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Doctorate Extension Scheme

Find out about the Doctorate Extension Scheme and other work visa options.

Update on the scheme

The Doctorate Extension Scheme visa (DES) has been replaced by the Graduate visa.

Find out about the graduate visa route if you're finishing your studies at Sussex.

If you already have a DES visa

Check UKCISA guidance for people who already have a DES visa.


You need your sponsor’s permission to have a DES visa if you have been financially sponsored by a government or an international scholarship agency.

Your sponsor must write a letter giving their unconditional consent for you to remain in the UK.


If you have family with you on dependant visas, they are also eligible to extend their visas.

You or your dependant will need to show evidence of £1,360 in funds, held for 28 days. This amount applies to each dependant.

Conditions of your DES visa

Your DES visa lasts for 12 months from the expected end date on your CAS.

You’ll continue to be sponsored by us during this 12-month period.

We will need to stay in touch with you during this time to fulfil our duties to UK Visas and Immigration. We confirm how this works when you get your new BRP.


You can work almost without restriction.

You do not need to get a job at a particular level and you can be self-employed.

You cannot work as a:

  • doctor or dentist in training
  • professional sportsperson or sports coach.

Extending beyond your current visa

If you want to continue working and living in the UK after your DES visa expires, you’ll need to switch to another visa category.

See our information about working in the UK after your studies.

See more from After your studies