An International School

Inchbald’s international profile has been a major element of the School’s success since its inception in 1960. The value of welcoming students from across the globe is easily understood, they enrich both the cultural diversity of the School and, through alumni, expand the potential professional destinations for graduates.

As a highly recognised international institution, Inchbald offers courses that allow graduates to work throughout the world within the design professions. An international student group facilitates a more diverse discussion of design, a deeper understanding of communication, both linguistic and visual, and a wider appreciation of how we live within the built environment in all its forms.

Design is about dialogue and the discussion of ideas is an essential part of the teaching ethos at Inchbald. Students will be able to interact with all nationalities within their group and studio groups are changed throughout the longer courses to ensure every student meets his or her fellow learners.

International applications and eligibility

Initial contact with the School can be made via email or telephone, following on from that conversation you may be invited to attend an interview with the Course Director. This can be done via Skype if you cannot travel to London in person, please note the School is obliged by the UK Government to talk face to face with those they are interviewing (this allows Skype) as potential students.

If you are using a previous qualification as part of your eligibility the School will need to see a certified copy of that qualification, and a transcript of marks if available, which will need to be verified. Your place will not be confirmed until the qualification has been accepted as being at the right academic level and from a recognised institute. If you wish your work experience to be considered as part of the application you must provide a detailed employment history together with a reference from your employer. If necessary this must be translated into English and must comprehensively explain your duties, performance and position in the company for which you worked.

Inchbald is happy to interview those with no previous experience of design or design training and there exists a provision, within the enrolment prerequisites for some courses, to look at a non-design qualification or background as a contributory element for application. A conversation with staff at the School is recommended.

Initial contact with the School can be made by email or telephone, after which you may be invited to attend an interview with the Course Director. Please note that the School is required by the UK Government to interview applicants face to face. If you are unable to travel to London then interviews may take place via Skype.

Please allow sufficient time for visa applications, the timing varies from country to country; please check the time required to process your visa. You will need to have confirmed a place at the School to supply the right information to your visa authority. The letter, offering you a place, will be sent to you after the interview and you need to write to confirm you are accepting the place. This confirmation must be accompanied by the deposit for the course. We will not hold a place if the deposit is not paid. For further information see the guide to visas on the following page.

It is your responsibility to arrange that your references reach the School so you must notify the referees and ask them to send documents to the School Secretary direct. Usually, one academic and one employment reference is sufficient. If you have not worked then a character or second academic reference will be accepted.

Potential students need to check carefully both the professional requirements and the licensing processes they need to conform to for the countries they will eventually work in. Checking with the accrediting organisations in your home country is highly recommended.

Courses are taught in English and the linguistic proficiency required varies from course to course dependent on academic level. Secure English Language Tests (SELT) are available through IELTS and students must have the UKVI approval on their test certificate. Failure to complete the correct language test might result in a visa being refused.  

Inchbald Guide to Visas

Below is a general guide to some of the conditions and procedures to obtaining a CAS number for a Visa application to study in the UK. For detailed updates, to these conditions, it is recommended that you consult the relevant websites. You might find the following websites useful:

What do I need to start the application process?

If you are applying to study in the UK from outside the EU or EEA and if you do not hold UK citizenship you will need a visa to be eligible to enrol. Inchbald is a Tier 4 sponsor and has a license to issue CAS numbers. You can usually only apply for a visa within three months of the start of a course and this is usually done from your home country. Consult the UKVI website for further instructions.

You will need to present certain key documentation to the School to support your application. This will include a valid passport, original proof of previous qualifications and/or transcripts of marks from the courses you have completed. If English is not your first language you will need to present evidence of your language level either by proof of an IELTS test or if you have previously studied on a course (usually to a recognised academic level) delivered in English. If you are travelling to the UK to take part in an interview please bring these documents with you to the interview. Your passport will be scanned and copies of your certificates will be taken.

What is a CAS number?

