Funding your Postgraduate Research
There are many ways to finance your research degree; from scholarships and studentships to loans and partial funding from other sources. However, there are 2 main routes to fund your PhD:
Apply for a PhD that already has funding attached.
These are most common in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine) subjects, but they can sometimes be available for pre-defined research projects in the arts, humanities or social sciences. These may be advertised as fully funded (with fees and a stipend) or competition funded, meaning the projects compete against other projects at each institution.
Self-fund, or search for funding or a studentship once you have an offer.
You devise your own PhD topic, find a supervisor, write a research proposal and apply to the relevant programme. If you’re offered a place at Birmingham, you can then apply for studentships or funding from various sources. Our handy Postgraduate Scholarships and Funding database lists all available funding.
The Doctoral Loan
One way to self-fund your research is through a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan. For the 2022/23 academic year, the UK Government is offering a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan of up to £27,892 for students normally residing in England.
Funding from Research Councils
Another way to fund your studies is through Government funded research councils, known jointly as the UKRI (United Kingdom Research and Innovation). Full UKRI awards cover the cost of tuition fees and also provide a maintenance grant to support you during your studies.
How much does it cost?
The University charges an annual tuition fee which covers the cost of your tuition, supervision, assessment and membership to 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.