Study Destination

Study PhD in UK: Complete Guide for International Students

Yocket Editorial Team

“How to pursue a Ph.D. in the UK?” is a common question asked by International students.

Are you one of them, exploring the prospects of pursuing a Ph.D. in the UK in 2024? Then look no further! The UK boasts renowned research-intensive universities with exceptional infrastructure, offering fully funded Ph.D. opportunities to international students. Whether you're aiming for a comprehensive guide on Ph.D. courses, universities, costs, or the prerequisites to embark on this academic journey, we've got you covered! Delve into the details and insights to discover more about pursuing a Ph.D. in the UK.

If you are looking for Ph.D. opportunities in the UK, Yocket is here to guide you through everything. And by everything, we mean - cost breakdowns to admission requirements, university shortlisting to visa interviews. Explore the comprehensive guide you need for your academic aspirations in 2024. For personalized assistance, connect with Yocket counselors right now!

Table of Contents

An Overview of the PhD Program in UK

Embarking on a Ph.D. journey in the UK means diving into an immersive research experience that combines top-tier academic standards with industrial partnerships. Generally spanning three years, the UK's Ph.D. programs culminate with a thesis submission, often completed 12 months before the official program conclusion. While individual universities may tailor their programs, the key advantages of pursuing a Ph.D. in the UK are significant and multifaceted:

Ph.D. Course Duration in the UK

3-4 years

Average Tuition Fee

£15,000 to £20,000 per year

INR 1327,410 to INR 17,69,880 per year

Mode of study

Full-time or part-time

Popular Ph.D. Course in UK

Computer Science, Engineering and Technology, Paramedic Sciences, Law, Social Science, Architecture, etc.

Top Universities for PhD in Uk

University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, London School of Economics and Political Science

Making decisions about shortlisting universities for your Ph.D. can be quite a challenge, but worry not, we're here to simplify the process for you! Whether you're swaying between a "Yes," "No," or "Maybe," our experts can guide you through this critical phase of your academic journey, offering personalized advice to help you find the perfect match among the top Ph.D. programs in the UK

Why Study PhD in the UK?

The decision to pursue a Ph.D. in a UK university carries substantial benefits and opportunities, making it a highly favored destination for international students, especially for those from India. Let's dive into the reasons that make the UK an ideal choice for a doctoral degree:

  • Academic Excellence: With over 10 universities in the top 100 worldwide, the UK is a prestigious hub for academic excellence, offering superior research facilities and quality education.
  • Supportive Government Initiatives: The UK government's introduction of a 3-year post-study work visa and extended studentships for international researchers seeking Ph.D. is a promising development that supports and encourages global scholars.
  • Cultural Diversity: Engaging in a Ph.D. program in the UK grants students the chance to immerse themselves in a rich and diverse cultural milieu, creating an enriching and vibrant academic experience.
  • Vast Career Opportunities: Upon completing a Ph.D. from globally recognized universities in the UK, students gain access to a wide array of career prospects, spanning commercial research, academic pursuits, and business-oriented roles.

The UK stands as a beacon of academic brilliance, offering a wealth of possibilities for international scholars, making it an ideal choice for those seeking to excel in their doctoral pursuits.

What are the Job Opportunities after Studying in UK?

Further, let’s check the top PhD courses in UK through this infographic.

Why Study PhD in UK?

Moving on, here is a quick look at the types of PhDs a student can pursue in UK.

Types of PhD Programs in UK

Exploring the types of Ph.D. programs in the UK opens up a range of options for international students seeking advanced research and academic pursuits:

  • Standard Ph.D.: This foundational type involves the student proposing, conducting, and documenting research in the form of a thesis. It's widely available across many UK universities.
  • Integrated Ph.D.: Combining a one-year Master of Research (MRes) with a subsequent three-year standard Ph.D., the Integrated Ph.D. offers students numerous educational prospects and is offered in over 30 UK universities.
  • Professional Ph.D.: Geared towards providing extensive employment opportunities, the professional Ph.D., primarily in engineering, science, and medical fields, is highly sought after by international students.
  • Distance Learning Ph.D.: Tailored for part-time or busy international students, this program accommodates flexible schedules and can typically be completed within 5-6 years.
  • Ph.D. by Publication: This unique Ph.D. type is often available to a university's alumni, enabling students to submit their own published works or articles, with word counts ranging between 5,000-20,000 each.

To embark on a Ph.D. journey in the UK, international students must meet specific admission criteria, which vary among institutions. Understanding these requirements is crucial for a successful application.

Best Masters Universities in UK!

