Below is a list of questions that we're frequently asked, as a new international student you may find the answers useful.

For any additional information, please refer to the UUniReady app which you may have already received, to our pre-arrival web pages or to our International Student Guide.

International Students FAQs

  • Arriving at Ulster University

    What is International Orientation?

    International Orientation is a mandatory programme designed to provide you with all the information and advice needed to get the best out of your time at Ulster. These sessions include an introduction to living in Northern Ireland and life at Ulster University. You'll have the opportunity to meet with current international students and the staff who will be supporting you during your time here at Ulster.

    When should I arrive?

    You should arrive no later than the latest date of enrolment stated on your CAS. You should aim to be in the UK in advance of this to ensure you are prepared and have everything completed before teaching starts. It is mandatory that you attend your Course Induction and International Orientation.  These will take place the week before classes commence.

    When is my Course Induction?

    Each programme will have a different Course Induction where you will meet  your Course Director and classmates.  For details of when yours will take place, please refer to the email in which you received your Joining Instructions, or search for your course on our Welcome to UU Webpage.

    How can I get to my campus?

    If you are a new student and arriving during our specified arrivals period, you can avail of our meet and greet service at Belfast City and Belfast International airports.  You'll find details of this in our pre-arrival communications to you.  If you are not arriving during the specified arrivals period or are planning to make your own travel arrangements to campus accommodation, you can access further information through our alternative transport guides.

    Can I bring dependants with me?

    After 1 January 2024, only students on a PhD or other doctorate (RQF level 8)  or a research-based higher degree courses can bring dependants. UKCISA provides a full guide to bringing dependants including who can be a dependent, their work rights, the financial requirements and education for children.  Students should be aware of new UK government regulations around bringing dependants

    How early can I arrive in the UK?

    You can arrive up to 1 month before your course start date, if your course lasts more than 6 months. However, you must not travel to the UK before the start date of your visa, no matter when your course starts or your nationality.

    What are my options if I am unable to travel to the UK before the last date on my CAS?

    If you are not able to arrive by the last date of arrival shown on your CAS please contact as soon as possible and we will a let you know your options.

    I think my fees are incorrect, what should I do?

    Firstly check your offer letter, where you can find details of your fees.  If you have any questions regarding your fees or of discounts you can contact the Fees team directly

    What can I do to get ready for coming to the university?

    We will send you a series of emails once you have confirmed your place with us. These emails will provide information on enrolling online, about accommodation and travelling to the UK.  Before every intake we run a series of pre-arrival webinars for students about to start their courses with us. We will invite you to join by email.

    You will also have received information about our Ulster University preparation programme, UUniReady.  It is extremely important that you complete this programme before you commence your studies at Ulster. In doing so, you will have a greater understanding of the UK university education system and how assessments are undertaken at Ulster. You will also have an understanding of the many levels of support that are in place for you as an international student.

    Where can I find out about the rules for travelling to Northern Ireland?

    Northern Ireland is a part of the UK.  It is your responsibility to carefully check the UK government’s rules for entering the UK, to ensure you comply fully with the regulations.

    Should I let you know when I am arriving?

    You must complete the pre-travel section within CAS Shield and ensure that you upload all of the relevant documents, we will then be aware of when you will be joining us. You will find out more about this in our pre-arrival communications.

    What else do I need to bring?

    In addition to your qualifications, CAS document and passport, you will need to bring your own laptop or similar device to access our online teaching platforms. PCs are also available across our 3 campuses.

  • Life at Ulster University

    Why do I need to attend the orientation programme?

    The aim of the orientation programme is to provide you with practical information about living in the UK and studying at Ulster. It is organised to welcome you to the university, introduce you to new people and help you settle into your new surroundings. Each year we welcome students from all over the world and even if this is your first time in the UK, we hope that the Ulster University will feel like home very soon.

    Do you offer English language support for international students?

    The Centre for English Language Teaching offers free workshops, courses, and consultations supporting students in many different subjects. Whatever your subject or current level, CELT's in-sessional workshops help our students master specific skills in the academic use of English. If you need individual attention from a CELT tutor, a consultation may be the perfect way to overcome a particular challenge you are facing with respect to your language, study, and intercultural skills.

