Fees and scholarships

We are committed to the development of our postgraduate research community, and we provide a range of funding and scholarship opportunities to our PhD students.


Please be aware that scholarship applications for the 2020-21 academic year have now closed. Thank you for your interest in our scholarships. 

Postgraduate research tuition fees

Home/EU students

The tuition fee you pay in your first year will increase (in line with inflation) for each subsequent year of study. Tuition fees for part-time degrees are usually charged at half of the rate of full-time degrees across twice the number of years (subject to an increase in subsequent years in line with inflation).

Overseas students

The tuition fee you pay in your first year will be the same for each subsequent year of study. Tuition fees for part-time degrees are usually charged at half of the rate of full-time degrees across twice the number of years.

PGR tuition fees

Postgraduate research scholarships

In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must also apply for a place to study in the Department. We advise you submit your application for a place to study at least two weeks before the scholarship deadline to allow time for this to be assessed and any queries to be addressed.

Exploring the potential to promote healthy ageing and reduce multimorbidity by enhancing social connections post-retirement

This three and a half (3.5) year studentship is part of the Healthy Lifespan Institute at The University of Sheffield. This exciting new research initiative is dedicated to the understanding and prevention of multimorbidity, which is the presence of two or more chronic health conditions that create disability and poor quality of life in old age. We are taking a unique multidisciplinary approach that spans the biological and social sciences and strive to create new practices, policies and products across the life course that target multiple conditions and help people live longer, healthier and more independent lives.

As a student within the Healthy Lifespan Institute, you will be a valued and active member of the Institute and your work will be vital in contributing to our aims and helping to effect real change.You will be part of a wider multidisciplinary network of PhD students and will have the chance to influence and lead Institute activity, (i.e. sitting on Committees, representation at Exec, designing a programme of activities), to take part in seminars and events, and to meet leaders in the field.

Project aims and objectives

There are currently different but related research evidence bases in the disciplines of social science and public health/epidemiology which support the concept that social engagement and physical activity are crucial to healthy ageing, and both directly contribute to reducing morbidity and mortality and increasing wellbeing throughout the life course. This project aims to understand the links between multimorbidity (the presence of two or more chronic health conditions) and social connections, and to generate evidence to support the development of strategies and interventions that can reduce or prevent multimorbidity through enhancing social connections. We are offering a study based in Sheffield using a mixed methods approach to be designed by the successful candidate. Methods are expected to include: synthesis of existing evidence: analysis of existing large scale datasets; a survey of older people; follow up focus groups with a selection of survey respondents, and qualitative interviews with key stakeholders and service providers in the city region.

Objective 1: To synthesis existing evidence for i) causal associations between community activities post retirement and changes in social connections ii) causal associations between changes in social connections and health related behaviours (physical activity, diet, alcohol consumption etc.)

Objective 2: To use existing large scale datasets e.g. English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) to explore associations between social connections and health related behaviours.

Objective 3: To identify community interventions with significant potential to both enhance social connections and support health related behaviours (e.g. community dance; lunch clubs, walking groups; walking football) and conduct a survey of older people post retirement (both participants and non-participants).

Objective 4: Explore with intervention providers and intervention participants/non-participants the contextual factors, mechanisms/pathways and potential changes in both social connections and health behaviours.

Objective 5: With a range of relevant stakeholders, develop evidence-based recommendations for maximizing the value of community activities for individuals post-retirement.


The project will potentially require the use of both systematic review methods for evidence synthesis of both quantitative and qualitative research (Objectives 1), quantitative data collection and analysis (Objectives 2 & 3) and qualitative primary data collection and analysis methods (Objectives 4 & 5). It will also require collaboration with community organisations, older people and other stakeholders throughout the project.

Proposed timelines

Months 1 -12: Completion of evidence review and preliminary analysis of existing data sets to inform development of protocol for primary data collection and analysis.
Months 13-24: Completion of data collection (survey and focus groups/interviews as appropriate) and preliminary analysis.
Months 25-30: Writing up of study findings.
Months 31-36: Development of recommendations and completion/submission of thesis.

Supervision and mentorship

To reflect the complex challenges of addressing multimorbidity the Healthy Lifespan Institute seeks to create highly interdisciplinary collaborations across the different faculties of the University of Sheffield and with external partners. This studentship will be jointly supervised by senior academics Professor Elizabeth Goyder (School of Health and Related Research, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health) and Dr. Andrea Wigfield (Department of Sociological Studies, Faculty of Social Science). There will be additional mentorship from Dr. Sarah Hothman (Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent) and Steve Chu (Chief Executive, Age UK Sheffield & Director of Age England Association).

