After you Apply

We understand that deciding to study in another country is a life changing experience.

This section is designed to answer your questions about what happens once you have applied to Robert Gordon University and help you prepare for coming to join us in Aberdeen.

Your Offer

Once you have submitted a complete application to us, we will do our best to get a decision to you within one week.

Please understand that this timeframe alters depending on what course you are applying to and also the time of year you apply. If you have any queries about your application, we are happy to answer these over the phone or through email.

I have received a Conditional Offer, what do I do now?

Most international students will initially get a conditional offer of acceptance. This means we are happy in principle to accept you to study at Robert Gordon University but you must meet certain conditions first. The most common conditions are:

  • Completing an existing course (for example passing your Bachelors before coming to do a Masters with us). Please upload your degree documents to your Apply Yourself record or email the Admissions Office with these.
  • Proving that your English language is good enough for University-level study. In this case you should send us a copy of your IELTS or TOEFL certificate as soon as it is available. Please upload these documents to your Apply Yourself record or email the Admissions Office with these.
  • Making a pre-payment (deposit) for international students. In this case you must arrange to pay the  University before we can release an Unconditional Offer. To find out how to do this, please visit the Making Deposits section. 

How do I get an Unconditional Offer and CAS letter?

Once you have fulfilled the conditions of your Conditional Offer, we will issue your Unconditional Offer and CAS number and statement. The UK Border Agency requires CAS numbers and statements for all student visa applications.

The personal CAS number we issue will link directly to the UKVI  database to facilitate your visa application.  Your CAS statement confirms that:

  • The University is prepared to offer you a place on a course,
  • You have met any academic conditions that were asked of you 
  • You have paid your pre-payment of 40% of your tuition fees.

Regarding pre-payments, this means when we have received your payment in our bank account here in Aberdeen, which may be several weeks after you transfer it, if you are making an overseas bank transfer. The pre-payment policy of the university can be downloaded by following the link below:


At Robert Gordon University, we have a policy for asking students to pay a deposit before an Unconditional Offer is made.

This is in order to:

  • Support the University's administrative and financial processes as well as the provision of immigration advice from UK Immigration authorities
  • Maintain a rigorous check to prevent fraudulent or frivolous applications
  • Ensure consistency of approach in line with our general duty to promote equality of opportunity in terms of the University's Equity and Diversity Policy.

The pre-payment for students beginning their studies is 40% of your tuition fees - the exact amount you are required to pay will be stated on your offer letters. This must be paid before a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies) number and statement will be issued and sent to you, which are required for you to begin the visa application process.

It is important to understand that the deposit is normally only refunded if a student fails to secure a visa to enter the UK as a student. For example if you pay the deposit and successfully arrive in the UK but then decide you want to study at a different institution, you will lose the deposit that you have paid.

When should I pay my deposit?

There is no deadline for making your pre-payment. However, you must pay it to us early enough for you to receive your Unconditional Offer in plenty of time so that you can apply for your UK student visa.

In some countries (Pakistan and Nigeria, for example) it can take many weeks at busy times (June - September) to obtain a UK student visa. We therefore recommend that you pay your deposit by the end of May in order to ensure that you have sufficient time to get your visa.

If you are starting your studies in January, we recommend you aim to have paid your deposit before the University closes for the Christmas break, which is usually around the third week in December.

ATAS Certificates

Do I Need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate?

  • This scheme was introduced on 1 November 2007.
  • An ATAS clearance certificate will be a mandatory requirement for some Postgraduate Research and some Postgraduate Masters students in science, engineering or technology disciplines.
  • The JACS code that appears on your offer letter is in place of an ATAS certificate.
  • Should the course you chose to study at Robert Gordon University require an ATAS certificate, we will notify you.
  • If we do not tell you an ATAS is necessary, please assume your course does not require this certificate.
  • More information about ATAS



We recommend that you book and confirm your accommodation before you leave your home country.

  • RGU Accommodation endeavours to provide accommodation to non-UK students who apply in advance.
  • University accommodation is limited and not guaranteed, however, and you must apply in plenty of time.
  • For full information, visit the Accommodation pages.

Pre Arrival Information

We will provide you with a helpful Pre-Arrival Guide which we will email to you 6-8 weeks before you are due to start your course at Robert Gordon University.

This contains lots of helpful information you will need when making the preparations for joining us in Aberdeen. Many students also choose to carry a copy of this with them when they travel to the UK, as it has lots of helpful information and contact details included in it.

How do I get to Aberdeen?

By Air

Aberdeen has its own international airport which connects to many European destinations. It is the only airport serving Aberdeen and the north-east of Scotland. You can fly to Aberdeen from the London airports (Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton), as well as other major UK airports (Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol). You may find it easier and cheaper to arrive in Aberdeen via Paris or Amsterdam airports.

During enrolment periods we will have students helpers on hand at the airport to greet you and help make your transport arrangements on to your accommodation - look out for the Robert Gordon University information desk when you arrive.

By Train

There are direct rail connections from London to Aberdeen - the average journey time is about 7 hours, and prices vary according to when you travel.

By Bus

There is a city link bus service which connects all major Scottish towns and cities.

