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PhD in UK for Indian Students

As one of the top study destinations, the United Kingdom stands tall among the world’s most research-intensive universities. A stellar research infrastructure, as well as efficient and good research outputs, all contribute to a successful PhD in the United Kingdom. In addition, leading institutions are well-known for providing fully financed PhD in UK to overseas students, which means a PhD that is wholly paid by a grant or scholarship.

If you are an international student seeking information about a PhD. courses and their universities in the United Kingdom, we have you covered! Continue reading to learn more about PhD costs in the UK, as well as prerequisites, eligibility, and much more!

  • A master’s degree with a minimum of 70% is required to enter the PhD program.
  • Some of the finest colleges in the UK, however, exclusively allow applications from individuals with a 4-year bachelor’s (honours) degree.
  • Under the guidance of a professor, students are obliged to do independent and original research on a certain topic.
  • Aspirants can apply for various scholarships in the UK for overseas students, including studentships, grants from UK Research and Innovation, and more.
  • The prospects available to graduates of UK institutions are many. Almost 87% of PhD students begin working following graduation, with an annual salary of 42,220 GBP (43.7 Lakh INR).

PhD in UK: Highlights

Here are the major benefits of doing PhD in UK:

PhD. Duration in UK 3-4 years
Average Tuition Fee £15,000 to £20,000/ year
Mode of study Full time or part-time
Popular PhD Course in UK Computer Science, Engineering and Technology, Paramedic Sciences, Law, Social Science, Architecture, etc.
The top Universities University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, London School of Economics and Political Science.

What is a PhD?

A PhD is an internationally recognised postgraduate academic degree offered by universities and higher education organisations to candidates who have completed considerable and unique research in their chosen subject. PhD degrees differ based on where you are and what subject you are studying.

However, in general, the PhD is the highest degree a student may obtain (with some exceptions). It normally comes after a master’s degree, while some universities enable students to go straight to a PhD after completing their bachelor’s degree. Some universities will also allow you to ‘upgrade’ or ‘fast-track’ your master’s degree to a Ph.D. if you have the appropriate grades, knowledge, skills, and research ability.

A PhD traditionally entails three to four years of full-time study during which the student completes a major piece of original research that is submitted as a thesis or dissertation. Some PhD schools accept a portfolio of published articles, while others also demand coursework.

In addition, students must perform a ‘viva voce,’ or oral defence of their PhD. This can be done with a small group of examiners or in front of a large panel of examiners (both usually last between one to three hours). While Ph.D. students have typically been required to study on campus under tight supervision, advances in remote education and e-learning have led to an increase in the number of institutions enrolling part-time and distance-learning PhD students.

Why Study PhD in the UK?

Universities in the United Kingdom do research in all key topic areas, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and so on. In addition, the UK government intends to assist overseas researchers by instituting a three-year post-study visa and extending studentships to international students earning PhDs. This is a primary reason why one should pursue PhD programs in the United Kingdom.

Let us now introduce you to the additional reasons why PhD programs in the UK are so popular among Indian students:

  • Popular Study Destination: With more than ten institutions in the top 100 universities list worldwide, the United Kingdom is a popular study destination for international students.
  • Greatest Research Infrastructure: The United Kingdom is home to some of the world’s best universities. These are famed for their cutting-edge research infrastructure; thus, pursuing a PhD in the UK is a dream come true for overseas students.
  • Various Culture: PhD programs in the United Kingdom give international students the greatest infrastructure/facilities as well as the opportunity to discover diverse cultures.
  • Career and Scope: Studying at one of the world’s most prestigious PhD universities in the United Kingdom will provide you with a rewarding career. Students with a PhD can pursue commercial research, business-oriented research, or academic careers.

Popular PhD Courses in UK

Universities in the United Kingdom feature cutting-edge infrastructure and world-class amenities to support PhD students’ research. Its programs are well-known across the world. As a result, international students find it challenging to select a PhD program that best meets their talents and interests.

