Cheapest Universities in the UK to Study a PhD

The cost of education in the UK today has risen to become one of the highest in the world. This has caused students from the UK to look for doctorate education in cheaper countries, and UK students to seek the cheapest available courses. This has brought us to create a comparison of the cheapest universities in the UK to study a PhD.

The United Kingdom has a prestigious educational system with numerous opportunities for international students to pursue PhD studies. With at least 20 UK universities consistently ranking in the top 100 universities in the world annually based on the QS World University Ranking, the United Kingdom is not short of options for international PhD students to live their dreams.

When considering post-graduate study, one of the main concerns for students may be the cost and students prefer countries with affordable postgraduate programs. Although getting funding for a PhD can be extremely difficult, any student who is self-funding (or partially self-funding) their education will be interested in cutting costs to a minimum.

One obvious way to do this is to choose a university with low tuition fees. However, it might also be possible to save money on the cost of living by moving to the cheapest cities for students where housing and other living expenses are low. This can help offset the difference in tuition fees between one university and another.

So the main thing a student considering the cost of a PhD should do is to weigh up some options for reducing both tuition fees and the cost of living, in order to arrive at a feasible plan for self-funded post-graduate study.

Why Study PhD in the UK?

There are many reasons to study a PhD in the UK.

  • Accredited courses are available in a wide range of subjects, and international students can receive funding.
  • A UK education will boost your English language skills and provide you with an understanding of UK culture, which is valuable for students intending to work in the UK or for UK organizations in their home countries.
  • The UK is also a very multicultural country; most UK universities have a wide mix of nationalities on campus, and it is easy for students to make friends.
  • International students in the UK are permitted to work up to 20 hours a week during term time, opening further opportunities to develop their skills and earn extra income.
  • International students often discover that a PhD in the UK is cheaper and takes less time than in other countries. This is reflected in the high completion rates for UK PhD students, making it more likely that you will achieve your goal.

Related: Getting a PhD in the UK vs Getting a PhD in the USA

Cheapest Universities in the UK to Study a PhDTop 10 Cheapest Universities in the UK for PhD Studies

When applying for a PhD program, it is crucial to take into account the financial aspect of funding, fees, and general cost of living. Pursuing doctoral studies in the UK may come with a hefty price tag, but rest assured, there are list of inexpensive universities in the UK that are cost-effective alternatives.

On average, a PhD in the UK costs around £20,000; nonetheless, this amount can be higher for international students. Fortunately, various universities offer reduced fees and living expenses. To assist aspiring PhD students in their decision-making process, we have compiled a list of ten UK universities where the overall cost is noticeably lower than the national average.

Note:

This information was put together with data collected from various official university websites. These are approximate estimates and are subject to changes in future years. Please contact the universities directly for the most up-to-date information on fees for specific PhD projects.

  1. University of Chester
  2. University of Cumbria
  3. Leeds Trinity University
  4. Wrexham University
  5. Staffordshire University
  6. Teesside University
  7. Leeds Beckett University
  8. London Metropolitan University
  9. The University of Bolton
  10. University of Bedfordshire

See why we have chosen these schools as the Cheapest Universities in the UK for PhD programs.

#1. University of Chester

The University of Chester is a doctoral college with dedicated support to assist you throughout your PhD. At the University of Chester, postgraduate research students can undertake full-time or part-time study with a number of fully-funded PhD studentships annually leading to an MPhil or PhD.

With a total cost for their full-time PhDs reaching just over £13,000 for international students and nearly £5,000 for home students per year, Chester is a fantastic choice for postgraduate study. When compared to the national average, the University of Chester tops our list of most inexpensive universities in the UK for PhD Studies.

Full-Time Tuition Fees:

  • Home Students: £4,712
  • International Students: £13,643

Check out the current fee list here.

#2. University of Cumbria

The University of Cumbria came into existence in 2007 as a result of a merger between St. Martin’s College, Cumbria Institute of the Arts, and The Cumbrian campus of UCL. However, the institutes that came together to form the university have a long history in education that goes back more than 150 years.

See: Introduction To UK PhD Loan

With over 1,000 overseas students from more than 50 countries living in the city and studying at the university, the University of Cumbria is a fantastic place to broaden your cultural experiences as well as find a fantastic PhD program.

All full-time international postgraduate students are welcome to apply for a new Cumbria bursary worth up to £1,000 off their tuition fees, and some students might be eligible for the alumni loyalty discount for £1,000 off the course if they have studied at Cumbria for a previous undergraduate degree.

Full-Time Tuition Fees:

  • Home Students: £4,740
  • International Students: £14,600

Check out the current fee list here.