Eligibility and Admission Requirements to Study PhD in the UK

What is the Ph.D. eligibility in the UK? The admission requirements for a Ph.D. in the UK for Indian students differ between the universities and the course you wish to pursue. Let us check out the basic requirements to apply at Ph.D. universities in the UK:

Let us now talk about these Ph.D. requirements UK briefly!

Phd In London

Masters Degree and Academic Transcripts

The most basic requirement to apply for a Ph.D. in the UK is to have a master's degree in a related field, with academic transcripts for each level of study. Some universities may ask for only a bachelor's degree, which entirely depends on a case-by-case basis.

Research Proposal

A research proposal is a document that is asked by a majority of universities admitting students for their Ph.D. programs. A research proposal should have the topic you wish to research, the intention of the research, and a plan on how the research would be conducted.

English Proficiency Test Scores

It is essential for you, as an international student, to have English proficiency proof in terms of IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, or other tests. The minimum IELTS requirement for a Ph.D. in the UK for Indian students is a score of 7.0 or above.

Additional Documents

Additional documents like the statement of purpose, work experience, and recommendation letters will add more value to your overall application.

Find out the Difference Between IELTS and TOEFL

Now that you are aware of the requirements, let us take a quick look at the application process for Ph.D. in the UK.

Application Process for PhD in UK

How to apply for a Ph.D. in the UK? The application process for Ph.D. admission in the UK is quite simple to pursue. Here is a quick look at the steps you need to follow:

  • Choose your discipline and a university to start your research in the UK.
  • Submit the application form along with the application fee.
  • Submit all the required documents and requirements asked by the particular university.
  • Create a research proposal to be submitted along with all the documents.
  • Find a supervisor to start your doctoral degree.
  • Apply for a scholarship or financial aid, if available at the university.
  • Wait for the admission decision.

Note: Finding a supervisor can be a cumbersome job, and so universities assist you in the same. Also, know that you may not get the supervisor that you had asked for, universities take these decisions on a case-by-case basis.

How to Create an SOP for PhD?

Another important factor that impacts your decision to study abroad is Ph.D. fees in UK. So, let us briefly take a look at the cost of studying for and Ph.D. Scholarships UK.

Cost of Purusing PhD in the UK

The cost of pursuing a Ph.D. in the UK varies for domestic, EU, and international students. The annual cost for Domestic or EU students generally comes around £6,000 (INR 5,30,964), while for international students it is typically between £16,000 (14,15,904)to £24,000 (INR 21,23,856) per year.

In addition to tuition fees, students need to account for living expenses. On average, monthly living costs for students in the UK fall within the range of £1,100 (INR 97,343) to £1,300 (1,15,042). The actual expenses fluctuate based on individual lifestyle choices and the city of residence.

Breakdown of the Cost of Living in UK for International Students

For international students, scholarships, bursaries, and studentships are common forms of financial assistance provided by various UK universities. These financial aids significantly ease the financial load for students pursuing Ph.D. programs in the UK.

Scholarships to Study PhD in UK for International Students

To assist Indian students aiming for a Ph.D. in the UK, numerous scholarships are available. These scholarships play a pivotal role in supporting their academic endeavors and minimizing the financial burden. Our compiled list encompasses these prestigious scholarship opportunities, empowering students with crucial financial aid options


Awarded to

Amount/ Benefits

Oxford Indira Gandhi Graduate Scholarships

Indian nationals on a Merit basis for pursuing a DPhil in areas of interdisciplinary research

Course fees and living costs are covered

Ertegun Scholarship program in Humanities through Oxford University

Students pursuing a DPhil in humanities

£15,609 (INR 13,81,302) + full course fees

Gates Cambridge

Non-EU students enrolled in a postgraduate program

£17,500 (INR 15,48,645)+ full course fees + two air tickets + visa

President’s Ph.D. Scholarship Scheme through Imperial College London

High-Performing master students with excellent academic performance and research potential

Full tuition fees + £21,800 (INR 19,29,169) per annum for 3.5 years

Edinburgh Doctoral Scholarships

Students showcasing outstanding merit and research potential

University tuition fee + stipend of £15,609 (INR 13,81,302) per annum

All-about Scholarships for International Students in UK!

Now that we have all the details regarding studying Ph.D. in the UK, let us take a look at the top universities in the UK for the program.

Top 5 Universities in UK for Ph.D.

The UK, being a nation known for its high standards in the field of research, is very much preferred by international students. Most of the Ph.D. universities in the UK are renowned for their research outputs. We have curated a list of the top Ph.D. universities for you below:

Let us check out the details about these universities:

1. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford has received innumerable accolades for various parameters in groundbreaking research, innovation, and academic excellence. The university provides international students willing to pursue a Ph.D. in the UK with an environment that is extremely beneficial and highly valuable across nations.

