Doctoral fees and funding

There are many funding opportunities at Surrey for postgraduate research students. Funding sources include the Doctoral College, academic faculties, industry and Research Council funding.

Funding your research programme

PhD students are expected to have their finances in place before they start their course.

We appreciate that not all of those who want to start a doctoral programme will be able to self-fund their studies. For those who require financial support there are options available to you. 

Be aware, that once you are registered as a student at Surrey, there are very few funding opportunities available.


We have many funded studentships opportunities at the University of Surrey. Be sure to check the funding information to see whether you are eligible and the application deadlines.

View all studentships

Doctoral College Studentships Awards

Each year the Doctoral College funds a number of generous studentships across a range of disciplines, working with our field-leading researchers.

View our Doctoral College Studentships Awards

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences Studentships

The Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences offers generous fully funded studentships across a broad range of disciplines.

Computer Science Studentships

Computer Science Studentship Projects

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Studentships

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences offers fully funded Faculty and cross-Faculty studentships, as well as funding through the Pathogens and Host Defences Doctoral Training Partnership.

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Studentships

Pathogens and Host Defences Doctoral Training Partnership

Research Councils

UK Research Councils distribute public money to train new PhD students at UK universities. This funding is referred to as a 'Research Council studentship'. It has two components: a scholarship paid to the university up to the value of a student's PhD fees and a separate bursary paid directly to the student for living costs during their doctorate, also referred to as a stipend. Some studentships include both components. Others are 'fees-only', with no additional living allowance.

Although the studentship is allocated by the Research Council, you do not apply to the respective Research Council, but to the University.

Find out about funding for SeNSS (ESRC), technē (AHRC) and SCENARIO (NERC) studentships at the University of Surrey.


A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course, such as a PhD.

If you're studying for a PhD within a Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) or Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT), your eligibility depends on whether your research is funded by a Research Council studentship. If it is, you won't be able to apply for a loan. Similarly, if you apply for a loan and subsequently receive research council funding you will required to pay back the loan.

Employer sponsorship

If you want to do research within your current area of professionalism and believe that your doctorate will improve performance at work, it is worth discussing with your employer whether they may be prepared to help to subsidise or pay your fees. To get guidance on how to approach these conversations, we recommend you read the Prospects employer sponsorship information

Departments in the University also offer commercial studentships, these programmes are embedded in industry with a sponsoring organisation.

Charities and learned societies grants

Charities and trusts sometimes provide smaller grants, often for students from poorer backgrounds or those who have achieved academic excellence. You can find out more at your local library in publications such as Educational Grants Directory; Charities Digest; Grants Register; and the Directory of Grant Making Trusts. You can also use the Family Action grant search.

Certain societies also offer funding for postdoctoral research. They include:

Postgraduate research tuition fees

View a full list of our postgraduate research fees.

Bench fees

Some programmes charge a bench fee (also known as a research support fee) in addition to the tuition fee. The bench is charged to cover additional costs incurred by the academic department to support your research, such as consumables, materials, additional specialist training and trips. These costs are not covered by the tuition fee. The bench fee is calculated on a case-by-case basis depending on the nature of the research project and is independent from the tuition fee status of the student. 

If you are made an offer of admission to the University of Surrey, you will be notified of any bench fee applicable in your offer letter. Students or sponsors should contact the academic supervisor directly for information on the specific breakdown of what their bench fee covers.

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Doctoral College
Fifth Floor, University Library
University of Surrey