Jargon buster

Applying to study in the UK as an international student can seem more complicated than it is, especially with all the abbreviations used. We've put together a jargon buster to help you understand much of the terminology used in higher education and visa applications. If you have any questions please contact us.

  • Alternative Collection Location. When completing the online visa application form, you can choose where to collect your BRP when you arrive in the UK. We recommend that you select Coventry University as your alternative collection location. The ACL for Coventry University is 2HE452.

  • A written statement that someone makes after officially promising to tell the truth. It can be used in a law court. It cannot be considered independent evidence.

  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme. Some courses, for example engineering master’s degrees, require extra permission from the Home Office. If your CAS says that you need ATAS clearance, you should apply in plenty of time and include your ATAS certificate with your visa application.

    More about ATAS certificates.

  • A printed record of the balance in a bank account and the amounts that have been paid into and withdrawn from it. You must provide financial evidence with your application to show that you have enough money to pay for remaining tuition fees and cost of living (maintenance) in the UK.

  • Your photo and your fingerprints. You will need to submit this information as part of your visa application when you apply for a Student visa from inside or outside of the UK.

  • Biometric Residence Permit. As part of your visa process you will be issued a BRP. This is a secure card containing personal and biometric information, that is proof of your right to be in the UK as a student for more than 6 months. You do not have to apply separately for a BRP, you’ll get one automatically if your visa or immigration application is approved.

    Before you arrive in the UK you will receive a decision letter, which will show that you need a BRP and this will be collected. Keep this decision letter safely in your hand luggage when you travel to the UK. You may be asked to show this letter with your passport and visa when you arrive at the airport. You will collect your BRP after you arrive in the UK.

  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. You must have a CAS letter to apply for a Student visa. Coventry University will send you your CAS once you have met all of the conditions of your offer.

    Your CAS letter gives information on the course you have been accepted onto, what level it is, how long it lasts, what the tuition fees are and what documents the university used to accept you.

    It also contains a CAS number which will be unique to you, and it is this number which you will use when you submit your visa application.

  • The Home Office official responsible for granting permission to study in the UK.

  • Common European Framework of Reference for languages. This is an international standard for describing language ability.

  • The amount of money in your account on the final date listed on your bank statement.

  • An interview by the Home Office as part of the visa application.

  • Your husband/wife or civil partner, your unmarried partner, or your child (under 18 years old).

  • European Economic Area - EU countries and Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein.

  • European Union.

  • Higher education institution, for example a university.

  • Immigration health surcharge. A fee to use the health service in the UK. If your course is for more than six months or you have a combined CAS, you will need to pay this fee when you apply for your visa.

  • The start date for students beginning their course. Coventry University has intakes in September, January and May.

  • International Pathways Programme. Various study routes that are designed to help develop your English and academic skills ready for study at Coventry University. We offer a variety of foundation and pre-masters courses to help prepare you for your progression degree.

  • This is the money that you need to show to prove that you can support your studies in the UK. Maintenance should support living costs, such as rent, and food and transport costs.

  • National Health Service. The public health system in the UK. If you paid the IHS when you applied for your visa, you can use the NHS for free during your time here. If you did not pay the IHS, we recommend that you buy a health insurance policy before travelling to the UK.

  • Any country that is not in the EU/EEA.

  • A currency conversion website. If your bank statement does not show your money in GBP (£), you must use this website to convert the closing balance of the account.

    Print the currency conversion from the website and include it with your visa application.

  • Pre-sessional English. An English language course that can be taken if needed before progressing to a main degree.

  • Regulated Qualifications Framework, and Scottish Qualifications Framework.

  • Tuberculosis. If you are applying for a Student visa and you are from a country where there is a risk of TB infection, we advise you to get a TB certificate before you submit your visa application.

  • A written record of a conversation. If you are invited to a credibility interview, we recommend that you ask the interviewer for a transcript of your interview.

  • United Kingdom Visas and Immigration. The division of the Home Office responsible for the UK visa system.

  • The sticker which is put in your passport if your visa application is successful and you are granted permission to enter to the UK.

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