QS World University Rankings 2024


Popular Programs

DPhil Socio-Legal Research, DPhil Theoretical Physics, DPhil Clinical Medicine, DPhil Archaeology

Average tuition fee

£28,650/ year

INR 25,35,353/year

2. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is known for its research practices around the globe. The majority of international applicants receive Ph.D. scholarships in the UK through the University of Cambridge. Besides, this university also offers funded research projects to international students.

QS World University Rankings 2024


Popular Programs

Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Ph.D. Mathematics, Ph.D. Clinical Neurosciences, Ph.D. Zoology, Ph.D. Physics

Average tuition fee

£33,972/ year

INR 30,06,318/year

3. Imperial College London

The Imperial College London is known to focus exclusively on subjects like sciences, business, medicine, and engineering. Having research impact as the top priority since 1907, Imperial College London should be one of your top choices for a fully funded Ph.D. in the UK for international students.

QS World University Rankings 2024


Popular Programs

Ph.D. Design Engineering, Ph.D. Immunology and Inflammation, Ph.D. Mathematics

Average tuition fee

£26,500/ year

INR 23,45,091/year

Ph.D. Universities in the UK

4. University College London

Greatest industrial contacts, excellent collaborations, partnerships with nations across the world, and top-class research infrastructure is what sums up my Ph.D. at University College London. Home to more than 20,000 graduate students from around 150 countries, UCL is also known internationally for its employment opportunities after research.

QS World University Rankings 2024


Popular Programs

Ph.D. Behavioural Science and Health, Ph.D. Chemistry, Ph.D. Architectural Design, Ph.D. Financial Economics

Average tuition fee

£25,730/ year

INR 22,76,950/year

5. University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh is ranked 4th in UK for research and is one of the best universities offering several fully funded Ph.D. UK programs. With various partnerships across the globe, it offers numerous career opportunities for students completing their Ph.D... Students can opt for a pre-defined Ph.D. project or develop their own research idea.

QS World University Rankings 2024


Popular Programs

Ph.D. Accounting, Ph.D. Finance, Ph.D. Engineering, Ph.D. Informatics, Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Average tuition fee

£23,350 year

INR 20,66,334/year

Chevening Scholarships in UK 2024!

Studying at these top universities in UK will ensure that you have a promising future. Let us take a look at the career opportunities after a Ph.D. in the UK.

Career Opportunities after Pursuing PhD in the UK

Though the Ph.D. cost UK is quite high, so are the returns. Ph.D. graduates from the UK are seen performing commercial research post-graduation in various fields like education, science, technology, medicine, and others. Students are also seen working in the private sector performing research for business organisations, apart from working for academia or pursuing even higher research.

For a better understanding of what careers post Ph.D. in UK look like, we have tabulated the salaries for various Ph.D. job profiles below:

Job profile

Average Annual Salary

Senior Economist

£64,000 (INR 56,63,616)

Data Scientist

£52,000 (INR 46,01,688)

Senior Software Engineer

£70,900 (INR 62,74,224)

Associate Professor

£62,000 (INR 54,86,628)

Research Scientist

£46,000 (INR 40,70,724)

The United Kingdom, with an average salary of £49,825 (INR 44,09,213), remains a premier destination for pursuing a Ph.D. Its allure isn't solely based on the promising financial returns but also on the accessibility of numerous scholarships for international students. The UK consistently stands at the pinnacle of choices for those seeking a rewarding academic future. For additional guidance and personalized support on your study abroad journey, our counselors are available through Yocket premium subscription – ensuring you're equipped with the best resources for your educational endeavors.

: How to Obtain a Post-study Work Permit in UK?

From the Desk of Yocket

For international students aspiring to pursue a Ph.D. in the UK, navigating the educational landscape and requirements can be complex. At Yocket, we've meticulously crafted a comprehensive guide to assist students in understanding the intricacies of pursuing a Ph.D. in the UK. Our aim is to provide valuable insights into the UK's educational system, requirements, and potential opportunities for international students. This guide is tailored to support and assist students in making well-informed decisions throughout their Ph.D. journey in the UK.

Embarking on your Ph.D. journey in the UK? It's not too late for 2024. Dive into our comprehensive guide, tailored for international students aiming for a successful Ph.D. in the UK. Apply with Yocket now to secure your spot for 2024 and seize invaluable insights on academic requirements, opportunities, and more. Trust Yocket to be your guiding light through this crucial academic pursuit and set the stage for your Ph.D. aspirations in the UK.

Frequently Asked Questions about PhD in UK

Which are the top universities for PhD in UK?

How much does a PhD in UK cost?

Is it easy to get a job after pursuing a PhD in UK?

What are the popular courses to pursue PhD in UK?

What is the minimum average grade requirement for masters to pursue PhD in UK?

Articles you might like