You can study in the UK without a student visa if:
- you are a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland;
- you are a British overseas territories citizen, unless you are from one of the sovereign base areas in Cyprus;
- you are a UK Ancestry visa holder (a Commonwealth citizen with permission to enter or stay in the UK because at least one of your grandparents was born here); or
- you have no conditions or time limit attached to your stay.
Tier 4 (General)
The Tier 4 (General) category is for adult students who want to come to or remain in the UK for their post-16 education.
If you are 16 or 17 years old and you want to study a course at or above National Qualification Framework level 3, you can apply under this category or under Tier 4 (Child) – you should discuss and agree this with your approved education provider (known as a ‘Tier 4 sponsor’). But if you want to study English as a foreign language, you must apply as a Tier 4 (General) student.
If you are an adult and you want to undertake a short course of study in the UK (such as a beginner’s English Language course or a work-related training course), you might be able to come here as a student visitor.
If you want to study a longer course, or you want to work (including on a work placement) alongside your studies, you should apply under Tier 4 (General) of the points-based system.