You need to have a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Study) number to obtain a visa. A CAS number will be issued if you have been successful at interview and if your qualifications meet the required levels and you have therefore been offered and accepted a place on the course and paid the mandatory deposits required. Your CAS number is only valid for one Tier 4 application and if your visa is refused it is your responsibility to inform the School immediately.

What Inchbald courses are open to me as a VISA student?

Not all Inchbald courses are open to those students who need a visa to study in the UK and further conditions can be applied depending on the course. The courses listed below are open to students studying on a visa.

Glyndwr Certificate Interior Design and Decoration

Glyndwr Certificate Garden Design

Dip HE Architectural Interior Design

Dip HE Garden Design

BA Hons Architectural Interior Design

BA Hons Garden Design

PG Diploma Architectural Interior Design

PG Diploma Garden Design

Master of Arts Architectural Interior Design

Master of Arts Garden Design

You will need to prove eligibility to study these courses prior to issuing of a CAS number.

Does the course I wish to study need to relate to my previous studying history?

The course you choose needs to show academic progression from any previous qualification. This means that if you already hold a qualification, that has internationally recognised academic credits, the course you wish to study needs to be of a higher academic level (an example would be if you had a Diploma of Higher Education and wished to study for a BA) or a continuation of your current study level and working towards more credits, (an example would be if you have a Post Graduate Diploma and wished to continue to study for an MA).

If English is not my first language does this affect my application?

One of the conditions you must fulfil to obtain a CAS number is to show an acceptable level of English for the qualification / academic level of the course on which you wish to enrol. You need either to obtain an IELTs test result, (at the level required by the School), and this must be a Secure English Language Test (SELT) as specified by the UKVI, (United Kingdom Visas and Immigration department) or show proof that you have studied a recognised qualification taught in English, prior to enrolling on the course to which you are applying.

Can I study if I entered the UK on a partners working visa?

You can study on a spouse’s visa but the same conditions apply in terms of English proficiency and progression of academic levels.

How many years can I study on a visa in the UK?

You must declare if you have already studied in the UK on a visa as there is an overall limit on the number of years’ study allowed depending on the academic level of your course. You will need to verify this on a case by case basis but a 2-year limit is usual on courses below degree level and a 5-year limit on degree level and above.

What documents do I need to keep with me?

Once you have arrived in the UK you will need your Biometric Residence Permit. This is proof of the visa and your right to be in the UK. If you applied from outside the UK you will need to collect your BMP from a post office, you will be informed of the address and you will need to take your passport with you. If you applied for your visa from inside the UK then the BRP will be sent to you.

You must keep your BRP in a safe place whilst in the UK. Failure to collect the BRP will result in a fine of £1,000.00, it should be collected within 10 days of arrival in the UK.

Am I eligible to work in the UK whilst my visa is valid?

Regardless of the conditions detailed on your visa the UK Home Office have ruled that you cannot work either during or after your course at Inchbald. A visa to study in the UK refers specifically to educational situations. Permission to work in the UK, whilst on a visa, is a matter for the UK Home Office, rather than the country from which the student requests their visa, and can be dependent on the course you wish to undertake and the institution you are studying at. Inchbald is a private institution and, as with other private providers, its visa students do not have a provision to work. However, students can undertake work observation whilst on a course and Inchbald supports this facility, arranging this for those students who wish to gain this experience.

What conditions must I comply with whilst studying at Inchbald on a visa?

You must keep the School informed of any change of address whilst studying and you may be asked for proof of address several times within the duration of your course. You must report to School on every day you are required to do so. Absence from School for illness must be supported by a Doctor’s note. Inchbald is obliged to report any persistent absence from the course to the UKVI / Home Office and this may result in your visa being cancelled.

What happens to my visa if I withdraw from a course?

We are obliged to inform UKVI / Home Office if you withdraw from a course, doing so will mean that your CAS number will be withdrawn and your visa will be terminated or curtailed with immediate effect. Your visa is awarded for a particular course of study at a particular institute and cannot be transferred to another course or institution.