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Postgraduate Fees and Funding

Below are some of the most relevant postgraduate funding opportunities for English Studies. Please consult the Faculty of Arts postgraduate funding pages for up-to-date fees information and additional funding opportunities as well as general Scholarships. 

On this page you will find information about:


MA funding

Alumni fee discount

Durham alumni qualify for a 25% discount on tuition fees (home or overseas) for any taught postgraduate programme in the Arts and Humanities Faculty. Please see the Faculty website for further information.

Faculty MA Bursary

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities awards a small number of MA Bursaries to students of exceptional ability. They are looking for:

  1. a first-class or very good 2:1 undergraduate degree;
  2. outstanding research potential;
  3. a high-quality research/dissertation project;
  4. a firm intention to progress to doctoral study.

Visit the Faculty website for further details.

N.B. Candidates wishing to apply for the Faculty MA Bursary must submit their applications to the university by Wednesday 5th January 2022. 

PhD funding

A range of awards are available to support PhD researchers in the Department of English Studies. These awards are highly competitive and require applicants to demonstrate evidence of outstanding potential and a very strong academic performance to date. The Department of English Studies has an excellent track record of success in securing PhD funding, and we will work closely with applicants to support them throughout the application process.

Applying for a PhD place

In every case the first step is to complete an online application form to secure a place on the PhD programme. You will normally require a good honours degree (at least a 2:1) or its equivalent from a recognised University, and a Masters degree from a recognised University. 

You can apply through the Applicant Portal. You will be required to submit a research proposal outlining the project that you intend to undertake. The quality, originality, and significance of your proposed project are key criteria in assessing applications, so it is vitally important to ensure that your proposal is as high-quality as possible if you are to stand a realistic chance of success. We strongly recommend that you seek feedback on your proposal from your prospective supervisor well in advance of applying, allowing sufficient time to revise it in the light of the prospective supervisor’s recommendations. See the Vitae guidelines on preparing a research proposal.

When submitting your application you will need to include a piece of written work approximately 1,200 words in length on a literary subject. This can be any piece of work you have completed during the last year or two. 

We welcome applications from overseas students, who should be proficient in spoken and written English: normally a minimum of 7.0 in IELTS (with no component less than 7.0) or equivalent in other language tests accepted by Durham.

Funding awards

If you wish to be considered for any of the below awards, please specify this when applying for your PhD place (at the point where you are asked how you will fund your studies). There are four main funding schemes for PhD studies in the Department of English Studies:

Please note that if you apply for AHRC Northern Bridge funding, you will automatically be entered for the Durham Doctoral Studentships and Wolfson schemes. The Durham Doctoral Scholarships and Wolfson processes happen alongside Northern Bridge to allow for candidates to stay in all three competitions for as long as possible.

Applicants for these schemes must have made a PhD application to Durham by the dates listed below.

Deadlines for submission of PhD applications for funding (October 2022 intake):


Funding type

Wednesday 12 January 2022

AHRC Northern Bridge

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Durham Doctoral Scholarships

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarships in the Humanities

Wednesday 12 January 2022

China Scholarship Council (CSC) Scholarships

Contact us

PhD admissions queries can be sent to

Research Assistantships

The Department regularly sets up several small Research Assistantships, partly to offer research students in Durham training in subject specific skills. Research Students are paid (£300-500) to help with the research project of a member of staff.


Many of our students are able to combine study with part-time work. The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre is able to help students to find and apply for local jobs in and around Durham and Stockton.

For Taught students from the UK, who are studying full time and self-financing, the University offers the opportunity to apply for a Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan to cover the cost of fees.

Further Information

For all further enquiries about applying for admission and applying for the funding schemes, please contact