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Do you get paid to do a PhD or do you pay to do a Phd? Or both??

Looking into doing a masters or a PhD in Sociology as I got a first at undergrad.



Basically when I see PhD courses listed it often has a fee listed for PhD. E.g., with Essex (completely random example, not necessarily where I’ll go) it says £5,900 per year and 5 years for PhD or with Lancaster it says £4,596 over 3 years.



But I thought for doing a PhD you were paid a small salary of approximately £18k a year (maybe that’s gone up now but that’s not what I’m querying) so what is the £5,900?



Does the £5,900 per year with Essex or £4,596 with Lancaster only apply if you’re self-funding completely? Like if you don’t quite make the cut for a PhD?



Or would you be paid a PhD salary/ stipend but still have to contribute £5,900 with Essex or £4,596 with Lancaster towards your education??



Either way is fine. Just trying to work out exactly what these course fee’s listed entail.
Original post by Craig_93
Looking into doing a masters or a PhD in Sociology as I got a first at undergrad.



Basically when I see PhD courses listed it often has a fee listed for PhD. E.g., with Essex (completely random example, not necessarily where I’ll go) it says £5,900 per year and 5 years for PhD or with Lancaster it says £4,596 over 3 years.



But I thought for doing a PhD you were paid a small salary of approximately £18k a year (maybe that’s gone up now but that’s not what I’m querying) so what is the £5,900?



Does the £5,900 per year with Essex or £4,596 with Lancaster only apply if you’re self-funding completely? Like if you don’t quite make the cut for a PhD?



Or would you be paid a PhD salary/ stipend but still have to contribute £5,900 with Essex or £4,596 with Lancaster towards your education??



Either way is fine. Just trying to work out exactly what these course fee’s listed entail.

Hi @Craig_93,

So, the simple answer is both...sort of. PhD funding - in the UK at least - is quite complex and can come from a variety of different sources.

A PhD studentship is, in essence, a funded or part-funded PhD. Studentships are most commonly offered by the UK's seven major research councils, with the funding overseen by UKRI. Some individual universities also offer scholarships and bursaries to PhD students, as do some employers/industry bodies, charities, and public bodies.

As a general rule of thumb there are two types of studentship on offer. A full studentship covers tuition fees and provides the student with a non-taxable, non-repayable maintenance grant called a 'stipend'. This is worth a minimum of £17,668 and can be used towards a student's living costs whilst they study for their PhD. A fees-only studentship covers a student's tuition fees (and sometimes associated costs for fieldwork or other essential study) but does not offer a stipend towards living costs.

There's also the option to self-fund doctoral study. In this instance a student is responsible for paying their own tuition and supporting their own living costs. They may be able to get help towards this in the form of scholarships/bursaries that reduce tuition fees, or by taking out a UK government doctoral loan.

There's some good advice about studentships at https://www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate-study/phd-study/phd-studentships and https://www.ukri.org/what-we-offer/developing-people-and-skills/find-studentships-and-doctoral-training/get-a-studentship-to-fund-your-doctorate/. More information about the doctoral loan can be found at https://www.gov.uk/doctoral-loan. And there's some useful information about other sources of PhD funding at https://career-advice.jobs.ac.uk/phd-studentship/phd-funding-a-checklist-of-possible-sources/.

Hope that helps! :smile:

Amy Louise
PhD Candidate & Student Ambassador, Keele University
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 2
Original post by Keele Postgraduate
Hi @Craig_93,

So, the simple answer is both...sort of. PhD funding - in the UK at least - is quite complex and can come from a variety of different sources.

A PhD studentship is, in essence, a funded or part-funded PhD. Studentships are most commonly offered by the UK's seven major research councils, with the funding overseen by UKRI. Some individual universities also offer scholarships and bursaries to PhD students, as do some employers/industry bodies, charities, and public bodies.

As a general rule of thumb there are two types of studentship on offer. A full studentship covers tuition fees and provides the student with a non-taxable, non-repayable maintenance grant called a 'stipend'. This is worth a minimum of £17,668 and can be used towards a student's living costs whilst they study for their PhD. A fees-only studentship covers a student's tuition fees (and sometimes associated costs for fieldwork or other essential study) but does not offer a stipend towards living costs.

There's also the option to self-fund doctoral study. In this instance a student is responsible for paying their own tuition and supporting their own living costs. They may be able to get help towards this in the form of scholarships/bursaries that reduce tuition fees, or by taking out a UK government doctoral loan.

There's some good advice about studentships at https://www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate-study/phd-study/phd-studentships and https://www.ukri.org/what-we-offer/developing-people-and-skills/find-studentships-and-doctoral-training/get-a-studentship-to-fund-your-doctorate/. More information about the doctoral loan can be found at https://www.gov.uk/doctoral-loan. And there's some useful information about other sources of PhD funding at https://career-advice.jobs.ac.uk/phd-studentship/phd-funding-a-checklist-of-possible-sources/.

Hope that helps! :smile:

Amy Louise
PhD Candidate & Student Ambassador, Keele University


Thank you Amy Louise!

This information is very informative.

Do you know which research councils I should apply to if I want to do a PhD in Sociology?

All the best,

Craig
(edited 10 months ago)
Original post by Craig_93
Thank you Amy Louise!

This information is very informative.

Do you know which research councils I should apply to if I want to do a PhD in Sociology?

All the best,

Craig

Probably the ESRC (economic and social research council - not to be confused with the EPSRC, the engineering and physical sciences research council!), although depending on the exact topic others may be applicable. If it's very environmentally oriented/geographical you might be able to get some NERC funding for example. If it involved a lot of cultural/historical context work maybe AHRC funding could apply. There are other bodies that fund PhDs as well,such as various charities, although these tend to be for "set" projects more often I think related to the charity's goals (for example, a set project in biosciences funded by the BHF focusing on some cardiovascular research topic).
(edited 10 months ago)

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