  • Living in Northern Ireland

    How do I open a bank account?

    You will not be able to open a UK bank account before you arrive in the United Kingdom. You should bring a credit card, debit card (which will be valid in the UK) or a pre-paid currency card to ensure you have sufficient funds to see you through your initial few weeks. Once you have completed online enrolment and have received your student card, you can request a bank letter from the University. More information on student letters.

    How can I access a letter which proves my enrolment?

    A Registered Student/Proof of Enrolment letter is available to all enrolled students. This will have your dates of study plus the UK address that the University has on file for you (or an overseas address if you haven't provided a UK address yet). Learn how access this letter yourself from your Student Portal.

    How do I find accommodation in Northern Ireland?

    The University has a designated Residential Services team, providing award winning accommodation across all of our campuses. If you are looking for private accommodation please refer to the resources available on the UUniReady Programme or check the information on our Pre-Arrival pages.

    How should I pay for things?

    In the United Kingdom the currency used is British Pounds Sterling, and if you are paying in cash this is what you will be using. Debit and credit cards are common and are the main method of payment in most retail stores. Payment methods such as contactless or Apple Pay/Google Pay have also become more popular across our campuses.

    How do I register with a doctor?

    We recommend you register for GP services as quickly as possible after you have arrived at Ulster. Doctors in Northern Ireland commonly accept students into their practices if their course is longer than 6 months in duration.

    To register, you should research and contact a doctor’s surgery within a  5-mile radius of your term time address.  They will advise you of their registration process. You will be required to provide proof that you are a student, confirmation of your address and your passport and BRP.  Use this link to find a doctor's practice that is close to your term time address.

    How do I register with the police?

    As of 1 August 2022 students no longer need to register with the local police.

  • Working During Your Studies 

    Can I work during my studies?

    As a Student Visa holder, studying in the UK, your visa will state whether you are allowed to work and the number of hours you are permitted to work. It is very important that you do not exceed the working hours on your visa as this will result in you breaching your visa conditions.  If you are in receipt of a scholarship please check any restrictions or limitations around hours of work.

    • Pre-sessional English and Foundation programmes – up to 10 hours
    • Undergraduate students – up to 20 hours
    • Postgraduate students – up to 20 hours
    • PhD students – up to 20 hours

    Please note that students are permitted to work full-time hours during university vacation periods.

  • Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

    How do I collect my BRP?

    If you have stated on your visa application form that you want to collect you BRP from the University then we will notify you when your BRP has been received. You will then be invited to book an appointment with a member of the International Student Advisory Service to collect your BRP at a time that is convenient for you.  There will be additional opportunities to collect your BRP during International Orientation Week.

    What do I do if I have lost my BRP?

    If your BRP has been lost of stolen you are required to  report it to UKVI within 3 months.  Please also inform and don't forget to upload a copy of your new BRP to CAS Shield as soon as you receive your new card.

    I don't have a BRP card, how do I prove my immigration status?

    Under the digital immigration confirmation processes, you will not receive physical evidence (a vignette or visa card) to prove that you have been granted your visa.  You will receive an email to state the Home Office decision on your application and you should read this carefully and then save it somewhere secure.

    When might I need to prove my immigration status?

    You may be asked to prove your status in the UK in the following situations:

    • Accessing the National Health Service
    • Applying for a job
    • Renting accommodation
    • Applying for a bank account or mortgage

    If you are applying for a job, it might be worth mentioning that you have been granted permission to live/work/study in the UK under an immigration route, and can provide an evidence code, within your application. This may help to reassure employers that you have the ongoing right to work.

  • Graduate Route Visa

    Where can I find more information about the Graduate Route Visa?

    The Graduate Visa Route (GVR) was launched on 1 July 2021 and is a visa available to international students:

    • who have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance; and
    • who have a valid Tier 4 or Student visa at the time of application.

    Visit our Graduate Route Visa webpage to learn more about the eligibility criterial, how to apply and much more.

    Our Graduate Route Visa webinars

    Each semester the International Student Advisory Service run a series of webinars to provide you with further information on this post-study work route where you will be able to ask any questions you may have.  The team will also provide you with information regarding the graduation ceremony and advice on how to invite your family and/or friends to celebrate with you.

    Please register for our upcoming webinar: