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.

The University charges an annual tuition fee. This covers the cost of your supervision and tuition, access to University facilities, assessment and graduation. It also includes membership of the Guild of Students. Tuition fees are payable at the start of your programme of study and at the beginning of each subsequent academic year, as applicable. You can find out what your research degree will cost using our fees finder

There are additional fees that you will need to pay if you continue on your programme beyond the minimum period of registration required for your degree, or if you enter thesis awaited status. For further information on this please see the section on continuation fees, below.

Please also note that research programmes involving intensive laboratory, clinical or fieldwork will incur an additional bench fee cost. This will be discussed with you as part of the application process and you will be notified of any additional fee as part of your offer of admission.  

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 UK and EU students undertaking research degrees in the 2018 and 2019 academic years are listed in the section below. Individual programmes may charge a different fee from that quoted, especially if they contain taught elements (such as MRes programmes). Where this is the case, it is made clear in the individual programme description on the course listing page of our website.

For information on tuition fees for international students, please see the section below or visit our international student funding webpage.

UK/EU research degree tuition fees 2018/19

Standard fees*
Full time £4,260
Part time £2,135

*Research fees do not apply to combined research and taught programmes unless otherwise indicated in the programme information. For UK/EU postgraduate research students, the annual University fee level is set at UK Research Council rates and as such is subject to change. 

UK/EU research degree tuition fees 2019/20

Standard fees*
Full time £4,320
Part time £2,160

*Research fees do not apply to combined research and taught programmes unless otherwise indicated in the programme information. For UK/EU postgraduate research students, the annual University fee level is set at UK Research Council rates and as such is subject to change. The indicative fee level for 2019/20 given here is likely to increase in line with the GDP deflator and will be announced by Research Councils UK in spring 2019.


Continuation fees

University regulations require that research students submit their thesis for examination after the end of their minimum period of registration and before the end of their maximum period of registration. During the period of time between the end of your minimum period of registration and the point at which you submit your thesis your registration status will be “thesis awaited” and you will be charged a continuation fee (£216 for the academic year 2018/19). This fee is a contribution towards the administrative costs associated with thesis awaited status and ensures that you maintain access to University resources. You can learn more about thesis awaited status and the continuation fee through the University Graduate School website

If your research is not sufficiently advanced to transfer to thesis awaited status at the end of your minimum period of study, your minimum period of study may be extended and further tuition fees will then be charged.

Other costs

In addition to paying your tuition fees you will also need to plan how you will meet your living costs while undertaking your studies. You can learn more about the cost of living in Birmingham through our website. 

As a postgraduate researcher you may wish to attend conferences or to undertake research trips. The University offers support to help meet these additional costs through various research support funds

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

If you wish to attend your Degree Congregation ceremony then you will need to hire robes through the University's official supplier, Ede and Ravenscroft. The University does not charge for tickets to the graduation ceremony so robe hire is the only mandatory cost associated with graduating in person. You may choose, however, to also order photography.   

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 overseas rate. If you obtain refugee status after the start of your course your fee status may, subject to residency criteria, change to UK/EU fee status. This will not, however, 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 programme of study.

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 on the United Kingdom Council for International Student Affairs website.