Fees and funding

For UK/EU students the 2017 fees to study a doctoral programme at Surrey cost from £4,195 per year for full-time study and £2,100 per year part-time. For international students the fees start at £16,000 per year for full-time and £8,000 per year for part-time. The fees for subsequent years of study from will increase, for Home students this will increase annually in line with recommendations from Research Councils UK. For international students the increase in 2018 will be 4% rounded to the nearest £100. For both UK/EU and international students, there are variations on the fees dependent on which doctoral programme you choose.

For a full list of our current fees, please visit our postgraduate research fees page.

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.

Funding options

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.

The University of Surrey’s Doctoral College is pleased to announce that a variety of funding opportunities are available to outstanding PhD candidates across a range of disciplines. Find out more.

The SeNSS Doctoral Training Partnership, funded by the ESRC is a centre of excellence in social science postgraduate research training, and is a partnership between the Universities of City, Essex, Goldsmiths, Kent, Reading, Roehampton, Royal Holloway, Surrey, Sussex and University of East Anglia. Find out more and apply.

SeNSS Collaborative Studentships

SeNSS is offering six collaborative studentships, each linked to a different research project. We are now seeking to identify the best candidate for each of these six collaborative studentships, to start their studies in October 2018. The research projects are listed below, and links are provided for where to find further information about each project, as well as how apply for one of these studentships. Find out more and apply. 

SeNSS ESRC-funded Post-Doctoral Fellowship

SeNSS is pleased to announce that it will be offering three ESRC-funded Post-Doctoral Fellowships (PDFs) per year, for the next five years, aimed at those in the immediately post-doctoral stage of their career. These PDFs are intended to provide the opportunity for Fellows to consolidate their PhDs through developing publications, their networks, and their research and professional skills. Find out more and apply.

As a member of the TECHNE Doctoral Training Partnership, University of Surrey students are eligible to apply for Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentships (stipend -2017/18 rate is £14,553 and fee waiver). TECHNE is a consortium of seven universities in London and the South East offering a rich and diverse training programme for doctoral students with a focus on interdisciplinarity and developing career potential both in and beyond higher education. TECHNE’s training programme is enhanced by input and placement opportunities provided by TECHNE’s 13 partner organisations (including the Barbican, Natural History Museum, Museum of London, BFI and Science Museum) in the cultural sector. Find out more and apply.

As a SCENARIO PhD student based at the University of Surrey you will have the opportunity to participate in our leading research.

For available PhD studentships take a look at the SCENARIO NERC Doctoral Training Partnership website which is a joint collaboration between the University of Surrey and the University of Reading.

Marion Redfearn Trust at the University of Surrey


Marion Redfearn studied Chemistry at Cambridge and followed with a career in the Chemistry Department at the Central Electricity Research Laboratories (CERL) in Leatherhead, Surrey. After a lifelong career in a profession dominated by men, Mrs Redfearn made a bequest to the University of Surrey for a Trust to allow female postgraduate students to gain a postgraduate qualification involving Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Electrical Engineering or Sound Recording.

Eligibility Criteria

The Marion Redfearn Trust (MRT) provides funding for a new or existing postgraduate research student that satisfies the following eligibility criteria:

-          Be female and born in the UK

-          Have at least one degree gained at a university in the UK. You will need at least a 2.1 degree, or alternatively a 2.2 and merit or distinction at Master’s degree level.

-          Have demonstrated academic merit in the past and, in the opinion of the reviewing committee, be capable of demonstrating academic merit in the future

-          Be enrolled or accepted on a full-time or part-time postgraduate research programme in Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Maths, Electronic Engineering or Sound Recording at the University of Surrey on 01 Oct 2018

The Award

Scholarships cover tuition fees, an annual stipend and £1,000 per annum for research expenses for three years in the first instance. The stipend and fee levels for academic year 2018/19 will be in line with the RCUK rates of £14,777 and £4,260 respectively for full time students. This will be pro rata for part time.

