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.


Thinking about PhD study? Hear from our PGR Director and the PGR Admissions Tutor

This video is from our PhD study virtual event. It will answer a range of questions, such as:

  • What is a PhD?
  • What does a PhD involve?

  • How do I apply?

  • What funding is available and how do I apply for it?

The event was led by the PGR Director, Dr Kate Weiner, and the PGR Admissions Tutor, Dr Laura Connelly. Kate and Laura were joined by two current PhD students, Danica and Yingzi.

Postgraduate research tuition fees

Home 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

All scholarship applications are made through the University's Postgraduate Online Application Form. When you start the application, you will see a drop down box that asks you which scholarship/s you are interested in. You should tick all that apply. The system will then open the appropriate application form based on your selection.

Scholarship Opportunities for 2023/24 entry

The deadline for scholarship applications for PhD study in the department of Sociological Studies is 11th January 2023. This is a strict deadline. See how to apply for further details. You must have a study offer in place to be considered for a scholarship.

The scholarship opportunities can be found below:

Sheffield–China Scholarships Council PhD Scholarship Programme

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 University of Sheffield will fund tuition fees for 3.5 years. Students are expected to submit their thesis within this period. CSC will fund a grant for living costs for up to 4 years, and one return flight from China to the UK.

Find out more

University of Sheffield Research Scholarships

Faculties can offer a range of University of Sheffield Research Scholarships which may include all or some of:

  • Fees (UK or Overseas) and a full maintenance stipend at the UKRI rate (currently £17,668 for 2022/23)
  • Fees (UK or Overseas) and a half or partial maintenance stipend
  • Fees only (UK or Overseas)
  • A contribution towards fees and/or maintenance stipend
  • Access to Research Support funds for conference and other expenses

These scholarships fund up to three and a half years full-time or seven years part-time study, subject to satisfactory progress.

Part-time studentships are paid at 50% of the full-time rate.

Applicants to the Faculty of Social Science must ensure that they complete the additional 'Scholarship Application' section of the Postgraduate Online Application Form.

White Rose ESRC DTP AQM Open Competition Scholarships

The White Rose ESRC DTP will also offer four Advanced Quantitative Methods Awards for entry in 2023-24. Both 1+3 and +3 students are eligible for nomination. Further information about each of these award schemes can be found on the WRDTP website. Please direct queries to: enquiries@wrdtp.ac.uk

WRoCAH AHRC DTP Open Competition Scholarships

For further information on the White Rose and WRoCAH opportunities, see the Faculty of Social Sciences page ‘Funding your PhD’ and the ESRC White Rose Social Science DTP scholarships page

Centre for Doctoral Training in New Horizons in Borders and Bordering

The Global Challenges Centre for Doctoral Training provides a stimulating interdisciplinary environment for students to research a key global challenge. There are 6 projects for students starting their PhD in the 2023 - 2024 academic year. These projects sit under two key themes: New Horizons in Borders and Bordering and Emerging Urban Inequalities . 

Funding is available for three and a half years for fees and a stipend at the standard research council rate (£17,669 per annum for 2022 entry).  Funding is available for two home fee paying studentships and one international fee paying studentship for the New Horizons in Borders and Bordering theme. 

The following projects are available in the New Horizons in Borders and Bordering CDT:

  • Project 1: Migrant youth activisms: de-bordering practices and urban solidarities in re-imagining the city
  • Project 2: Transnational lives and re-crossing borders: memory, place and belonging
  • Project 3: Information and communication technologies and the datafication of migration: between border control and resistance

Please see here for the scholarship advert and more information about applying.

NIHR Doctoral Fellowship

The National Institute for Health and Care Research has launched the 9th round of Doctoral Fellowships. The NIHR Doctoral Fellowship is a three year full-time award that supports individuals to undertake a PhD in an area of NIHR research.

See the NIHR website for more information.

Wellcome Doctoral Training Centre in Public Health Economics and Decision Science

Applications are now open for seven fully-funded PhD studentships in the University of Sheffield's Wellcome Doctoral Training Centre in Public Health Economics and Decision Science starting in September 2023. Each year, we recruit seven of the brightest and most enthusiastic graduates to a four-year programme from disciplines including health sciences, psychology, sociology, politics, mathematics, statistics, economics, systems engineering, business studies and geography who want to make a difference to population health. 

