Mobile menu icon
Mobile menu icon Search iconSearch
Search type

Department of Mathematics

Funding for postgraduate research

There are a variety of funding options for postgraduate research programmes in the Department of Mathematics.

From Department-specific PhD projects to University-wide awards such as the President’s Doctoral Scholar Award, there are a range of ways for you to finance the programme that you’d like to do.

Explore how you can make the next steps towards your academic or industry career by exploring the postgraduate funding options below.

UK PhD students

The arrangements for supporting postgraduate study are completely different from those for undergraduates. Typically, finance for grants comes from the Government, via the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) or via one of the other Research Councils. These grants are called studentships and are not means tested. Each research council studentship covers all course fees of £4,327 per annum (2019/20) and provides a stipend for maintenance of £15,009 per annum (2019/20 figures). Studentships are initially awarded for three and a half years, subject to satisfactory progress.

The financing of EPSRC doctoral training studentships is now administered by the Departments. In order to be awarded such a studentship an applicant will typically need to have a first class honours degree or possibly a good upper second. However applicants are advised to apply early because the Department has certain additional funds available which make it possible to make definite offers to strong candidates in some cases prior to July. It is not necessary to make a separate application for these studentships. All UK students who apply for admission to a PhD programme in the Department will automatically be considered for such funding. Applicants awarded EPSRC funds are required by EPSRC to satisfy certain formal UK/EU residence criteria.

Doctoral loans for 2018/19

The UK government has confirmed that new doctoral loans will be available for those studying PhDs (and equivalent doctoral programmes) from 2018/19.  The loan is a maximum of £25,000 over the duration of the course of study.  The loans are available for all types of doctoral study (eg PhD, as well as all professional doctorates such as DBA, EdD), at all UK universities. The loan is paid directly to students in three instalments across each year of the course and can be used for course fees and living costs.

UK and EU nationals who are ordinarily resident in England, aged 59 or under, who are not already receiving funding via a UK Research Council, are eligible to apply. For further information on eligibility criteria please visit the GOV.UK website.

For additional information on eligibility, how to apply and whom to contact for support, please visit the Student Support pages for Doctoral Loans or email

EU PhD students

Students who are normally resident in the EU but not in the UK are eligible for EPSRC studentships but the awards in such cases at present only cover the course fees, not maintenance stipends, except where such a student has been residing in the UK for the previous 3 years. Application can be made simply by indicating EPSRC as a potential source of funding on your application for admission to the programme. For exceptionally strong PhD applicants the Department may additionally offer a maintenance stipend.

We also have a number of Department scholarships available to UK/EU students which cover all course fees and will provide a stipend for maintenance of around £15,009 per annum (19/20). These scholarships are initially awarded for three and a half years, subject to satisfactory progress.

International PhD students

We have a number of Overseas Department Scholarship Awards. These awards normally constitute the tuition fees (£23,000 per annum for 2019/20) and are awarded competitively. These scholarships are initially awarded for three years, subject to satisfactory progress. Please indicate on your application form if you wish to be considered for this funding.

Chinese students may be eligible for the China Scholarship Council awards.

President's Doctoral Scholar Award and the Dean's award

President's Doctoral Scholar Award

The President’s Doctoral Scholar (PDS) Award is the University’s flagship funding initiative, and is strongly supported by the University's President and Vice Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell.

The scheme offers over 100 elite postgraduate research studentships per year and is open to students of all nationalities and across all research areas.

Successful PDS award candidates receive funding for their doctoral studies, as well as an additional £1,000 enhancement to their stipend. PDS award holders are students of the highest calibre, who have the commitment and desire to work on challenging research projects in world-leading research environments.

For further information, please visit the PDS website.

Dean's award

The Dean's award also offers funding for strong students. Currently, the Dean’s Award is for the payment of fees (home or international) and stipend (RCUK rate) for 3 years, plus £1,000 per year per student for student travel and consumables.

Alternative sources of funding

Students who are not offered EPSRC or Department funding but who still wish to study here may choose to support themselves. Many students choose to do this and support may be available from a variety of sources, for example by taking out a career development loan.

Alternative funding sources are also available. The University has a subscription to The Alternative Guide to PG Funding. This published guide and online resource provides a comprehensive overview of how to find and apply to alternative sources of funding, particularly charities, that make awards to current and prospective postgraduate students.