PhD fees in the UK
Postgraduate courses in the UK are generally cheaper, per year, than undergraduate courses. The typical tuition fee for PhD study in the UK is around £4,327 per year for ‘home’ (UK and EU) students (Brexit does not affect PhD fees for EU students beginning a doctorate in the 2020-21 academic year).
This is the amount that UK Research Councils pay to universities on behalf of funded students. Universities tend to set their fees close to the Research Council amount, though some may be higher.
These fees go up each year in line with inflation, so a PhD for self-funded students may be slightly higher in the second and third years of a UK doctorate.
International PhD fees in the UK
Students from outside the EU pay higher fees to study in the UK. These are set by individual institutions and vary by subject. As a general rule, you can expect to pay around £15-25,000 per year. Some subjects cost more, for example the average cost of a PhD in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences for international students is £17,900, whereas PhD fees in STEM subjects are around £24,000.
The cost of a part-time PhD
The costs of a PhD stated on this page are for full-time PhD study. Part-time PhD fees are generally about 50% of the full-time price, but this can vary. Always check if you are able to do a PhD project part-time particularly when doing a PhD abroad as some visas can restrict you from this mode of study.
Research support fees
Some PhD students also pay research support fees to cover the cost of specialist materials used during their project.
For laboratory-based students, these are known as bench fees, which cover the cost of consumables and the use of facilities required to do experiments. These costs may sometimes be included in the tuition fee or quoted separately. Bench fees are one reason why PhD fees for STEM subjects are generally higher than for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Specific costs vary depending on the nature of the programme and the kind of research you are undertaking. Because of this, details of bench fees are discussed during the application or are made available on request.
Universities offer scholarships, bursaries and full studentships to help students cover the cost of a PhD sudy (the latter are often provided by the UK Research Councils. Most university funding is provided on the basis of academic merit or to support widening participation. A government PhD loan is also available to some students. You can find more information on the different way to fund your PhD here.