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Funding for a PhD

In the UK, a PhD can be a funded or self-funded programme.

Funding types

There are three main types of funding arrangements for PhDs:

  • Fully-funded students have a full studentship. This usually covers their PhD fees, living costs and other expenses.
  • Partially-funded students receive a partial scholarship or studentship. This usually contributes to fees or living costs, but not both. They usually need to top up their funding with other grants or rely on their own savings or earnings.
  • Self-funded students don't receive any funding. They pay for a PhD themselves using a combination of student loans, savings, or earnings.

Your situation may change during your PhD. It's possible to begin as a self-funded student and win funding later.

The financial cost of a PhD

There won’t usually be an application fee for PhDs but there are tuition fees.

PhD fees in the UK range from £4,500 to £35,000 per year depending on your nationality. UK students pay an average of £4,500 per year in PhD fees.

International students pay a lot more. International PhD fees in the UK can be as high as £20,000-£35,000 per year.

You’ll also need to factor in living costs, though there are funding routes you can apply for to help with this.

Although A PhD can be expensive, it can give you educational, career and personal benefits. It's worth weighing up whether these benefits are worth the financial commitment.

We can talk to you about whether this is the right option for you.

Funding options