#3. Leeds Trinity University

Since earning its full university status in 2012, Leeds Trinity University has been one of the most affordable universities in the UK to study a PhD while offering high-quality learning and teaching ever since. The institution is strongly committed to offering top-notch education at reasonably priced rates, making it a highly competitive option compared to other institutions.

Despite its cost-effectiveness, Leeds Trinity has earned a prestigious reputation for its academic prowess, providing rigorous research programs across a wide range of disciplines. The university offers various financial support opportunities, such as scholarships and bursaries, to assist students throughout their doctoral studies.

Full-Time Tuition Fees:

  • International Students: £12,500

Check out the current fee list here.

#4. Wrexham University

Wrexham University hosts many international students and boasts a strong student support system. Due to its age, Wrexham University is considered a minor public university, which is reflected in its tuition fees. The university offers a PhD in anything from Art and Design to Computer Science and Engineering.

The full-time duration of the course is 3 years and costs £4800 per annum for UK and EU students and £13,500 per annum for international students. If taken on a part-time basis, the course can take from 3-7 years to complete and will cost £1900 per annum for UK and EU students and £6,000 per annum for international students.

With its fantastic fees, Wrexham University is one of the inexpensive universities in the UK for international students to get a doctorate degree.

Full-Time Tuition Fees:

  • International Students: £13,500

Check out the current fee list here.

#5. Staffordshire University

Staffordshire University stands out as one of the top least expensive universities in the United Kingdom for pursuing a doctoral degree. While the annual fee for a PhD program at Staffordshire University is £5,000 for UK/EU students, the field of computing commands a slightly higher cost, as of the time of writing.

Although not one of the cheapest Universities in the UK in terms of tuition fees for international students, Staffordshire University has a range of financial support in terms of discounts, grants and bursaries for international PhD students in the UK.

Full-Time Tuition Fees:

  • Home Students: £4,950
  • International Students: £16,750

Check out the current fee list here.

#6. Teesside University

Teesside University is located in the northeast of England and has grown significantly in the last few years, investing over £270m into its campus. Teesside University has a vibrant and modern campus environment and has recently opened its new campus heart. The university has a good health and life science department and was, in 2009, listed as one of the top 15 institutions in the United Kingdom for health research.

Teesside University is dedicated to offering a secure, inviting, and all-encompassing campus. The aim is to support all individuals within the University community to flourish, irrespective of their age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, marital status, nationality, or any other personal attribute they may possess.

Full-Time Tuition Fees:

  • International Students: £11,750

Check out the current fee list here.

#7. Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett University is one of the cheapest in the UK to do your PhD, charging English, Welsh and Scots students $4,786 per year and international students $15,500. This amount covers every expense related to teaching, examinations and assessment. They also offer a range of postgraduate scholarships and discounts, reducing tuition fees further to graduates of Leeds Beckett University (at the time of application) and those with a 2:1 or first-class degree.

Full-Time Tuition Fees:

  • Home Students: £4,786
  • International Students: £15,500

Check out the current fee list here.

#8. London Metropolitan University

London Metropolitan University is placed eighth in our countdown of the affordable universities in the UK to study a PhD. It is situated in London, a prestigious city for study and finances, and has a reputation for providing good value for money compared to other London institutions.

Full-Time Tuition Fees:

  • Home Students: £6,500
  • International Students: £14,500

Check out the current fee list here.

#9. The University of Bolton

The University of Bolton is known for being a friendly, vibrant, and exciting place to be, the university has a good reputation for providing a supportive student environment. All these will make it a comfortable place to pursue your PhD degree. Also, the fee is very affordable, where international students can do their PhD for only £13,550 per year.

The University of Bolton Graduate School offers several scholarships annually for home and overseas students. These include the Research and International PhD Scholarship which provides up to 150 students with £1,000 to help with research and course costs and a further 50 International students with a £2,000 fee waiver.

Full-Time Tuition Fees:

  • Home Students: £5,100
  • International Students: £13,550

Check out the current fee list here.

#10. University of Bedfordshire

The University of Bedfordshire with the fees for international PhD students at £15,700 is the second most expensive university after Staffordshire University at £16,750 for international students in our list of cheapest universities in the UK to study PhD.

The university provides scholarships and bursaries to help ease the financial burden of pursuing a PhD. The combination of low tuition fees and financial support makes Bedfordshire an appealing choice for individuals seeking a doctoral degree while being conscious of their budget.

Full-Time Tuition Fees:

  • Home Students: £5,550
  • International Students: £15,700

Check out the current fee list here.

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