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Department of History

Funding and Fees

Funding for postgraduate programmes

A range of awards are available to support postgraduate students in the History Department at Durham. If you wish to be considered for funding, you are encouraged to contact the History Department for advice on preparing your application. Approaches should be made in the first instance to the Director of Postgraduate Studies, Dr Cherry Leonardi, who can put you in touch with potential academic supervisors and provide advice on completing your application form.

If you wish to be considered for any of these awards, please specify this on the online admissions application form (at the point where the form asks how you will fund your studies): more details about this can be found with the information about individual schemes below.

Summary of deadlines for submission of applications for funding:

06 January 2017

Faculty of Arts and Humanities MA Bursary

11 January 2017

Northern Bridge Doctoral Studentships

03 January 2017

Durham Doctoral Scholarships

20 January 2017

Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Studentship

16 January 2017

North East DTC (ESRC) Doctoral Studentships

07 May 2017

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership - The Cameraman's Experience of the Second World War: A study of the Army Film and Photographic Unit's 'Dope Sheets'.

Candidates are welcome to apply for more than one scheme, but please ensure that your application and references reach the department by the earliest deadline and that all the schemes you wish to apply for are indicated on your application form.


Masters Funding Opportunities

Faculty of Arts and Humanities Bursary

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Durham University offers a small number of bursaries to cover full fees (at UK/EU rate) to support study for an MA in History, commencing in October 2017. The department deadline for MA Bursary applications is yet to be finalised but it is likely that in order to be considered for these bursaries you will need to submit your application on the standard university online form with supporting documents by 5pm on 06 January 2017 to the Department of History. This bursary programme is highly competitive: up to ten studentships may be offered for students who intend to study in any department with the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Applicants for both taught and research MA degrees in History are welcome to apply, but will need to show evidence of a serious intention to proceed to doctoral study. For guidance on how to construct your application, see here. Full details of the competition are available on the Faculty's website.

Please note that Durham University IT services will be disrupted between 18:00 and 23:30 on the evening of 5th January due to necessary IT maintenance activity being carried out. Applicants should take this into account when considering when to submit their online application form and supporting documents.

North-East Doctoral Training Centre (ESRC)

For UK/EU applicants for the MA whose interests lie in the field of Economic and Social History, and who intend to apply for a PhD, can see below for the Economic and Social Research Council Studentships for doctoral students, which can offer awards of 1 year (for the MA) + 3 years (for the PhD). To be considered for this studentship your complete application including all supporting documents must be recieved by the Department of History by 5pm on the 16 January 2017.

NEFirst Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Another option for funding postgraduate taught study is the new Durham University NEFirst Postgraduate Loan Scheme.


Doctoral Funding Opportunities

  • Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK and EU applicants only)
  • Durham Doctoral Scholarship, funded by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities
  • North East Doctoral Training Centre, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK and EU applicants only)
  • Leverhulme Doctoral Award Programme Studentships, for interdisciplinary projects on visual culture (UK and EU applicants only.
  • AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership - A Cameraman's Experience of the Second World War: A Study of the Army Film and Photographic Unit's 'dope sheets'. (UK and EU applicants only).

Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership (AHRC)

Durham is a member of the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. This consortium comprises Durham University, Queen's University Belfast, and the University of Newcastle, in collaboration with a number of strategic partners including Durham Cathedral, The Bowes Museum, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, The National Media Museum and The Sage Gateshead. These studentships are open to UK and EU students, and are tenable for three years full time, with the possibility of additional funding for a six-month placement.

To apply for funding from the Northern Bridge DTP, you must submit your application to Durham by 5pm, Monday 11 January 2017, and you must include the code AH16 in the space on the form which asks how you intend to finance your studies. Please ensure that the department has received all documents including references by the deadline. Candidates who are shortlisted to proceed to the next stage of the competition will be contacted by the History Department by the end of February.

For full details about the scheme, eligibility criteria and how to apply please go to the Studentships section of the Northern Bridge website.

Durham Doctoral Studentship (DDS)

PhD Studentships for international applicants in PhD in History at Durham University (deadline 03 January 2017).

The Department of History invites international applications for fully-funded PhDs through the Durham Doctoral Studentships (DDS) competition. Prospective students from anywhere in the world are eligible to apply. The award includes tuition fees at the overseas rate and a maintenance allowance at the RCUK national rate.

We welcome applications from first-class or very good 2:1 undergraduate degree graduates with an MA (completed or in progress) in a relevant subject area at distinction or near-distinction level. Applicants should demonstrate:

- an outstanding academic record and research potential;

- a high-quality research project that can be completed within 3 years;

- a clear and credible link between the proposed research and the expertise of the supervisory team;

- a clear understanding of how the project fits with the research environments in which it will be carried out.


