PhD scholarships
With these UK PhD scholarships, you can enjoy full tuition coverage plus a generous living stipend. Source: Justin Tallis/AFP

With a strong research culture on top of encouraging interdisciplinary research, the UK is a great choice if one wants to pursue a PhD scholarship in an exciting and stimulating environment with many research links. The UK is one of the most popular destinations for many international students with many top-ranked and world-class universities and a welcoming culture as well.

Being a research powerhouse means more access to cutting-edge research facilities, which can go a long way in conducting research during your PhD studies. The UK, however, as a developed Western country, has higher living costs, with some major cities and programmes bearing notoriously expensive price tags.

This can be a heavy burden for international students seeking a UK PhD degree. Fortunately, the UK has a great list of university PhD scholarships that may help you realise your dream.

PhD scholarships

The UK is a research powerhouse. Source: Christine Bird/Shutterstock.

Leeds University Business School: International Business Department Scholarship

The International Business Department of the Leeds University Business School is offering up to two PhD scholarships for international applicants; the deadline is Apr. 1, 2022. One of the world’s leading units for international business and among a handful of triple-accredited business schools in the world, this department is well-known for their exceptional research and teaching.

The award is for three years; the last two years are renewable subject to academic performance. The successful recipient will get a maintenance grant worth 15,609 pounds (standard UKRI rate for Session 2021/22).

University of Cambridge: Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme

Awarded to a select group of 25 brilliant University of Cambridge PhD students of all disciplines and nationalities, this programme aims to produce graduates who can make a tangible difference to the academic community with their excellent research. The majority will be affiliated with St Catharine’s College; the rest will be distributed among the other colleges. 

Depending on your chosen department, the last deadline is Jan. 6, 2022. The PhD scholarship winners will receive a generous package including the University Composition Fee and a 6,000 pounds personal allowance throughout their studies, an annual stipend of 18,000 pounds and student visa costs.

SOAS University of London CHASE

SOAS University of London is among the world’s top 50 for Arts and Humanities (QS rankings 2021) and is a top 20 UK institution for these same subjects (THE rankings). As part of the Consortium of the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, this Doctoral Training Partnership offers up to 56 Arts and Humanities studentships; a limited number is available for international applicants. 

You should first apply to SOAS by Jan. 10, 2022 so that you can work with your proposed supervisor(s) on the CHASE application to submit by Jan. 28, 2022. You can expect to receive a training grant and a stipend as well.

Aston University College of Business and Social Sciences

As a multidisciplinary college in Aston University, Birmingham, the College of Business and Social Sciences is home to researchers from Aston Business School, Aston Law School and the School of Social Sciences and Humanities. Up to six fully-funded PhD studentships are available for application to any of these schools’ programmes – the deadline is Feb. 28, 2022.

You will get full tuition coverage at the international rate plus an annual maintenance grant of 15,840 pounds (2022-23 rate) throughout your three years. You should have obtained a merit for your master’s dissertation besides a first class or second upper class honours degree.

University of St Andrews: Doctoral Scholarship in Biology and Statistics

St Leonard’s Postgraduate College at the University of St Andrews is offering a doctoral scholarship to a suitably qualified student to take up research on developing novel methods for estimating the abundance of breeding grey seals. You will have three co-supervisors, and can choose to matriculate in either Biology or Statistics.

The PhD scholarship covers full tuition fees for up to three and a half years on top of an annual maintenance stipend (the 2021-22 annual rate is 15,609 pounds). You will have access to the free GRADskills training programme as well. 

University of Liverpool: Accounting and Finance Subject Group

This PhD scholarship takes on a slightly different form as a Graduate Teaching Fellowship (GTF) – the deadline is Jan. 7, 2022. If you have a first or upper second class honours degree plus a distinction for your master’s degree besides being committed to research, this GTF allows you to collect teaching experience together with your PhD studies.

Under the Accounting and Finance Subject Group, you will have the opportunity to complete a teacher training programme offered by the University of Liverpool. A living stipend of 15,609 pounds plus a fee waiver will be awarded to exceptional applicants.

Swansea University: the UKRI CDT in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Advanced Computing

At Swansea University, you can apply for the four-year fully funded opportunity to research upon these broad areas of particle physics and astronomy, biological and health, and mathematical and computer sciences. You will be trained in artificial intelligence, high-performance computing and high-performance data analytics.

After training in the first year, you will have several short-term work placements in the second and third years. Besides full tuition fees, you will enjoy a stipend of  15,921 poundsand other allowances; the closing date is Feb. 11, 2022.

University of Exeter – PhD Scholarship

The University of Exeter’s generous funding scheme consists of two funding parts funding – one Research Masters in Economics and then a PhD programme in either Finance or Economics – both at the Business School; you have to apply by Jan. 21, 2022. As part of the scholarship, students have to work as teaching or research assistants for about 180 hours (23 days) a year, which can help enhance your research and education skills.

The funding includes a combined stipend and teaching allowance for 180 hours of 19,000 poundsper year. Students can also apply for additional funding for research, development and conference travel expenses. 

Imperial College London: Chemical Engineering PhD Scholarship

One of the best universities in the UK, Imperial College London has up to 10 fully-funded Chemical Engineering PhD scholarships via the Chemical Engineering Department. You should have a First Class Honours Degree at master’s level in chemical engineering or a related engineering/science field. This scholarship is tenable for 42 months, covering both tuition fees and 21,400 pounds for maintenance.

You should apply by Jan. 31, 2022. If you are successful, you would be asked to select two projects; depending on your supervisor’s agreement, you can be given either your first choice or second one. 

Oxford University – Clarendon Scholarship

The Clarendon Scholarship is one of the most famous PhD scholarships. You do not need to submit a separate application form for this scholarship; when you apply for a Oxford University PhD programme, you automatically qualify to apply for the Clarendon Scholarship.

Your preferred programme at Oxford may have different deadlines but generally, January is the last application deadline to be eligible for this scholarship. This particular PhD scholarship covers full tuition fees and a living stipend of 15,609 pounds (2021-22 rate).

All in all, if you have been planning to pursue your PhD studies in the UK but are short on funds, these scholarships are great choices, and will definitely help you achieve your dream!