Residential Eligibility Requirements

ESRC studentships are open to both Home (UK) and International candidates. However, DTPs are limited to awarding a maximum of 30% of studentships per cohort to International students. 

Students will be classed as having a status of 'Home' or 'International' for ESRC funding.  To be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria and the associated residency requirements:

  • Be a UK National (and meet residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (and meet residency requirement) or,
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student. Further details about eligibility are available on the website for UKRI, the umbrella organisation for UK Research Councils (including ESRC).

Please note that DTP staff are unable to provide individualised advice on eligibility during the application process. 

Value of Studentship 

Students will receive a stipend to support living costs, set at the Research Councils annual rate (£18,622 in 2023-24 for 12 months). They will also have their course fees covered for the period of the award.

Awards do not cover visa, international health surcharges (IHS), nor travel costs for international students.

Residency Requirements

UK National

The UK includes the United Kingdom and Islands (i.e. the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man). In terms of residency requirements for UK nationals, for courses starting from 1 August 2021, candidates will continue to be eligible for home fee status as long as:

  • they were living in the EEA or Switzerland on 31 December 2020, and have lived in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK or Gibraltar for at least the last 3 years before starting a course in the UK
  • have lived continuously in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK or Gibraltar between 31 December 2020 and the start of the course
  • the course starts before 1 January 2028

This will not apply to Irish nationals living in the UK and Ireland whose right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals under the Common Travel Area arrangement.

EU Settlement Scheme

EU, EEA or Swiss citizens can apply to the  EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If successful, applicants will get either settled or pre-settled status. Those with pre-settled status will qualify as a home student if they have 3 years residency in the UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland immediately before the start of their course.

Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or Indefinite leave to enter (ILE)

Candidates with ILR or ILE can continue to live in the UK without applying to the EU Settlement Scheme. Those with Indefinite leave to enter (ILE) or remain (ILR) will qualify as a home student if they have 3 years residency in the UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland immediately before the start of their course.

International Student

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student.

Temporary absence

A UK national may have spent an extended period living outside the UK, either for study or employment and still be eligible for home fee status. Candidates in these circumstances are required to show that they have maintained a relevant connection with their home country and therefore claim that the absence was temporary.

ESRC Award Conditions

All study undertaken as part of the ESRC award must be carried out within the UK, except as part of overseas fieldwork which is an integral part of the study, or conferences and training. Students must be resident close to the University at which they are registered and may not, for example, write up their thesis whilst resident outside the UK during the period of their ESRC award. This applies to full-time and part-time students. 

All students are expected to conduct "Research in Practice" via a placement during the Doctoral phase of studies. Students will need to organise this themselves and the DTP can offer support in identifying and planning an appropriate placement.

Part-time studentships are not available to applicants who expect to hold a full-time job while studying. They are also generally only available to students who do not need a visa to study in the UK, as most part-time programmes are not eligible for visa sponsorship. 

In a small number of cases students may not be eligible for the full length of funding if they have previously received government funding for postgraduate study.

Prior Study

In order to receive an ESRC studentship you must have qualifications or experience equal to the standard of a good undergraduate honours degree at a first or upper second class level from a UK research organisation. A Masters qualification is not a prerequisite for the award of a studentship from the Grand Union DTP. All pathways have routes through them for students without a Masters, with training designed for individuals, based on an assessment of their prior learning and training needs.

If you have already been awarded a Masters degree in the Social Sciences, you should apply for the Doctoral programme, ESRC Masters funding will normally only be awarded to students who do not already have a Social Sciences Masters. Please contact the pathway lead for further guidance. 

Progression Requirements

For students awarded a Masters plus PhD/DPhil funding package (i.e. 1+3.5, 2+2.5), continuation of the studentship after the Masters programme is dependent on gaining admission to a doctoral programme that is valid for the ESRC accredited training pathway on which the studentship commenced. The Masters and doctoral phases must be consecutive.