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 £4,500 per year for domestic students. But they can range from £4,500-£20,000 depending on the subject area.
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
International students 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 £20,000-£35,000 per year. Some subjects cost more, for example in STEM due to the extra resources required such as equipment, servicing and tech support.
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 ways to fund your PhD here.