Funding and scholarships

There are a range of different funding sources available to apply for. These include doctoral training pathways and University-funded scholarships.

Overview of funding types

University of Bristol scholarships

Bristol Postgraduate Research Scholarships

For 2024 entry, we are offering 80 scholarships to outstanding postgraduate research candidates. These are equivalent to a Research Council provision, offering full fees and a stipend to cover living costs each year. Applications are open for programmes beginning in 2024. To learn more, visit our scholarships' page.

Bristol PhD Scholarships for Black Heritage applicants

As part of our commitment to an inclusive and representative student community, we are offering specific PhD scholarships for applicants of Black heritage starting their programme in 2024. These are fully funded scholarships covering fees and an annual living cost at Research Council rates, which is currently £18,322 for full-time study. The information page provides application details and faculty deadlines.

Opportunity Bristol: Research Master's funding

Opportunity Bristol provides financial support to UK students from Black backgrounds to undertake a research-related master's degree. The scholarship scheme supports students in the transition from undergraduate to PhD-level study and aims to place students in a better position to pursue a career in research by supporting their studies at master's level. Students receive a non-repayable grant for tuition fees and a stipend to cover their living costs, for programmes beginning in 2024 this is £18,622.

Find out more about Opportunity Bristol

Doctoral Training Centre studentships

We currently have 29 funded Doctoral Training Centres offering excellent funded postgraduate research opportunities and a wide range of skills training. Funded studentships on these programmes enable study as part of a cohort of researchers and usually cover fees and living costs. PhD students within these cohorts gain a broad range of skills and knowledge that can be applied across a wide variety of careers within and outside of academia.

Explore our Doctoral Training Centres


Self-funded study

If you intend to fund yourself, you might be considering studying part-time in order to work alongside your research to help cover your living costs. Find out more about the cost of living in Bristol and part-time working.

Doctoral loans

For self-funded postgraduate research students, the UK Government has announced new doctoral loans of up to £25,000 over the duration of a postgraduate research programme. UK nationals who are ordinarily resident in England, aged 59 or under, who are not already receiving funding via a UK Research Council, are eligible.

Find out about doctoral loans

Employer sponsorship

It might be possible for your employer or company to support your studies, particularly if the research is valuable to professional development and your employer. Securing sponsorship can give you financial support while your employer could benefit from the research you undertake and the skills you bring back to the company.

Your prospective school can support opportunities within this category, so please get in touch with them before applying.

Search for other funding opportunities

In addition to the above opportunities, external institutions also offer funding sources. Use the student funding search tool to explore current options. You can filter for postgraduate research funders by selecting 'postgraduate research' under 'study level'.

Ranked fifth for research in the UK

The Times Higher Education has ranked the University of Bristol 5th for research in the UK, with a remarkable 94% of its research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent. 

View our REF 2021 results.

PG student smiling at their desk. Callie's experience

"I enjoy being able to carry out a master’s degree purely via research... I hope to continue with research, ideally working in industry or even joining the University research group

CallieMScR Biological Sciences

Funding tips

For further resources and recommendations check out our funding tips.

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