No. You cannot work paid or unpaid. 

Can I switch into Tier 2 / Tier 5 in the UK?

Yes, if you meet the requirements.

No, you cannot switch into another visa category from the Short Term Student visa.

Can I use the National Health Service?

Yes, if your course is longer than six months. If it is less than six months you would need to have medical insurance. 

No, you would need to have medical health insurance

Can I bring dependants?

Yes, but only if your programme is:
12 months or longer and you are studying at postgraduate level or
6 months or longer and you have a full government scholarship

No, your family will need to enter as General visitors/ Visa Standard from 24 April 2015.

Where can I get more information about how to apply?

ISIS Tier 4 guide for current students [pdf]

How to make a Short-term Student Application

Please compare both visa types to check which one suits your needs.  For example, if you are intending to switch into Tier 2 after your assessments have finished or undertake an internship, this is not possible on a Short-term Study visa.

You should plan to apply for your visa as soon as possible to ensure you can return in time for your assessments.  The Registry place a block on all personal timetables for international students who require immigration permission to re-take their assessments.  This block will not be removed until you have shown that you have permission to study in the UK, so it is important to check this information.

If you need to apply for a new Tier 4 (General) Student visa, you will need to request a CAS number from Registry before applying for your visa. You can submit your request through the online request form.  

You can apply outside the UK up to three months before the 'course start date' on your CAS and you can enter the UK up to one week before this date. 

Alternatively,  if you choose to return as a Short-term Student, you will need to request a letter from Registry.  You can request this letter through the web form:

Request a short-term student letter

Re-taking assessments on a Standard Visitor (tourist) visa

The LSE does not permit students to sit re-take assessments on a Standard Visitor (tourist) visa. This includes when you enter the UK as a tourist at the airport.  Please check our guidance on Tier 4 or Short-term Student to see which category suits your requirements.

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct immigration permission to study.

Can I stay in the UK?

Undergraduate Students

If you are an undergraduate student and you will not be registered during the academic year 2015/16, you are advised to leave the UK and apply to return from your home country.  Depending on which year you are required to re-take examinations for, the Registry will provide you with a CAS which includes the assessment period and future academic years.  If you are unable to progress into the next year of teaching, LSE will withdraw sponsorship of your Tier 4 visa.

If you have been granted repeat teaching for 2015/16 you will be able to remain in the UK as you will continue to be registered on your full time course at LSE. 

If you would like to request repeat teaching for part or all of your course, you must do so by contacting the Repeat Teaching Panel. For more information go to:

Repeat Teaching Panel

The Repeat Teaching Panel will not consider requests solely for students to remain in the UK.  Repeat teaching is only granted if it is required academically. 

If you are granted repeat teaching and your visa will expire before the new end date of your programme, you will need to apply to extend your Tier 4 (General) Student Visa.

For more information go to:

Applying for a Tier 4 visa - Current Students

Postgraduate Students

If you have to retake exams in 2016, you have to leave the UK and return to take exams. If you are also required to re-take your dissertation or you are continuing on your programme (for example if you are on a two year Master's), you can remain in the UK until the end of your programme because you will continue to be registered at LSE.

It is very unusual for students at postgraduate level to obtain repeat teaching. However if you think that your circumstances are exceptional, you can apply to the Repeat Teaching Panel.  You can contact the Panel by e-mail.

If your repeat teaching takes place in the Lent Term, you will be unable to remain in the UK to extend your visa because you have not received any teaching during Michaelmas Term.  The Registry will report your change of circumstances to the Home Office and you will need to return home to apply for your new Tier 4 visa.

The Repeat Teaching Panel will not consider requests solely for students to remain in the UK.  Repeat teaching is only granted if it is required academically.

Please note that you cannot remain in the UK if you have an informal agreement to attend classes or meet with your tutor - you must be registered on your programme.

What happens if I stay in the UK while not attending my course?

If you remain in the UK and are not attending your programme, your Tier 4 visa application could be refused.  In addition, any time spent in the UK with your student visa will count towards the five year cap (this is the limit set on the time that you can spend in the UK studying at degree level).

If you have a Tier 4 (General) Student visa and you obtained this using a CAS, LSE must report to the Home Office that you will not be continuing on your programme. Registry will email you to inform you that they are reporting your change of circumstances to the Home Office . When this happens, the Home Office will send you a letter or email to cancel your Tier 4 visa.

We advise you to leave the UK as early as you can after you are informed that you will have retake exams. 

If you have a non-student immigration status (for example, dependant or Tier 2 ) you can remain in the UK while not attending your course as long as you continue to meet the requirements of your permission.

Will I need to apply for a new visa before I return to the UK to take resit exams?

If you need a Tier 4 visa, you will have to apply for new immigration permission to return to the UK (even if the expiry date of your visa has not passed). This is because LSE will have reported that you are taking resit exams and your visa will have been cancelled because you left the UK.  

You must provide your new address to the Registry and the Home Office to ensure that you receive the information about the cancellation of your visa. If you have had a break in your studies, assume that your visa has been cancelled. 

When can I return to the UK?

You will be able to return from the 4th April 2016.  If you apply for a Tier 4 visa to return, you will be able to enter the UK one week before this and you will be granted one week extra after the end date on your CAS.  If you apply for a Short-term Study visa, you will be able to return from this date but you will be given permission for six months.