Please click on the links below for information about train times and for further information on Aberdeen Airport:

What to Bring

There are many things that you will need to consider before coming to Aberdeen.


There is no restriction on bringing money into the UK. However, you must declare to UK Customs if you bring more than the equivalent of €10,000 (approx. £8,000). This includes currency, travellers cheques and bankers drafts.

DO NOT CARRY LARGE AMOUNTS OF HARD CURRENCY IN YOUR PERSONAL BELONGINGS. It is simply not safe to do so, and once the money is lost it cannot be replaced.

The best and safest way to bring money is to either bring Sterling travellers cheques or arrange two bank drafts:

  • one payable to Robert Gordon University for your fees, with your student number and name on the back or as the reference details, and
  • one for your living costs, payable to your own name

In addition to these, you should bring around £200 - £300 in cash/travellers cheques for your first few days in Scotland. Do not bring it all in cash for safety reasons. If you are planning to bring some of your own currency, check first that you are permitted to take it out of your country, and secondly that it can be changed in the UK.


Whilst you are a student in the UK, you will need to have certain documents with you for administrative and local tax purposes, such as visa extension applications or to receive a UK National Insurance number. The most important are:

  • Your passport
  • Your Unconditional Offer Letter
  • Affidavits of support from your parents (if you applied for your visa with them)
  • Letters of sponsorship from company, government or sponsor agency
  • Your police registration certificate (if you have one)
  • Bank statements - don't throw them out
  • Pay slips you receive from part-time work


There is no requirement in the United Kingdom to carry official documentation with you in your daily life and there is no national compulsory system of identification. Therefore, there is no need to carry your passport or any similarly important documents around with you every day.

All students who apply to extend their student visa are required to give biometric information (fingerprints and photographs) so that an ID card can be issued. Visa information will then be held on the ID card and not in the passport. The identity card is not a travel document and when you travel you must take both your passport and your identity card with you.


Given the difference in climate, it would be a good idea to think about what type of clothing you will need to help you cope with Scottish weather.

There are lots of places in Aberdeen where you can buy warm clothing at comparatively cheap prices and there are also many charity shops where you can pick recycled clothes. Lots of international students choose to do this, as they won't need these warmer clothes when they return home.

Electrical Equipment

The electrical system operates on a voltage of 220 volts and electrical sockets use a 3-pin system. You will need to bring an adapter with you or these can normally be bought at airports or large department stores in your home country.

What NOT to bring

It is illegal to bring certain items into the UK. These include some foodstuffs such as dairy products, meat products and dry foods. It would therefore be safest not to pack these items at all.

Aberdeen has a good number of halal and Asian food shops and a large Chinese supermarket, so you will be able to get many of the foods you enjoy at home, in Aberdeen.

Please also remember that it is a criminal offence to attempt to bring drugs into the UK and the penalties for possession of drugs are strictly enforced.

To avoid any confusion when you arrive, ensure any medicinal drugs whether pharmaceuticals or traditional remedies (such as Chinese medicine or Ayurvedic treatments) - are in clearly labelled bottles or sealed packaging.

HM Revenue & Customs - Information for Travellers  (opens in new window)

What to Expect

Studying in a new country is an exciting and enjoyable experience for the majority of people who chose to do this.

However, it is important to expect a period of adjustment to your new surrounds, new culture, new approach to studying.

To help prepare yourself as much as possible, try to research things:

  • How will your timetable be structured?
  • How many classes a week will you have and what percentage of your time will be spent on independent study?
  • How will your course be assessed - groupwork/ exams/presentations/ essays?

Once your offer becomes Unconditonal, you will be given access to Your Gateway, the student portal which will provide you with lots of personalised information including details of your modules, assignments and timetables ahead of you begining your studies here at Robert Gordon University.



Student Support and Socialising

We appreciate what a step into the unknown it is to study at a new institution, and especially when the University is in another country.

At Robert Gordon University, we do our best to make sure all our students feel they are being supported as best we can to help them reach their potential and have the most pleasurable experience possible.

Our Student Services team can help with a range of support for all our new students.

When you choose to study here, your focus will be on your studies. However we believe it is important to balance your studies with relaxing and appreciating your new surrounds.

When you arrive, and throughout the year, there will be lots of social activities, such as a Ceilidh (a traditional Scottish party) that are arranged by the Students Association and Student Services to help you make the most of your time at Robert Gordon University.

RGU:Union organises a wide range of social events throughout term.

Deferring Entry

In some cases it will be possible for students to defer their studies for one academic year and each request is considered individually. If you think that you need to defer your studies, please contact the Admissions Office.

Course content and academic entry requirements can vary from year to year: students can therefore only defer entry for one academic year. If you wish to defer your entry, please email the Admissions Office, and our Admissions Officers can assist you. 

Please note that if you have been accepted for one of the following courses you will not be able to defer your entry to the next academic year:

  • MSc Oil and Gas Engineering
  • MSc Drilling and Well Engineering
  • MSc Petroleum Production Engineering

“Robert Gordon University opened up the world for me.”

Bimal Anthony Sales Director for Alimarca L.L.C in Dubai

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Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781