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Visiting research students


Visiting Research students should be current students at another institution either in the UK or internationally. They will have a viable programme of research for which study in London is necessary. They should identify a supervisor who is an academic member of staff at King’s and will personally support their application.

Please note that applications will only be accepted from students who have arranged a visit with a potential supervisor. Unfortunately any speculative applications will be withdrawn.

How to apply

Students should apply using the King's Apply application system. Please search for the Non-award Research programme in your subject and complete the following sections of the application form:

  • Personal Information

  • Education

    • Detail any previously completed qualifications and provide scans of official transcript and certificates at degree level and above. If the original documents are not in English we will also need to see official translations
    • Provide the details of your current PhD study (letter confirming your current PhD study will need uploading in the Supporting Statement section only)
    • English language - You should provide any certification of your competence in English as part of your application e.g. previous tests, previous study. Please read the guidance below on English language requirements for further information
  • Supporting Statement

    • You will be required to upload an official letter confirming you are currently studying a PhD. This needs to be on official headed paper and signed or stamped by your university. If the original letter is not in English, we will also need to see an official translation. The letter should confirm:
      - The title of your current study
      - The date you enrolled
      - Your expected completion date
      - That your study at King's will contribute to your current research
  • References

  • Provide the details of your supervisor at King's as your referee (we do not require a second referee)
  • Funding

Students should allow 6 weeks for applications to be processed.

Fee structure

  • For visits of up to 3 months, no fee would be charged;

  • For visits of 3 to 6 months, a fee of £500 would be charged;

  • For visits of between 6 and 9 months, a fee of £2,000 would be charged;

  • For visits of 9 to 12 months, a fee of £4,500 would be charged.

  • For visits of more than 12 months, normal tuition fees for your fee status will apply.

It should be noted that the fee structure proposed will not apply to visiting research students who enter King's through a formal exchange agreement (i.e. within the Erasmus framework, or supported by an MOA). Applicant under these partnership routes must apply via study abroad or Erasmus.

English Language requirements

All visiting research students should be able to communicate effectively in English (reading, writing, speaking and listening) and are able to do so in an academic environment. You should provide any certification of your competence in English as part of your application e.g. previous tests, previous study. The level of English language you are required to demonstrate is below: 

  • If you are visiting for up to 6 months and wish to apply for a tier 4 visa, or you are visiting for over 6 months up to 12 months and require a tier 4 visa, you must meet the minimum UKVI English language requirement prior to your visit. This is 5.5 overall, with 5.5. in each skill for IELTS.

  • If you do not require a visa to study in the UK, or you are visiting for up to 6 months and will apply for a short term study visa, competency is assessed on a case-by-case basis following your application. If you are required to demonstrate your level of English, you must meet a minimum of 5.5 overall, with 5.5 in each skill for IELTS prior to your visit.

For students who require a visa to study in the UK, please note that if you are made an offer without an English requirement, but then choose to apply for a Tier 4 visa, your offer will have to be updated to include an English language condition. As a result, it is advisable that you let us know at the point of application if you wish to apply for a Tier 4 visa rather than a short term visa.

Visa requirements

Any non-EU student visiting the College for more than six months requires a Tier 4 visa. By applying through the portal, all visiting research students would be subject to full checks on their visa status, and non-EU students could be assigned a CAS number for their visa application.

Non-EU research students visiting the College for less than six months would have the choice of applying for a Student Visitor visa or a Tier 4 visa.

It may be preferable for some students who visit for less than six months to apply for a Tier 4 visa. As this visa allows a student to undertake work (maximum 20 hours per week), it would avoid any ambiguity or misunderstanding from UKVI over what constitutes ‘work’ and what constitutes ‘research’. Furthermore, any student entering on a Student Visitor visa is not able to extend their period of leave beyond six months.

Visiting research students from outside the EU must not enter the UK on an Academic Visitor visa or a Business Visitor visa. Guidance will be provided to make clear that the Academic Visitor visa in particular is not appropriate (to qualify for this visa, a visitor must have obtained their doctorate).

We are required to monitor the continuing engagement of all Tier 4 students; given the short nature of the visit, options for this monitoring are being considered.


As a Visiting Researcher at King’s you will be provided with an email address, access to all appropriate facilities and support services including the Graduate School and KCLSU.

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