Entry requirements

Candidates must have a first or upper second class honours degree, and a Merit at masters or significant research experience. The project is appropriate for applicants from a range of disciplinary backgrounds who are interested in working at the interface between public health and social sciences and have some experience in both qualitative and quantitative research methods. This studentship is open to home/EU students only.

How to apply

Please complete a University Postgraduate Research Application form.

Please clearly state the title of the studentship, the prospective main supervisor and select ScHARR as the department.

The deadline for applications is 24 April 2020. Proposed start date: October 2020.

ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) and University of Sheffield Research Scholarships

The University of Sheffield Faculty of Social Sciences has funding for a range of PhD scholarships for 2020/21 entry.  These include ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) and Faculty scholarships.

We strongly encourage PhD applications in the following broad areas:

  • Cities, Environment and Liveability
  • Security, Conflict and Justice
  • Education Childhood and Youth
  • Data, Communication and New Technologies
  • Wellbeing, Health and Communities
  • Sustainable Growth, Management and Economic Productivity
  • Civil Society, Development and Democracy

Our scholarships cover:

  • Tuition fees;
  • An annual stipend to cover living expenses equivalent to UK Research Council rates;
  • Research Training Support Grant.

All scholarships are available as a +3 (PhD) or 1 + 3 (MA Social Research and PhD) basis to ensure students meet ESRC training benchmarks for social research methods.


Our Faculty scholarships are open to applicants of any nationality and in any discipline within the Faculty of Social Sciences. Most ESRC White Rose DTP scholarships are open to UK and EU applicants; there may be limited opportunities for overseas students, and all applicants should check ESRC White Rose DTP guidance before making an application.  

All our scholarships can be held in any department within the Faculty.  Initial enquiries should be made directly to the academic department in which you wish to study.

Please note that scholarship applications for the 2020-21 academic year have now closed. 

To apply for Masters and PhD funding, you will need:

Qualifications or experience equal to a first or upper second class honours degree or an equivalent combination of qualifications and/or experience

Full ESRC eligibility criteria can be found here

Initial enquiries should be made directly to us at the Department of Sociological Studies: sociologicalstudies-admissions@sheffield.ac.uk.


We offer an outstanding academic environment for our PhD students. We provide an interdisciplinary research experience via the White Rose DTP to all our PhD students, regardless of scholarship funding source. Quantitative and qualitative methods training at both Masters and PhD level is provided by Sheffield Methods Institute. There are also opportunities for three month internships with public, private and voluntary organisations.

Further information about our Social Sciences Doctoral Training.

To apply for PhD funding, you will need:

Qualifications or experience equal to a Merit or Distinction in a Master’s degree or an equivalent combination of qualifications and/or experience.

Timescales and how to apply

Please note that scholarship applications for the 2020-21 academic year have now closed. 

AHRC White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities

The White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH) is a Doctoral Training Partnership of the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. It is responsible for the distribution of AHRC-funded doctoral studentships for these universities and for the coordination of a doctoral training programme. WRoCAH is able to offer around 48 AHRC studentships per year to candidates with a place for doctoral study at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield or York.

Applicants for an AHRC studentship must have applied for a place of study in an eligible School, Department or Centre and may only apply for funding at one of Leeds, Sheffield or York. The studentship application form and details of how to apply are only available from the WRoCAH website.

Please note that scholarship applications for the 2020-21 academic year have now closed. 

China Scholarship Council

This scheme provides academically excellent Chinese students with the opportunity to study for a PhD at the University of Sheffield. The scholarships are supported jointly by the China Scholarship Council and the University of Sheffield.

The Scholarship will cover:

  • University Tuition Fees
  • A grant for living costs
  • One return flight from China


You must be a national of, and reside in, mainland China (not including Hong Kong or Macau). You must also be intending to return to China once your programme is completed.

Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of academic merit and the fit of the applicant’s proposed research programme with Sheffield’s identified research priorities:

  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and the bioeconomy
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy
  • Smart, green and integrated transport
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials
  • The changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective societies
  • Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of citizens

Please note that scholarship applications for the 2020-21 academic year have now closed. 

PhD training in the Faculty of Social Sciences

As part of the Faculty of Social Sciences you will have access to world class training alongside your doctoral study. The Social Sciences Doctoral Training programme is tailored to your individual needs to ensure you have the right skills you need to develop your research.

The training programme is designed to exceed current UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) training and development guidelines, and gives all our social science PhD students access to ESRC-funded White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership cohort activities, regardless of your source of funding.

All our students receive interdisciplinary training and experience opportunities via the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership, and additional discipline specific training is provided in each of our departments.

Find out more about our Social Sciences Graduate School

Flagship institutes

The University’s four flagship institutes bring together our key strengths to tackle global issues, turning interdisciplinary and translational research into real-world solutions.