There are several sources of funding available for PhDs in the Faculty, including the ESRC South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP) studentships, and internal University studentships (URSA). Find out more about how to apply for other available Research Council funding schemes.

We have a list of PhD project ideas that academic staff in the Faculty have suggested. If you find a project that interests you, please get in touch with the associated staff member. That person would be your potential supervisor, so having a discussion with them before you apply should strengthen your application.

Funding may also be available for excellent candidates who propose a project of their own, following discussion with a potential supervisor.

To apply for URSA or ESRC SWDTP funding all you need to do is indicate on your application that you wish to be considered for funding, and we will steer your application to the most appropriate funding competition. The majority of funding available is for Home/EU students. Applications from any field of research in the Faculty are eligible. Please follow the steps below.

  1. You should contact a potential supervisor or lead academic for a project idea, to discuss the opportunity and they will advise if you can apply.
  2. Ensure you meet the entry requirements for a PhD in the relevant department or interdisciplinary stream.
  3. Complete the online application form for the relevant department or interdisciplinary stream. You must include all the necessary supporting information as listed on how to apply for doctoral study.
  4. ALL applicants applying for SWDTP or URSA funding MUST complete the Student Statement Form and submit this as part of their online application to study by the 29 January 2019, 12 noon GMT deadline. You can either cut and paste your 1,000 word research proposal into the Student Statement Form OR adapt it to the specific criteria on the form.
  5. If you would like to complete the SWDTP Equal Opportunities Student Data Form, please click here. Information will be held confidentially and reported anonymously to the ESRC. Completed forms should be emailed to

You will be notified if you have been shortlisted for interview by 18 February 2019. Interviews will be held the week commencing 4 March 2019. If successful, you will be notified by 5 April 2019. Successful applicants will be expected to commence their studies on 30 September 2019.