Funding your research degree
Explore your funding options – from government loans to alumni and staff discounts.
Find your way ahead with funding
If you're thinking of starting a research degree with us, you'll have fees and costs to cover while you're here – but there are plenty of loans and bursaries available to help fund your studies.
Whether you're a UK, EU or international student, you'll find information on this page about the general funding options open to most applicants and details on how to apply for them.
Explore our funded PhD opportunities
Applications are now open for funded PhDs in Biological Sciences, Civil Engineering, Computing, Cosmology, Health Informatics, Humanities and Social Sciences, Mathematics, Mechanical and Design Engineering, Operational Research and Logistics, Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Physics and Psychology.
Self-funding your PhD
If you're self-funding your PhD or postgraduate research degree, there are plenty of funding options available. Find out what's on offer, who's eligible, and how to apply. If you are looking for tuition fees for our postgraduate research programmes, these can be found via our research degree subject area page, in the relevant PhD subject areas.
UK government doctoral loans scheme
Postgraduate Doctoral Loans are Government loans you can use for tuition fees, living costs and other course costs, if you're applying for a PhD or Professional Doctorate with us. The loan is paid directly to you, and you can apply online here.
The amount you’ll receive isn’t based on your or your family’s income. So you can choose how much you borrow (up to £28,673 over your whole course). The loan will be divided equally across each year of study. You can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan in any year of your course. But if you apply after your first year, you might not get the maximum amount.
You will start repaying your loan after your course if your annual income is more than £21,000. If you took out a Postgraduate Master's Loan, these 2 balances will be added together. If you had an undergraduate loan, you’ll pay both at the same time.
Eligibility for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan depends on your course, your age, and your residency status. Your course must be a full, standalone doctoral course (not a top-up course) and last between 3 and 8 academic years. You must be under the age of 60 at the start of your course.
You must also:
- be a UK national, or have EU settled status or indefinite leave to remain
- normally live in England, not moved here just to study
- have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years before starting your course
Further criteria apply, please check the official government website.
You won’t be able to get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if you’ll be receiving any Research Council funding or are on a paid studentship. Some courses may not be eligible – if yours isn't, it will say so on the course page.
University of Portsmouth EU Scholarship
Following the UK's exit from the European Union, if you’re a student resident in the EU, EEA or Switzerland, and you join the University of Portsmouth in 2023/24, you'll be eligible for the EU Scholarship. The scholarship will apply to new undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students.
The scholarship will be applied to your fees throughout the length of your course. As a result, the actual fee you'll pay will be equivalent to the fee for UK students in 2023/24 and beyond. The scholarship will be set at different levels for different courses.
If you already meet the conditions to be classed as a UK student for fees and funding purposes, you won’t receive the scholarship. You’ll pay the same fees as UK students. Find out more via our Tuition fees for EU students page.
£500 Postgraduate Solutions Study Bursaries
Postgrad Solutions are currently offering 15 Bursaries towards postgrad study for those starting in 2023, worth £500 each.
Students from all courses and subject areas are invited to apply, regardless of your chosen study mode or whether you're in receipt of wider funding.
For the majority of cases, payment will be made direct to your institution and discounted from your tuition fees. In some circumstances payment can be put towards student living costs and accommodation. You'll need to have accepted your offer of study at your chosen institution to be considered. The closing date for all entries is Friday 30th September 2023.
If you or one or both of your parents works at the University, you can get a 30% discount on course fees. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to check you're eligible before applying for a course.
Other PhD funding sources
Charitable grants and bursaries
Some organisations, charities and trusts offer bursaries and grants. These are often given to high-performing students or people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
You can search for sources of Master's funding from charities, trusts and foundations on The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding website. (Choose the ‘I am a prospective student’ option and enter our PIN – 7517 – and your email address to get your username and password.)
You can also use the following publications to search for grants. You can access these at local libraries:
- Educational Grants Directory
- Charities Digest
- Grants Register
- Directory of Grant Making Trusts
Other routes to a PhD
Explore the other ways you can start a PhD at Portsmouth.
Explore our PhD projects
Look through our funded and self-funded PhD research projects and find out how to apply.
Find a PhD Supervisor
If you've already got your own research idea, start looking for a supervisor whose research interests match yours.
Our research degrees subject areas
Take your expertise further by studying for a PhD or other research degree at the University of Portsmouth. Explore the subject areas you can study & get started on your research journey.