Researcher tuition fees and costs

We want you to be fully aware of your financial commitment before becoming a student at Birmingham. This page provides you with information on tuition fees and other costs involved in studying for a research degree so that you can plan your finances from day one.

You can find out what your research degree will cost using our fees finder.

Tuition fees

The University charges an annual tuition fee. This covers the cost of your tuition, examination and graduation, and includes membership of the Guild of Students. Fees are payable at the start of your programme.

When you accept the offer of a place, you are also accepting responsibility for the payment of your tuition fees, even if you are sponsored or in receipt of an award and the sponsor fails to pay. It is therefore very important that you have sufficient funds available to you. Unfortunately, if you fail to pay the fees, you will not be permitted to continue your studies.

The standard annual tuition fees for the 2017 academic year are listed in the section below. Individual programmes may charge a different fee from that quoted. Where this is the case it is made clear in the individual programme description in this prospectus.

Most part-time programmes run for two years and their fees are one half of the standard full-time programme fees. A small number of part-time programmes run for three years and in these cases the annual fees are one third of the total full-time cost.

Research degree tuition fees for the 2017 academic year

Research degree Tuition Fees
Home/EU Students
Full-time £4,180*
Part-time £2,090

*Research fees also apply to combined research and taught programmes unless otherwise indicated. 

You are also expected to meet the costs of typing and binding your thesis in accordance with University requirements.

Learn more about the costs of binding

For information on tuition fees for international students, please visit our International Student Funding web page.

Other costs

Some departments may levy a bench or extra fee in addition to the tuition fee. You will be notified of any additional fee with your offer of admission.

Research students who choose, or are required, to register beyond the minimum period required for their degree pay the full tuition fee for that period. If your normal period of registration has ended but you have yet to submit your thesis, you are liable to pay a continuation fee. You are also expected to meet the costs of typing and binding your thesis in accordance with University requirements.

The University offers many part-time and distance learning programmes, and these enable students to study at home. However, students who are moving to Birmingham to study on a full-time basis will need to meet the additional costs of accommodation, living expenses, and the cost of books and (for some programmes) equipment. 

Learn more about the cost of living at Birmingham

International students

The fees you pay depend on whether you are classed as an overseas student for fees purposes. The criteria for definition are set by the British government. In general terms, overseas fees are charged to students who do not have a 'relevant connection' with the United Kingdom and Islands. For more information on fees for international students please visit our International Student Funding web pages.

Asylum seekers are required to pay tuition fees at the higher overseas rate. If you obtain refugee status after the start of your course, your fee status will change to home/EU fee status, but it will not be backdated to the start of your course. Therefore, unless you have sufficient funds to finance your studies and pay tuition fees at the overseas rate, you are best advised to wait until your immigration status has been confirmed by the Home Office before commencing your course.

If you are concerned about your fee status at the time of application you can request a Fee Status Questionnaire from the Admissions Office telephone +44 (0)121 414 5488 or email For further information, a brief guide is available at the United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs website.