PhD in UK

Why Study in UK?

Let’s Look at the Numbers!

  • As per QS World University Rankings 2018, 4 UK universities are in the top 10 list – University of Cambridge (Rank 5), University of Oxford (Rank 6), University College London (Rank 7) and Imperial College London (Rank 8); 16 UK universities are in the top 100 list
  • UK conducts more than 5% of the world’s scientific research and about 14% of the world’s most frequently cited papers are authored by scholars who matriculated from British institutions.
  • UK came eighth in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2017-2018, ahead of Finland, Norway, Denmark, New Zealand and Canada


Top Universities

  • University of Cambridge
  • University College London
  • University of Manchester
  • Kings College, London
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Edinburgh
  • London School of Economics
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Warwick


Powerful Reasons to Study in UK

Internationally Reputed Education Cost of Education Proximity to other countries Multi-cultural Exposure Strong Employment Prospects
Cutting edge research & state-of-the-art facilities Duration of PhD programs smaller than that of US Closer to other European nations Diverse Class Extensive Job/Post-doctoral research Opportunities
Top-notch quality of education Variety of Funding options available Less travel time between countries Cross-cultural exposure Strong & Robust Economy


Popular Fields for PhD Study

  • Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Psychology
  • Mathematics
  • Economics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biotechnology


Program Duration & Cost of Education

Duration Cost of Education (Tuition Plus Living)
Usually between three to four years For details on Tuition fees, please read Funding Options Accommodation and living expenses can vary from 1,000 to 1,800 GBP per month depending upon the university and the size of the city.


Funding Options

The major funding options for PhDs are:

Self-funded Studentship Scholarship
Many students fund their own PhD, with costs varying by university. Generally, in the UK, a PhD student who is self-funded has to bear a tuition bill of approximately £3,000 to £6,000 (domestic students) and £18,000 (international students) for the first three years. For the purposes of undertaking research, universities in the UK are often funded by charities, research councils and industry partners. If a student applies for a PhD as a part of one of these projects, the tuition fees are usually covered under the studentship and the student might also receive a monetary stipend towards his/her cost of living. There are quite a few studentships open to international applicants. There are a number of scholarships offered by the universities of the UK and available to international students:

Ø  Full Scholarship

Ø  Partial Scholarship

Ø  Country-specific scholarship

Ø  Course-specific scholarship

Ø  External scholarship

Ø  Home/EU scholarship


Eligibility Criteria for PhD Programs

Strong Academic Credentials Standardized Test Scores Strong Academic Profile
Successful undergraduate degree from a recognised university

Some universities require students to complete their master’s degree before applying for PhD

Competitive GRE score

Many universities require GRE Subject Test scores as well

IELTS (6.0-7.0)

Academic & Research projects, Internships and/or publications


As a PhD aspirant, you need to properly network with a UK professor (supervisor, mentor) who has accepted to supervise your research and thesis work. The first step is to send out networking letters to professors whose areas of expertise match your interests, and then wait for their reply.


A Sneak Peek into the PhD Application Process

The following documents are required


  • College Transcripts
  • Detailed Resume
  • Scanned Copy of Passport
  • Some universities additionally ask for a research proposal
  • Application Form
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation


Intake & Application Deadlines

There are two intakes available in the UK institutes – January or February intake and September or October intake.


There are various PhD application deadlines throughout the year; nonetheless, as securing funding is highly competitive, students are advised to apply at the earliest opportunity. Studentships and scholarships usually have application deadlines of three to six months before the course start date. A PhD application takes a lot of time owing to the research of course options, preparation of the thesis topic, and the effort required to contact supervisors and collate the application.


Student Visa Terms and Provisions

The UK student visa is called a Tier 4 (General) Visa, which works on a Point Based System (PBS). In order to apply for a student visa in the UK, you must be ‘sponsored’ by a recognized university. The university must confirm that you have been offered admission and will be studying for your postgraduate degree within UK immigration requirements. Thereafter, the university will issue a ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’.


After successful completion of the PhD in the UK, an applicant can secure a post-study work visa for one year. Students should be aware that finding a permanent job immediately after the postdoctoral completion is highly competitive. Generally, a doctorate degree holder starts his/her career as a research assistant or research fellow. Additionally, he/she might also opt for a university teaching post, if available.

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