For details see: https://www.dur.ac.uk/arts.humanities/funding_opportunities/facultydoctoralfunding/

If you intend to apply for a Durham Doctoral Studentship, please contact Dr Cherry Leonardi to identify an appropriate supervisor and to receive feedback on your research proposal before submitting your application.

In order to apply, you must make an on-line application for a PhD place at Durham and ensure all supporting documents requested by the Department of History are submitted by 5pm on 03 January 2017, indicating that you wish to be considered for a Durham Doctoral Studentship when the form asks you to indicate how you intend to fund your studies.

Residents of the UK or EU should not apply directly for the DDS; they should apply instead to the Northern Bridge AHRC funding

Leverhulme Doctoral Award Programme for interdisciplinary projects on visual culture

Up to 7 fully-funded three-year PhD studentships are currently available in the Durham Leverhulme Interdisciplinary Training Programme in Visual Culture (DLITP VC) for October 2017. These studentships are open to candidates of all disciplines and not only to those in History: we welcome applications from graduates in the arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and life sciences who wish to pursue a PhD in visual science or visual culture. It is expected that candidates will have a strong first degree in a relevant discipline (2.1 minimum), together with an excellent Master’s qualification, also in a relevant field. Students need to be accepted by the department first to be considered for an award. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their applications with potential supervisors if they wish, and candidates who wish to apply for this scheme may wish to contact Professor Ludmilla Jordanova to discuss whether their proposed PhD project is suitable.

There is a two-stage application process for the Programme:

  1. Two formal applications to both the University (online) and to the Programme (supplementary form to complete).
  2. Selection day for shortlisted candidates, which will be held in Durham in March 2017. Travel expenses (within the UK) and one night's accommodation will be provided for those invited to attend.

The deadline for both stage 1 formal applications to Durham University is 20 January 2017. Please ensure that you submit both the online form and supplementary page. For more information on this scheme please see the information on the CVAC web pages.

North East Doctoral Training Centre (ESRC)

The History Department is part of the North East Doctoral Training Centre, a joint venture between Durham, Queen's University Belfast and Newcastle University, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The Department can nominate students for 1+3 full-time awards, providing support for a one-year MA in Social and Economic History (Research Methods), followed by a three-year PhD. The MA in Social and Economic History provides high-quality training and preparation for doctoral research. These studentships are open to UK and EU students.

To apply for funding from the North East Doctoral Training Centre, you must submit your application to Durham with all required supporting documents listed on the How to Apply page by 5pm 16 January 2017,and you must include the code ESR16 in the space on the form which asks how you intend to finance your studies. Please ensure that the department has received all documents including references by the deadline. Candidates who are shortlisted to proceed to the next stage of the competition will be contacted by the History Department by the end of February.

For full details about the scheme, eligibility criteria and how to apply, please go to the Studentships section of the North East Doctoral Training Centre website.

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership with the Imperial War Museum - The Cameraman's Experience of the Second World War: A Study of the Army Film and Photographic Unit's 'dope sheets'.

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded PhD at Durham University: "The Army Film and Photographic Film Unit, 1941-1945". This is offered under the AHRC Collborative Doctoral Partnership programme. The partner institutions are Durham University and the Imperial War Museum. The studentship will be supervised by Professor Jo Fox and Dr James Smith at Durham University, and Fiona Kelly of the Imperial War Museum. This is full time studentship, which is funded for three years at standard AHRC rates, will commence on 01 October 2017. Please note the deadline for this studentship has been extended until 07 May 2017 and interviews will be held in London on the 15 May 2017.

For full details, please see here.


Advice on preparing your application for funding

All applications are made on the standard university application form, and information about how to apply and the documentation required is available here.

For advice on writing your research proposal and what it should contain, please see our guidelines.

You may find it helpful to look at the Vitae guidelines on preparing a strong research proposal, available here.

Referees should be requested to send their references directly to the department via admissions.history@durham.ac.uk. References can also be sent by post: Admissions Secretary, Department of History, Durham University, 43 North Bailey, Durham, DH1 3EX. Please ensure that references arrive at the department by the relevant funding deadline.

Other Funding Opportunities

There are a number of institutions and councils which may be able to offer funding for some or all of the costs. Many Masters students fund their studies through a Professional Career Development Loan. Durham University also participates in the US Department of Education's Direct Loans programme. In addition, the Graduate School also maintains an online funding database to enable you to search for funding opportunities.

Some postgraduate students choose to undertake paid work while they study for their degrees, and there are some jobs available in the university which may prove to be useful experience for students. For information on the kinds of employment opportunities offered by the university, please go to the University's Recruitment Page or the Student Employment Service. Part-time work can be a very valuable way to enhance your CV and to gain the skills future employers are looking for. In addition, some teaching opportunities will usually be available for appropriately qualified students (usually those in the second and third years of a PhD) on undergraduate modules, but this cannot be guaranteed as a source of income.

Further Information

For any other enquiries about funding or the admissions process for postgraduate study, please contact admissions.history@durham.ac.uk.