# Calculating total PhD fees

Apologies if this is a stupid question or if it has been asked before. I have applied to take a PhD in English at Leicester. The current fee* is £4712 per year for full time study. I had always assumed that this meant that the total cost would be £4712 x 3 = £14136, on the basis of the PhD taking 3 years to complete. However, their website states that research for an English PhD "will typically take 3 to 3.5 years full time". Does this mean that I could potentially be charged the £4712 a 4th time, bringing the total cost to £18848? Or if the PhD takes 3.5 years in total, would I be charged 3.5x£4712 (£16492)? This will make a significant difference to whether a doctoral loan (which I may need to take out, if my AHRC application is unsuccessful) would comfortably cover both my fees and living costs, so it would be helpful to understand what the total cost will potentially be. Any advice on this would be appreciated. Thanks!

*(I realise the fee is likely to increase for an autumn 2024 start but let's assume this is the cost for the purpose of this question )
@mnot Would you be able to advise on this? Thanks
Original post by PlainsOfCement
Apologies if this is a stupid question or if it has been asked before. I have applied to take a PhD in English at Leicester. The current fee* is £4712 per year for full time study. I had always assumed that this meant that the total cost would be £4712 x 3 = £14136, on the basis of the PhD taking 3 years to complete. However, their website states that research for an English PhD "will typically take 3 to 3.5 years full time". Does this mean that I could potentially be charged the £4712 a 4th time, bringing the total cost to £18848? Or if the PhD takes 3.5 years in total, would I be charged 3.5x£4712 (£16492)? This will make a significant difference to whether a doctoral loan (which I may need to take out, if my AHRC application is unsuccessful) would comfortably cover both my fees and living costs, so it would be helpful to understand what the total cost will potentially be. Any advice on this would be appreciated. Thanks!

*(I realise the fee is likely to increase for an autumn 2024 start but let's assume this is the cost for the purpose of this question )

There is usually a minimum time requirement before you can submit your PhD, usually something like 32 or 36 months. it is becoming increasingly common to spend longer than this, but there is no need if you keep the tempo up through the 3 years. So any extension beyond 3 years is down to you. What the website tells you is that hey are happy for it to cost you more and take 3.5 years. Whether you would have to pay fees or what fee for anything more than 3 years you would have to discuss with them, and would probably depend on why you were taking longer, ie you can't get an answer unto your 3rd year.
Original post by PlainsOfCement
Apologies if this is a stupid question or if it has been asked before. I have applied to take a PhD in English at Leicester. The current fee* is £4712 per year for full time study. I had always assumed that this meant that the total cost would be £4712 x 3 = £14136, on the basis of the PhD taking 3 years to complete. However, their website states that research for an English PhD "will typically take 3 to 3.5 years full time". Does this mean that I could potentially be charged the £4712 a 4th time, bringing the total cost to £18848? Or if the PhD takes 3.5 years in total, would I be charged 3.5x£4712 (£16492)? This will make a significant difference to whether a doctoral loan (which I may need to take out, if my AHRC application is unsuccessful) would comfortably cover both my fees and living costs, so it would be helpful to understand what the total cost will potentially be. Any advice on this would be appreciated. Thanks!

*(I realise the fee is likely to increase for an autumn 2024 start but let's assume this is the cost for the purpose of this question )

PhDs work differently to taught programs with obvious start-finish timelines.

A PhD is generally considered to be 3 years worth of research at a publishable standard with a novel contribution.

Now often people will conduct there research over 3 years and then end up not managing to write up all of the thesis during this period, and it generally take 3-6 months to write up a thesis, as well as a couple papers then the viva will occur a month or two after the submission. Normally you can move into your next position postdoc or job as long as you have completed your research then finish your write up one or two days per week.

So id say 3 years research but 3.5 years to formally finish a PhD (and for scientific experimental PhD often a full 4 years).

Where I completed my PhD they charged fees month-to-month until the thesis was submitted however after that they didn’t charge for thesis pending (the break between submission & the viva). If you get a funded PhD most of them will cover the fees for 3.5 years, I always recommend securing funding rather then self-fund. I would certainly budget for 3.5 years.
Thank you all for your advice - much appreciated. I also contacted the university, who said much the same:

"The £4712 is the UK/Home annual fee for 2023/4 intake. Fees are paid for each year of study. The PhD generally takes 3.5 to 4 years to complete.

Fees rise in like with UKRI fee levels each year.

In the final year if all active research is completed and a student is writing up their thesis then the fee can be reduced to £100 for up to one year.

The actual duration of study differs from person to person depending on the length of time required to complete research and writing up/submission of the thesis."

I am applying for funding, but was also considering the option of taking out a postgraduate loan and self-funding if I am unsuccessful. Unfortunately, this realisation makes it even less feasible for me to self-fund!
(edited 3 months ago)
Original post by PlainsOfCement
Thank you all for your advice - much appreciated. I also contacted the university, who said much the same:

"The £4712 is the UK/Home annual fee for 2023/4 intake. Fees are paid for each year of study. The PhD generally takes 3.5 to 4 years to complete.

Fees rise in like with UKRI fee levels each year.

In the final year if all active research is completed and a student is writing up their thesis then the fee can be reduced to £100 for up to one year.

The actual duration of study differs from person to person depending on the length of time required to complete research and writing up/submission of the thesis."

I am applying for funding, but was also considering the option of taking out a postgraduate loan and self-funding if I am unsuccessful. Unfortunately, this realisation makes it even less feasible for me to self-fund!

Good luck- yes, funding cleans things up although different candidates have different experiences when receiving funding.

Try and get an academic mentor (perhaps one of your target supervisors) who has regularly had PhD students who can help you draft your funding applications (experience & knowledge really helps make strong applications).