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Can I Study in the U.K. with a Tourist Visa?

The UK tourist visa allows a person from outside the EEA or Switzerland to visit the UK for up to 6-months.

This visa type is suitable for visitors who want to visit the UK to spend holidays, to attend a business conference, to receive medical treatment, to study for up to 30-days provided that it’s not the main reason for the visit, or to visit a family or a friend.

Can I Study in the U.K. with a Tourist Visa? 

As mentioned above, you can do a small 30-days study course on your tourist visa provided that it is just an extra activity that you do and not the main purpose of your visit.

Things You Can or Can Not Do During That Period! 

Since tourist visas are mainly designed to cater to the needs of short-term visits, there are things you can or cannot do while visiting the UK on a tourist visa

For instance, you can use those 30-days for recreational study courses, arts and crafts courses, and various skill learning courses, such as painting, riding, sailing, etc. 

You can either take your 30-days study in a single go or also complete the course in shorter periods. 

Also, you can study toward a qualification if that 30-days course has been offered by an accredited institution. 

You may, however, can’t use that 30-days period to study English at an institute without accreditation. 

Where You Can Study? 

The short study course you’re taking up during your visit visa must be run by a certified institution. Recreational courses that do not count towards qualifications, however, do not fall under this category. 

As a general rule, your course must either be taught by an institution that is accredited to sponsor Tier 4 UK visa holders or an organization that is certified by the British Accreditation Council, Accreditation UK, Accreditation Body for Language Services, or Accreditation Service for International Colleges.

If your institute isn’t accredited by any of the above-mentioned institutes, it is essential that the course must be held at an organization that is audited or reviewed by any certified quality assurance or auditing organization, such as Estyn or Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. 

What’s a Better Solution?

If you want to study in the UK for the short-term, there are better alternatives. For instance, you can apply for a Short-term Study Visa if you’re from outside the EEA or Switzerland.

With the Short-term Study visa, you can stay in the UK for the length of your study course or research for not more than 6-months.  

This type of visa also comes with certain restrictions. For example, you can’t study at the government-funded institute. You cannot start any business or accept a job during this period. You will not be entitled to extend your visa or bring your family or dependents with you. 

You must apply for the Short-term study visa up to 3-months before the actual date of travel. Make sure you get in touch with your immigration solicitor to check if you’re eligible for this visa type.

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