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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Financial Support


Please consult Durham University's central scholarships and bursaries and the Faculty of Arts postgraduate funding pages for up-to-date fees information and additional funding opportunities. Below are some of the most relevant funding opportunities for English Studies through:

MA funding

Alumni fee discount

Durham alumni qualify for a 25% discount on tuition fees (home or overseas) for any taught postgraduate programme in the Arts and Humanities Faculty. Please see the Faculty website for further information.

Doctoral Awards

Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership PhD Studentships in the Arts and Humanities

The Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership invites top-calibre applicants to apply to its doctoral studentships competition for entry in 2020. Nearly seventy fully-funded doctoral studentships are available across the full range of arts and humanities subjects, including English Language and Literature, Drama and Theatre Studies, and Creative Writing.

Northern Bridge is an exciting, AHRC-funded collaboration between Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Queen’s University Belfast, Sunderland University, Teesside University and Ulster University. The aim is to deliver outstanding doctoral education in the arts and humanities.

Northern Bridge studentships are for up to 42 months, with an additional funded placement of between 3 weeks and 6 months.

Northern Bridge studentships provide a comprehensive and attractive package of financial support over the duration of study, which include:

  • Payment of tuition fees;
  • A maintenance award at the UK Research Councils' national rate (currently £14,777 per annum);
  • A research training support grant to fund the costs of study abroad, conference attendance and fieldwork;
  • Financial support to participate in a Northern Bridge Autumn Conference, an annual Summer School and a Completion and Leadership Workshop, which includes specialist training as well as events focussing on career development and enhancing your employability;
  • Financial support for placements and the acquisition of the skills necessary for you to complete your PhD to the highest standards.

Applicants must be United Kingdom citizens or residents of another European Union country. International students should apply for the Durham Doctoral Studentships (described below).

How to Apply

For full information about the Northern Bridge application process and eligibility criteria, please see the Northern Bridge website: http://www.northernbridge.ac.uk/. You should then:

Step 1:

Please discuss your application with a member of academic staff in the department who you think is qualified to advise you on your research.

Step 2:

Please submit a draft application to the Department by 5pm on Thursday, 5th December 2019 (via english.pgstudies@durham.ac.uk). The application draft should consist of:

  • The Proposal Summary (for non-specialist readers): 100 words
  • The Case for Support: 750 words
  • Answers to the following questions (100 words each):
    • How have your prior qualifications and/or professional experience equipped you for doctoral study in terms of the research skills and subject knowledge needed to undertake this project?
    • What resources and facilities you expect to use, including details of any high cost equipment, fieldwork, training, etc.?
    • Why your project is particularly suited to the Northern Bridge Consortium?

Draft applications will then be reviewed by a preliminary departmental scrutiny panel in the final week of the Michaelmas Term. The panel will provide feedback to some of the applicants (and their supervisors). If you do receive feedback of this kind please respond fully to it, giving thought to the whole structure, methodology and purpose of the proposed research, and not just its presentation.

Step 3:

Applicants must then complete the University’s online postgraduate application form (https://www.dur.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/) and submit all other supporting documentation by 5pm on Thursday 9th January 2020. (All applicants must include the code “NBC19” on their application form – i.e. in the section headed ‘How do you intend to finance your tuition fees’ and ‘living expenses?’ – so that it can be identified as a candidate for Northern Bridge funding.)

NB The department will only be able to nominate a small proportion of applicants for consideration by the Northern Bridge scrutiny panels. Of the applications the department receives each January only about 10% go forward to the next stage.

Durham Doctoral Studentships

The Faculty of Arts & Humanities intends to award a limited number of Durham Doctoral Studentships (DDS) to international postgraduate researchers of exceptional ability for entry in October 2020. (Home/EU students should apply in the first instance for Northern Bridge funding, as described above.) For further information and details of how to apply, see the Faculty website.

As well as submitting an application to the university by the 9th of January 2020, DDS candidates should also a draft application to the Department by 5pm on Thursday, 5th December (via english.pgstudies@durham.ac.uk). The application draft should consist of:

  • The Research Proposal: 750 words

Draft applications will then be reviewed by a preliminary departmental scrutiny panel in the final week of the Michaelmas Term. The panel will provide feedback to some of the applicants (and their supervisors). If you do receive feedback of this kind please respond fully to it, giving thought to the whole structure, methodology and purpose of the proposed research, and not just its presentation.

Research Assistantships

The Department regularly sets up several small Research Assistantships, partly to offer research students in Durham training in subject specific skills. Research Students are paid (£300-500) to help with the research project of a member of staff.

Self-funding

Many of our students are able to combine study with part-time work. The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre is able to help students to find and apply for local jobs in and around Durham and Stockton.

For Taught students from the UK, who are studying full time and self-financing, the University offers the opportunity to apply for a Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan of up to £7,000, to cover the cost of fees.

Full-Time, UK, self-financing students have an opportunity to apply for loans through NEFirst Credit Union Limited or the Student Loans Company.

UK and EU doctoral students can apply for a Doctoral Loan through Student Finance England, of up to £25,000 for the duration of the course.

Further Information

For all further enquiries about applying for admission and applying for the funding schemes, please contact english.pgadmissions@durham.ac.uk. See the University's central Postgraduate Funding pages for other ways of financing your studies.

Postgraduate Funding Opportunities

Postgraduates

Postgraduate funding opportunities - find out more about scholarships available for postgraduate study.

Fees and Funding

Further information relating to the fees and costs of postgraduate study and the range of funding sources available.

New postgraduate funding source

Working in partnership with an established credit union, Durham University is delighted to be able to offer UK postgraduate taught students of all ages the opportunity of applying for low cost ethical loans. Find out more about the Durham University NEFirst Postgraduate Loan Scheme.