The trust will cover 18 months of full time study or part time equivalent. Departments will need to match fund from other sources such as existing internal studentship funds, RCUK or external funds.


The deadline to apply for a place on a Surrey PhD Programme is Tuesday 13 March 2018. Apply via the link in the PhD programme webpage.

MRT Application forms must be sent to phdstudentships@surrey.ac.uk by 4pm on 15 March 2018.

How to Apply: Step-by-Step Guide

1. Identify and speak to a prospective supervisor
Within the School/Department pages above you will find links to the academic staff lists. Use the lists to identify a prospective supervisor and contact them to discuss your project before submitting an application. You should also discuss the necessity for match funding for this Scholarship with your supervisor and the PGR Director.

2. Apply for a place on a PhD programme
Once you have discussed your project with a prospective supervisor you will need to apply for a place on a PhD programme. To apply for a place, please look at our programme listings  for a relevant programme and follow the online application process.
The deadline for applying for a place is 23:59 on Tuesday 13 March.

3. Prepare a studentship application

Your prospective supervisor will advise you if you should apply for a MRT scholarship. If you are selected to apply you will need to complete:

Image removed. Marion Redfearn Trust - Application Form 2018v6.doc

Please refer to Guidance Notes when completing your application

Image removed. Guidelines for 2018 Marion Redfearn Trust Scholarship Competitionv6.doc

Please submit your completed MRT Application Form by the deadline of 4pm on 15 March 2018 via email to: phdstudentships@surrey.ac.uk

For any queries please contact phdstudentships@surrey.ac.uk in the first instance.

The seven 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.

On this page you will find separate sections above regarding funding for SeNSS (ESRC) and TECHNE (AHRC) studentships at the University of Surrey. In addition, you can find information on Research Council and other studentships in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

We are pleased to announce that the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) Studentship is now open for an October 2018 start. These studentships are available for high quality Home/EU or international candidates. 

We are pleased to announce that the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (FEPS) Studentships are now open for an October 2018/19 start. These studentships are available for high quality Home/EU or international candidates. Find out more and apply.

We are pleased to announce that the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (FHMS) Studentships are now open for an October 2018/19 start. These studentships are available for high quality Home/EU or international candidates. Find out more and apply.

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:

For those who want to do research within their current area of professionalism and believe that their 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.

At Surrey, we are committed to delivering pioneering research and ensuring that we attract the best researchers to help us stay world-leading. For this reason, we offer scholarships/internal studentships for top-quality students. These studentships will cover your tuition fees at the Home/EU rate and maintenance at the current Research Council rates for full-time or part-time study.

For further information on our internal studentships, please use the links below the faculty area you are interested in doing your research within.

We also offer studentship competitions, such as the University’s Marion Redfearn Trust studentship. This Trust fund is intended to encourage UK-born female postgraduate students of outstanding research potential to gain a postgraduate research qualification in traditionally male-dominated subject areas. To find out more about this, please visit the Surrey studentships page.

There are non-means tested loans available for those studying research-based programmes at Masters-level (such as the MRes and MPhil). For 2017 starts, these loans are up to £10,280 and are available for UK, EEA and Swiss nationals residing in England and EU nationals residing in the EU, EEA or Switzerland. They are open to anyone under 60 who does not have a qualification at Masters-level or above. To find out more about the postgraduate loan, findamasters has a step-by-step guide to applying.

You can also get further details on the GOV.UK postgraduate loans pages

For those who are planning to commence their doctoral programme after 2017, the UK government has plans to introduce loans of up to £25,000 by 2018. The exact criteria has yet to be confirmed, however these are likely to be non-means tested and available to all English resident UK nationals aged 59 or under on the first day of the first academic year of your doctoral programme.

The new PhD loans are designed for those without Research Council studentships and will therefore not be available for those who have already secured a studentship.

The loans are not restricted to subject or area of research and will be open to those studying a doctoral programme at any university across the UK. Any previous student loans you may have will not affect your eligibility for the new PhD loans.

To find out more, and to keep up to date with all further updates, go to the PROSPECTS PhD loans page.

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