Fees and Funding

Scholarships and funding

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Research degree scholarships and funding opportunities 

We offer a wide range of funding opportunities for research students. Our main awards are listed below and you can search our Scholarship Finder to see what else you might be eligible for.

Loyalty discounts for postgraduate students

If you successfully complete a University of Essex validated Masters degree, Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Diploma, either at Essex or one of our partner institutions, you may receive an Alumni Loyalty Discount token. This can be spent on one year of postgraduate study at PhD level.
If you have an Essex Masters degree, or a Graduate or Postgraduate Diploma then the discount will reduce your first year tuition fees by:

  • 33% if you achieved a Distinction
  • 25% if you achieved a Merit
  • 10% for successful completion

See our Alumni loyalty discount terms and conditions 2021-22 (.pdf) for more information.

studentship/fund name
Valid year of entry Who it's for 
School of Life Sciences PhD studentships 2022-2023 PhD students in our School of Life Sciences
British Council Newton Fund 2022-2023
Funding for individual partner country students to undertake full PhD studies in the UK, or vice versa
Computer Science and Electronic Engineering PhD Studentships 2022-2023

PhD students in CSEE

Please contact the department for more information

PhD Scholarship in Widening Participation in Postgraduate Study  2022-2023 PhD students in one of the following departments at the University of Essex: Institute for Social and Economic Research, Departments of Sociology, Government, Essex Business School, Law, Psychology, Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, Life Sciences, Health and Social Care, and School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences. The successful candidate would serve on the “Transitions and Transformations: Black Researcher’s Journey” strategy board. 
Postgraduate Research EU Scholarship 2022-2023
Students from the EU who are classified as international fee paying students in academic year 2021-2022
Faculty of Science and Health Studentships 2022-2023
PhD students in our Faculty of Science and Health
Sports scholarships and bursaries 2022-2023
Students with outstanding sporting ability

Doctoral training centre studentships
CHASE (AHRC) studentships Postgraduate research students in the arts and humanities
Eastern Arc studentship Postgraduate research students in digital humanities, quantitative social sciences and synthetic biology
EnvEast (NERC) studentships Postgraduate research students in environmental science
SeNSS studentships Postgraduate research students in the social sciences
Soc-B studentships
Postgraduate research students in biological, medical and social sciences

You can also use our Scholarship Finder to help you work out what you may be eligible for.

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Stay with us

We'll give you a loyalty discount of up to 33% on the tuition fee for your first year of postgraduate study at Essex, if you're one of our graduates, studied abroad with us, or have a spouse or partner studying here as a full-time international student paying overseas fees.

Get your Essex loyalty discount

Other sources of funding

Postgraduate loan

You could be eligible to receive a postgraduate loan towards course fees and living costs.

Alternative Guide for Postgraduate Funding

Our University currently subscribes to the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding. This independent guide to financing postgraduate study can be an invaluable tool to anyone considering study beyond undergraduate level. The Guide is free to use for our current and prospective students.

You can access the resource using the following PIN: 2529.

International student funding sources

There are country-specific funding opportunities, please see our country pages for more information.

If you're a US student you could be eligible to take out a US direct loan.

Research councils

Research council funding is primarily available via doctoral training centres. However, it's worth checking the research council for your subject to see if they are offering any other studentships or funding:

Bank Graduate loans

You might be able to apply for a graduate loan, either from your own or another high street bank. Make sure you compare the various packages on offer to find out which is best for you. A first step is to look online for sites which do this for you and then make an appointment to talk to the local branch of the banks which interest you. Don't be put off if you already have an existing overdraft. Many banks will now take on the responsibility of this is you are taking out a graduate loan.

Charitable trusts and grants

Information about charities and trusts that offer awards and sponsorship to students and their application procedures can be found in the Educational Grants Directory and The Grants Register. Copies of these are available in our Albert Sloman Library, as well as in most public libraries.

You can also try a grants search at Turn2us. Use the keyword "higher education" and then narrow your search by filling in other information about yourself.

Many charities and trusts are only able to award a small number of grants each year, so competition can be fierce. To be in with the best chance of receiving an award it is a good idea to:

  • research charities and trusts carefully as they may have eligibility requirements (eg based on your area of residence, family background and subject area)
  • apply as soon as possible (many give deadlines for applications)


Some companies offer to sponsor students and this is becoming an increasingly common source of funding in certain subject areas, primarily the sciences.Some firms will also consider finance-related disciplines such as accountancy and business studies.

Financial assistance offered by a company will usually be accompanied by work experience which you might be asked to undertake during your holidays or after graduation.

Financial Support for student in difficulty

We and the Students' Union offer financial support if you are experiencing difficulty with your finances in the form of a bursaries, grants or loans depending on your situation. Have a look on our Financial Support page for more information.


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How to pay

Find our tuition fee payment policies and information on how you can pay your tuition fees.