For more information about the programme, please see the website and the jobs.ac.uk advert.  

Students can apply to two application windows this year with the deadlines on 16th December 2022 and 17th March 2023.  Home applicants can apply during either window but international applicants must apply before the December deadline. 

EPSRC Fully Funded Studentship

Applications are now open for a fully funded PhD Studentship. While based in the Information School, the student will be supervised 50/50 by staff in the iSchool and the Department of Sociological Studies. The project will be multidisciplinary and offers excellent opportunities to develop knowledge and skills in quantitative (e.g., Natural Language Processing, Data Science) and qualitative (e.g., discourse analysis, thematic analysis) research methods.

The project, titled 'Tweeting about thorny choices: using large-scale Natural Language Processing to analyse public debates about decision-making in healthcare',  will develop novel Natural Language Processing methods of argumentation mining on Twitter. It will combine these with thematic and discourse analysis to mine and analyse the largest COVID-19 Twitter dataset.

Find out more and apply here

ESRC Centre for Care Studentship

The ESRC Centre for Care is offering two PhD studentships based in the Department of Sociological Studies. 

Studentship 1: The impact of digital technologies on care and caring relationships

The PhD will focus on a key area of policy and practice in UK social care: the role of digital technologies in caring contexts and arrangements. It will be situated within the Centre’s Digital Care theme which explores the barriers, benefits and risks associated with the use of the latest digital technologies in care policy and practice. The PhD research will examine the implications of digital technologies — including care-specific and commercially available devices – on care and relationships, with a particular focus on how people configure or combine technologies to support ‘good’ care and wellbeing at points of transition (e.g. particular lifecourse events, across different care settings). The methodology will include a range of qualitative methods e.g. interviews, observations, diaries and network mapping.

The deadline is 6 March 2023.

Find out more here

Studentship 2:  An Intersectional Analysis of Unpaid Care

This PhD will focus on the intersectionality of unpaid care, with scope to explore the profile of care and caring, wellbeing outcomes, and the impact of support; and how these vary over time and place. The research will be conducted using a range of advanced quantitative methods on large-scale nationally representative data that track individuals over time and capture changes in life circumstances, unpaid caregiving and wellbeing outcomes. This work will provide insights into important inequalities in care and caring trajectories according to these characteristics and establish an evidence base for support and interventions. The findings will provide policy makers and practitioners with evidence to better understand the implications of unpaid caring and care on inequalities.

The deadline is 6 March 2023.

Find out more here

 WRDTP collaborative scholarship

The Department of Sociological Studies is offering a funded PhD studentship under the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (WRDTP) Collaborative Awards Scheme.

PhD Studentship: Sex Work, Digital Rights and Freedoms: Creating Safer Online Working Environments Across Europe.

Digital technologies have dramatically reshaped how sexual services are bought and sold, with the digitalisation of sex work gathering pace as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the shift to digital platforms has brought benefits to sex workers, emergent forms of both online and ‘digitally mediated’ sex work transform the existing challenges for sex workers and introduce new difficulties.

This collaborative project in partnership with the European Sex Workers’ Rights Alliance (ESWA) will support ESWA’s ongoing work to ensure that the experiences and rights of sex workers are fully recognised and protected in discussions and measures to safeguard digital freedoms and privacy. The studentship will explore how sex workers experience the laws and policies governing digital platforms across Europe, and what changes may be required to the regulation of digital sex work platforms.

The successful candidate will benefit from supervision from Dr Laura Connelly (University of Sheffield), Professor Kate Hardy (University of Leeds) and Luca Stevenson (ESWA). Although based in Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield, the successful candidate will have strong links with the University of Leeds Business School. They will have access to a range of development opportunities, including through the WRDTP Data, Communication and New Technologies Pathway. The successful candidate will also undertake three placements at ESWA.

The deadline is 27th March 2023

Read more and apply here


Funding opportunities for international students

The University holds a range of funding opportunities for international PhD applicants.

Where country specific scheme exist, they will be listed on the country pages here.

Our PhD finder also lets students search by funding status here.

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.