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.

SPHR/ARC funded PhD studentship: Discrimination and maternal mental health inequalities

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship based in the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield, available on a full-time basis to start 1st October 2020. 

This PhD studentship is jointly funded by the NIHR School for Public Health (SPHR) and the Yorkshire and Humber Applied Research Collaboration (YH ARC) (linked to the Early Life and Prevention and Mental Health themes), and jointly supervised by Professor Sarah Salway at the University of Sheffield and Dr. Stephanie Prady at the University of York. 

The studentship will be based in the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield, which offers students a distinctly interdisciplinary experience, with key research themes of Everyday Life and Critical Diversities; Social Inequalities and Social Ordering; Science, Technology and Medicine in Society (STEMiS); and Wellbeing and Health across the Lifecourse. The Department is already home to several early career researchers and students who are part of the NIHR School for Public Health Research community and has strong collaborative links to the School of Health and Related Research in the Faculty of Medicine and Health. Our PhD students are also part of the Faculty of Social Sciences Graduate School, which brings together postgraduate researchers from across the Social Sciences in order to provide an exceptional level of support and a wide range of training opportunities. 


People who are discriminated against, such as those from ethnic minority backgrounds, or those living in poverty, are more likely to have mental health problems, but are less likely to be identified as having a problem, receive treatment or be helped by treatment – the mental health inequality. The mechanisms by which disadvantage and discrimination impact on mental health are complex and multi-dimensional. Discrimination, including racism, can take many forms including structural, institutional and interpersonal. Maternal mental health problems during pregnancy and after the birth can have a negative and sometimes sustained impact on families. The perinatal period is a time of transition. Pregnant women and new mothers have increased contact with a range of health services and may experience disruption to income, living circumstances and family relationships. Exposures to interpersonal discrimination, including racism, in the maternal period have not been well characterised, and the effect of these exposures upon maternal mental health, and future life conditions and chances, is similarly under-studied. A better understanding of the nature and impacts of discrimination experienced by some women at this time in their lives is needed in order to inform potential interventions to reduce such exposures. 

The project

We welcome proposals from applicants who wish to study in the broad area of maternal mental health inequalities and discrimination. We envisage a primarily quantitative study using local or national cohort datasets, or a mixed methods study if appropriate. Proposals that include consideration of the methodological challenges of researching inequalities and mental health are welcomed. Proposals should also demonstrate a commitment to meaningful engagement with public and policy/practice stakeholders in order to increase the relevance and impact of the research.

Candidates may, if they wish, propose a study related to a broader remit of public health mental health inequalities, or mental health inequalities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The studentship

The studentship will comprise fees at the UK home rate, a stipend at the UKRI rate (2020/21 £15,285) and a research costs allowance.

Application process

This is a competitive process involving an online application followed by an interview (via remote means) for shortlisted candidates on September 3rd 2020.  The deadline for online applications is 5pm Tuesday 18th August 2020. Shortlisted candidates will be notified by Tuesday 25th August 2020.

Candidates with a suitable background and an interest in health inequalities are encouraged to apply. Standard entry requirements are a first or upper second class honours degree in a social science or health sciences. Candidates are expected to have completed a research-based Master's degree – or have significant research experience - through which they have acquired advanced quantitative and/or qualitative research skills. Prior experience of social science health-related research will be an advantage.

In order to apply, you should use the University of Sheffield online system: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgradapplication. You should indicate the Department of Sociological Studies as your chosen department, Sarah Salway as your proposed supervisor and give the title of the project as SPHR/ARC Mental Health Inequalities.

You should also indicate that you are applying for a studentship.

You should include:

(i) An outline research proposal that sets out: the proposed area of study and its importance; the evidence gap to be addressed and research questions; methodology and possible data sources; ethical issues; methodological challenges; and engagement and impact activities. You should highlight any areas of uncertainty in your draft design that require clarification, and how you would go about refining your plan (maximum 1,500 words).

(ii) A personal statement setting out clearly why you are interested in this position, your future career intentions, and how your skills and experience equip you for doctoral study (maximum 600 words).

Please be aware that both the content and the standard of presentation of these pieces of writing will be taken into consideration during the shortlisting process.  

Strong statements of support from suitable referees who know your academic performance will also strengthen your application. 

We strongly encourage applicants from under-represented and minoritised groups, particularly people identifying as Black or ethnic minority. 

For more information:

Please find more information about the application process here.

Informal enquires about this PhD opportunity can be directed to Dr. Stephanie Prady: stephanie.prady@york.ac.uk, or Professor Sarah Salway: s.salway@sheffield.ac.uk 

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.