The table below lists some of these popular degrees, as well as the colleges that offer them:

Program Universities Fees per Annum (GBP)
PhD in Computer Science University of Oxford, University of Cambridge,

Imperial College London, University College London, KCL

Ph.D. in Medical Science University of Oxford, University College London, University of Cambridge

Newcastle University, University of Manchester

24,000- 32,352
Ph.D. in Engineering University of Cambridge, Oxford, University College London

The University of Manchester, University of Southampton

22,704- 32,352
Ph.D. in Sociology LSE, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge

University of Warwick, University of Manchester

PhD in Law University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, LSE, KCL, UCL 18,740-25,758

Top Universities to study PhD in UK

International students chose the United Kingdom because it is recognised for its excellent standards in the field of research. Most PhD universities in the United Kingdom are well known for their research outputs. We’ve compiled a list of the best PhD programmes for you below:

University QS World Ranking 2023 Average Fees per year
University of Oxford 3 £28,650/ year
University of Cambridge 2 £33,972 / year
Imperial College London 6 £26,500/ year
University College London 8 £25,730/ year
University of Edinburgh 15 £23,350/ year

PhD in UK: Eligibility

While qualifying standards fluctuate significantly amongst colleges, the following are common criteria found at the majority of UK universities:

  • You must have been accepted to study at a UK institution and have received confirmation of acceptance (CAS).
  • In most cases, a PhD applicant must demonstrate strong performance throughout their undergraduate degree. Admission to the PhD program requires an upper second-class honours degree. This must be in an area relevant to the PhD program.
  • International students may be asked to submit a research proposal outlining their research objectives and methodologies.
  • Your PhD program must be full-time or part-time.
  • You must be fluent in the English language. A minimum IELTS score of 7 is required. Other examinations, such as the TOEFL and PTE, with scores of 90 and 60, respectively, are also acceptable.
  • You must be financially capable of paying your fees, or your PhD funding should be granted to cover your tuition and living expenses in the UK.

PhD in UK: Admission Process

  • For PhD aspirants, there is no centralised application portal. As a result, students must send their applications to their desired university’s application portal on their own.
  • A master’s degree or, in some instances, a four-year bachelor’s degree is the minimum qualification needed for admission to a PhD program in the UK. International students may be expected to submit a research proposal outlining their research interests and methodology as part of their application. They must also provide proof of English language in the form of IELTS/TOEFL result sheets.
  • Most institutions require personal statements, letters of recommendation (LORs), and previous academic records to be sent through email.

PhD in the UK: Documents Required

Before proceeding to find out the popular universities for aspirants to study PhD in the UK, let’s quickly go through some of the major requirements to study in the UK which one needs to ensure:

  • A degree comparable to a Masters degree in the United Kingdom or a four-year bachelors (Hons) degree is required.
  • Minimum of 70% in your master’s and bachelor’s degrees.
  • Scorecards for English proficiency examinations such as the TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE Advanced.
Tests Minimum Score Required
PTE 60
  • Research proposal for your PhD.
  • Sample of written/published work
  • Submission essays
  • GMAT/GRE scores
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Letter of Recommendations (LOR)
  • Portfolio (for specific courses)
  • A CV (if applicable)
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Copy of a valid passport
  • UK student visa

How to Apply for PhD in the UK

How can I apply for a PhD in the United Kingdom? The application process for PhD admission in the United Kingdom is relatively basic. Here’s a short rundown of the actions you’ll need to take:

  • Choose a discipline and a university to begin your research in the United Kingdom.
  • Submit the application form and application cost.
  • Submit the needed papers and criteria as specified by the institution.
  • Create a study proposal that will be submitted with all of the documentation.
  • Find a supervisor to help you begin your PhD studies.
  • If your university offers scholarships or financial help, apply for one.
  • Wait for a decision on admittance.

Cost of studying PhD in the UK

The cost of studying for a PhD in the UK for an Indian student ranges from 18 to 36 lakh INR each year; however, this is only a concern for PhD students who are self-funded and pay all costs. PhD students from other countries will be required to pay significantly more. PhD students can get funding from the UK Research Council in the form of a tuition fee grant and a stipend of around £15,000 (INR 14,95,380) to cover living expenses. A significant percentage of PhD students self-fund, and other sources of support include government programs, both British and international governments, businesses, and the university itself.

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