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Posted Aug. 13, 2018

Scholarships for PhD Students in the UK

PhD ScholarshipsStudying your PhD in the UK offers students the best opportunity of benefiting from some of the best higher education worldwide. The unfortunate thing is that such an esteemed education doesn’t come cheap.

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Most domestic and international students will find themselves looking for financial help to cover part or all of their tuition fees in the UK. Applying for a scholarship for PhD in the UK is tough given the stiff competition. Also, the best providers consider the applicant’s academic history very seriously. This is why you probably need advice regarding the matter to ensure you have the best chance of getting the scholarship. 

Here we take a look at some of the PhD scholarships and funding available for PhD students in the UK.

EU Students

Regardless of Brexit, EU students can still enjoy the benefits of tuition fees scholarships in the UK. The British government has set in place some policies that allow EU students to be considered when they apply for scholarships. They can also continue to enjoy the home fee status benefits, meaning that they will be charged equal tuition fees to the UK students. There are also institutions that offer loans for postgraduate education funding. 

PhD Funding 

Are you seeking help to help cover your doctorate fees? This kind of funding is readily available from different sources. However, it is very important for you to know where to look. Getting PhD funding should not be as difficult as doing postgraduate research. Where you wish to get a Research Council grant or a scholarship, there are great opportunities for you out there. 

Research Council Studentships 

The RCUK (research councils) grants PhD studentships in different subject areas. These awards are offered at different UK universities. They are normally granted to the best students who apply every year. The studentships are open to both EU and UK citizens. However, there are also some limited slots for international students with open eligibility. The funding normally pays the PhD fees and also provides some living costs stipend as per the eligibility. 

Scholarships at UK Universities

One great way of getting support for your education is applying for a scholarship from the university you want the funding for, as many UK universities offer bursaries and scholarships to support students. They are normally in one of these forms: 

Merit-Based Scholarships: Most universities are looking to recruit exceptional postgraduate researchers. The best way to do this is by giving out incentives like PhD fees support and living costs. 

Need-Based Scholarships: Most of the UK universities also want to ensure their training and education is made available to deserving students, their backgrounds notwithstanding. They can help with this by offering fee waivers or even bursaries to the less wealthy students or others that might be finding it hard to pursue PhD due to financial constraints. 

International Scholarships: Universities understand that attracting foreign students can help boost their research potential by expanding their pool of researchers. It is also a great way to get an opportunity to bring together new perspectives and ideas. Most institutions accomplish this by offering to fund for foreign PhD students. 

The Key To Success

As soon as you get offered a place on a PhD at a specific university, it is wise to get in touch with them and enquire about any studentships and scholarships they might have on offer. Alternatively, you can go online and find the different funding available in various institutions. Always ensure that your enquiry is well researched and genuine, as universities respond to those students who can show they are really interested in their PhD programs or projects.

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Nfor francis njilah Sept. 2, 2018, 4:04 p.m.

I am interested in inclusive education especially disability and inclusion. The challenge in my country is high as this group is excluded from mainstream education.

Charlotte King Sept. 3, 2018, 9:20 p.m.

You should contact the universities that you are interested in and see what scholarships they have on offer for students from your country. Good luck.

Dr Ali Sept. 14, 2018, 6:19 a.m.

I’m a licensed general practitioner working at Alhilal hospital, kingdom of Bahrain , with MBBS degree held from kasturba medical college , manipal university, India . I’m really looking forward for scholarship in MD medicine .
Thanking you .

Charlotte King Sept. 17, 2018, 1:33 p.m.

Hello Dr Ali - If you have a confirmed place on the postgraduate program you are eligible to apply for one of our Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries worth £500. It is really quick and easy to apply - find out more here >
Good luck!

Dr PASCAL PINTO Sept. 25, 2018, 9:47 a.m.

I am a Cleft Surgeon interested in doing a PhD in my field ie Cleft Lip & Palate Deformities. I am also a non EU spouse of a permanent EU resident in the UK. I am resident here on a EEAFM family permit. Would I be eligible for EU fees/scholarships/bursaries?
Dr Pascal Pinto

Charlotte King Sept. 27, 2018, 4:47 p.m.

Hello Dr Pinto,
You are eligible to apply for one of our Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries worth £500>
I think as you are not from the EU yourself you wouldn't be eligible for EU tuition fees - but it is worth checking with your chosen institution just to be sure.
Good luck!

Ama Antwi May 8, 2020, 2:19 a.m.


I am Ama from Ghana. I got accepted into the IDTP PhD programe at the University of Birmingham. Where do I find funding for my studies please?

Charlotte King May 27, 2020, 9:29 p.m.

Hi Ama – congratulations.
The University of Birmingham has some PhD funding opportunities for you to consider >
Plus, now you have been accepted on a postgraduate program you are eligible to apply for one of our Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries worth £500 >
Good luck!

BENCY DANIEL BABU Aug. 20, 2020, 12:39 p.m.

I have already completed my MSc in Crime Intelligence ( Master Degree ) with distinction from Teeside University in UK, and would like to go for Phd course
would like to know more about courses, costs and scholarships

with regards

Charlotte King Sept. 1, 2020, 5:33 p.m.

Hi Bency – congratulations on completing your masters degree with a distinction – that's very impressive. What PhD would you like to go on to study?

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