It is becoming more common to have various types of student visitors to the department. There are different procedures and support provided depending on the level of student, duration of the visit, and fees paid.
You are encouraged to apply with as much notice as possible as the arrangements and approval process may take some time at busy points in the academic year and without all the arrangements in place your visit cannot be approved and commence.
Students visiting for less than one term (i.e. up to three months aligned with a university term) may be admitted to the department as a visiting student (via the normal visitor process) and no fee is charged; this is considered part of the contribution of the department to vitality of the mathematics community.
The department expects students visiting for longer to register as Recognised Students. The university limits recognised student status to a stay of up to three terms (i.e. one year). Note in particular recognised student applications are processed via academic admin (so the normal visitor application form is not required) by submission to Sandy Patel rather than via the visitor coordinator.
The principal difference between a visiting student and a recognised student is the level of services provided, notably in terms of supervision level, which represents a real cost to the department. It is advantageous to the student to be recognised, but there is a termly fee (approximately £3000). Where funds exist, the fee will be charged. Where funds do not exist, a case must be made by the proposed supervisor to the Head of Department for the fees be waived; such a case should include a declaration of all funds available to the proposed supervisor within the department (for example, grant and research incentive funds).
Graduate Students undertaking internships as part of their course
Students on ‘stagiaires’ or other internships may be admitted as a visiting student. Such stays are normally limited to one term (i.e. up to 3 months aligned with a university term) and the individual is admitted through the visitor process, together with an internship agreement/contract (from the sending institution) authorised by both institutions. Some internship programmes mandate a visit duration of greater than 3 months, and in such cases the department will consider applications for (the mandated minimum period) up to a maximum visit of 5 months, where the visit should then coincide with the summer term (and hence longer vacation associated with that term). Internship applications must be supported by a member of academic faculty and include a short research plan outlining both the benefit to the student and the department.
Unpaid/unfunded internships are not permitted and as such the sending institution must demonstrate appropriate funding is in place for the student to have enough money for all the costs of the visit including travel, accommodation and living expenses and any course fees.
There may be visa implications for some students (for example, the department may have to agree the dates of the stay up-front for a student to be able to obtain a visa), but provided the visit is for less than six months, an internship would fall within the conditions of the short-term visa route, which involves the department issuing a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). Such students coming on internships specifically to undertake research will need a Tier 5 visa; students coming on non-research internships or work placements a Tier 5 youth mobility scheme or Tier 5 internship scheme visa. To allow for visa processing times you should provide a minimum of 2 months' notice.
Graduate masters level students
As with students undertaking internships, masters level students are expected to stay for one term (up to 3 months) or less.
Undergraduate level students
The department would not normally take undergraduate students as visitors. Undergraduates, however, may visit and attend university lectures and teaching by arranging a visit through one of the colleges (who admit undergraduates to the university).
Levels of support
Students are provided with a University card for building access. In cases where fees are waived, the department does not contribute significant resource: assistance in identifying or arranging accommodation is not provided, and students may not be provided with a desk in the department (although they may be able to use the mezzanine level study room - typically interns and masters level students).
Submission and approval processes
Applications should be submitted via the normal visitor process except in the case of recognised students where applications are via the Academic Admin.