Frequently asked studentship questions
Got a question about studentships? Then take a look at the most frequently asked questions we get on them. If you still need assistance, then please email email@example.com.
Applying for a studentship
Explore our studentships listing
Most of our studentship awards are advertised on our studentships listing; this list is regularly updated with new opportunities. Each advertised studentship will detail the funding package, deadlines, how to apply and who to contact should you have any questions. We recommend that you discuss your research plans with the academic department/supervisor before applying.
Find further information about fees and funding.
Apply for a programme
You must have applied for a place of study in order to submit a studentship application. Note that some departments have earlier deadlines for applications onto PhD programmes. Please ensure that you check with your intended department as soon as possible.
Apply for a studentship
You do not have to have a confirmed academic offer before applying for a studentship, however, for China Scholarship Council awards, you must have an unconditional offer by the studentship application deadline.
PhD students are expected to have their finances in place before they start their course. Once you are registered as a student at Surrey, there are very few funding opportunities available and are often extremely competitive.
Please check the information on each of the listed studentships for details on when to apply as they will have specific deadlines.
In order to maintain a fair and transparent process, and ensure that funding is allocated in good time, we cannot accept late applications for studentship awards or funding schemes.
You can apply for any number of studentships for which you are eligible. It is a good idea to apply for as many studentships as you can to increase your chances of being awarded funding.
Some studentships have restrictions on whether you can hold other awards at the same time, so if you are successful in gaining more than one studentship, you should check whether you can accept both or need to choose between them.
Most studentships are available for both full and part-time study, but you should check the details of the studentships you wish to apply for. If in doubt, please contact the listed email on the studentship advertisement.
Depending on your settled status, EU citizens could qualify for either home or overseas fee status. Each advertised studentship award will detail whether the funding will cover home or overseas fee candidates.
Each advertised studentship will detail whether the funding will cover 'home' or 'overseas' tuition fees. International candidates will need to carefully check the eligibility criteria.
This depends on the funding scheme. All applicants will be informed of a decision (whether successful, unsuccessful or on the reserve list) by the date specified in the studentship advert.
Intakes are normally available in October, January, April, and July, depending on your chosen discipline.
Please see the course information page for the postgraduate research degree you are interested in, for details on the intakes available. Please also check the advertised studentship as some will specify the required start date.
The funding package attached to the studentship award can vary, so please do carefully check the funding information listed in the advertisement.
Most awards typically cover full tuition fees, a standard stipend (also known as a maintenance grant) and a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG). The basic stipend rate is set by UKRI.
For many PhD studentships, funding typically lasts 3 or 3.5 years (depending on your funder) but postgraduate researchers are given 4 years of registration in case of slippages in the project plan. The fourth year is not intended to be used as anything other than a buffer.
If you need to continue to work beyond your funding period, you will not receive funding and you will be expected to cover tuition fees for the additional time. If you only need an extra six months beyond your funding period during your fourth year for writing up, then you can request transfer to completing status. This reduces the annual fees from say ~£4,500 to ~£650.
Either way, it is important to aim to complete everything within your funded period.
Deferrals for studentship awards are not possible unless there are exceptional circumstances and have been approved by the budget holder.
Funding and academic offers are handled separately, therefore, if you gained approval to defer your academic place within the same academic cycle then you will also need to seek approval from the team that awarded you the studentship.
No. Your supervisor may be able to advise you about what to expect, but the only official notification is a formal offer letter from the University which outlines your funding.
If you are unsure about your fee status as a UK, EU or overseas student, you should liaise with Admissions as soon as possible in order to verify this.
No. When you accept a self-funded place, you are agreeing to cover the full costs of your study from your own resources.
PhD students are expected to have their finances in place before they start their course. Once you are registered as a student at Surrey, there are very few funding opportunities for which existing students are eligible, and you will be encouraged to apply for these where appropriate, but you cannot rely on success in obtaining such funding to continue your study.
- Find out the funding sources for which you are eligible, and make sure you meet their requirements and application deadlines
- Study hard, get good grades, give the people who are writing your references reasons to be impressed with your abilities
- Devote serious thought to your research proposal, find the right potential supervisor and get in touch with them
- Submit your application as soon as you possibly can, including all supporting material (transcripts etc.).