Fees and funding for MPhils and PhDs

Find out how much you should expect to pay for your PhD or MPhil, and what sources of funding you may be able to apply for.

PGR Tuition fees 2024/2025

The following tables show the annual fees payable for the academic year 2024/2025. The fee will increase each year, to the prevailing UK rate of inflation.

Fees for UK students

Full-time fees

Course Annual fee Programme length Minimum registration payment
MPhil £4,786 3 years 1 year
MPhil by Published works £4,786 2 years 1 year
PhD £4,786 4 years 2 years
MPhil/PhD £4,786 4 years 2 years
PhD by Published works £4,786 2 years 1 year

Part-time fees

Course Annual fee Programme length Minimum registration payment
MPhil £2,356 6 years 2 years
MPhil by Published works £2,356 4 years 2 years
PhD £2,356 8 years 4 years
MPhil/PhD £2,356 8 years 4 years
PhD by published works £2,356 4 years 2 years

Fees for EU and International

Full-time fees

Course Annual fee Programme length Minimum registration payment
MPhil £14,500 3 years 1 year
MPhil by Published works £14,500 2 years 1 year
PhD £14,500 4 years 2 years
MPhil/PhD £14,500 4 years 2 years
PhD by Published works £14,500 2 years 1 year

Part-time fees

Course Annual fee Programme length Minimum registration payment
MPhil £7,250 6 years 2 years
MPhil by Published works £7,250 4 years 2 years
PhD £7,250 8 years 4 years
MPhil/PhD £7,250 8 years 4 years
PhD by Published works £7,250 4 years 2 years

For International Students enrolled before July 2018 on an MPhil or PhD, a returning fee rate is applicable: Full-time is £11,204 and part-time is £5,602.

The integrated route is discontinued and the Home/EU part-time rate for current students is £2,410.

Studentships Doctoral stipend minimum level for 2024/25: £19,237 per annum.

Professional Doctorate awards

Post-target fees (writing up) - when reaching the thesis target submission date (see PhD Manager)

For all PGR students (with the exception of professional doctorates) that have not submitted their final thesis for examination by their Target Submission Date are classed as Post Target Fee students and continue to pay tuition fees until thesis submission. Full-time students also have their fees changed to the part-time annual rate (pro-rata).

Intention to submit for examination

Upon approval of their Intention to Submit by the College Research Committee, all PGR students are granted a three-month fee waiver that will be applied to their annual tuition fee. This is referred to as Thesis Completion Fees, and during this period: there is a minimal level of supervision support (i.e., 3 hours maximum per week). After three months of Thesis Completion fees, if the thesis has not been submitted, students return to post-target fees until thesis submission.

Thesis Submission and Withdrawal table - Tuition Fees Adjustment

For all PGR students, the annual fee is payable up to the submission of the thesis for examination as per the table below:

Thesis submission date Number of months Student to pay To be credited
1 August 2024 - 31 August 2024 1 0% 100%
1 September 2024 - 31 October 2024 2 - 3 25% 75%
1 November 2024 - 31 January 2025 4 - 6 50% 50%
1 February 2025 - 30 April 2025 7 - 9 75% 25%
1 May 2025 - 31 July 2025 10 - 12 100% 0%

Following thesis submission, tuition fees will be adjusted to the cut-off point detailed above. There may be outstanding fees still payable for the current academic year, or excess on the account, a refund may be due. Students must check their accounts via UDo or contact University Finance Department for further information (+44 (0) 1332 592742 or email salesledger@derby.ac.uk)

Important tuition fee information

When students first enrol, they are charged a pro-rata amount of the annual fee up to 31 July. Students must pay between 25% and 100% of the fees at the first enrolment depending on when they join the University. If this is not paid, students are not allowed to enrol (for further details please contact the Research Student Office). To secure an unconditional offer, International students are required to pay a non-refundable £8,000 deposit. The deposit is deducted from their tuition fees as they become due at enrolment. If a student's visa application is refused, then the deposit will be refunded in full.

Students will be charged an annual tuition fee in August each year when they re-enrol for that academic year. Students must pay 25% of the fees at re-enrolment. If this is not paid, students will not be allowed to complete re-enrolment and will be withdrawn from their studies. Tuition fees are normally charged in four instalments: 25% at enrolment in August, 25% in November, 25% in February and 25% in May. The University Finance Department will normally send reminders for the instalments. If an invoice is required, students must contact the University Finance Department directly at salesledger@derby.ac.uk.

Payment of fees is only accepted in pounds sterling. When making a payment to the University it is essential that students quote their student number and amount to pay.

Find out more information from the University Finance Department

Other postgraduate research fees

Re-examination involving a viva-voce examination incurs a single fee of £600.

Bench Fees – During the application process, additional fees may be agreed upon and set for each year of a project up to the target submission date. These fees cover expenses such as specialist consumables costs, access to specialist facilities or equipment, etc. and the College will directly invoice students as and when required.

Funding sources

Once you have found your project or developed your research proposal, you will need to think about how you intend to fund your studies, unless your project has funding attached. You should start to do this before you apply. There are several funding options that may be available to you. 

In some cases, you may need to have an offer from us before you can apply for funding, and you will need to have your funding approved before you can enrol, so check the deadlines for your application and enrolment.

Sponsored students must provide proof of sponsorship before they can enrol. This can either be an original letter of authorisation on company-headed paper or a purchase order. The sponsor letter should indicate if the sponsor is willing to pay the tuition fee for a specific year or for the full period of study. Please note that all such letters must be addressed to the University of Derby, signed, and must include the student's name and ID number.

The sponsorship letter must indicate who is paying and the address the invoices should be sent to. The sponsor must pay the full annual tuition fee within 30 days of the student’s enrolment. Sponsors will be sent an invoice for each student sponsored. Invoices should be paid promptly, or the student could be suspended from their studies. Instalment payments are not available to sponsors.

If the sponsor is not resident in the UK or does not have a UK address, then payment of the fees must be made in full at or prior to enrolment. If a sponsor defaults on the payment of fees, liability for the debt will rest with the student. For other methods of payment, please contact the University Finance Department or call +44 (0) 1332 592742.

Should the financial sponsor request annual reports on the student's academic progress, these will be supplied directly to the sponsor at the end of each academic year by the student’s supervisory team and a copy will be sent to the Research Student Office. 

Students who have previously graduated from a Higher Education programme at the University of Derby are eligible for a 10% alumni discount on their PGR studies (this amount is subject to annual review).

Students should contact their respective Director of Studies if they believe they are eligible for a fee discount or fee waiver. All fee discounts and waivers are renewed annually in August and are valid for one year only. Where fee discounts or waivers are applicable, it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the request is submitted on time, following the appropriate process, authorised and presented when enrolling and included in their Annual Progress Review report.

Financial support to staff to achieve Doctoral outcomes - Permanent and fixed-term staff members may be eligible for a reduction in fees if they meet the required criteria. Follow the guidance available on iD/People Experience and Culture (HR) pages (Supporting Accredited Programmes of Study) *login required*. If the criteria is met, staff must complete the staff sponsorship online form.

Please refer to the offer letter and Studentship/Fee-Only Bursary contract for details about the duration and level of tuition fees covered by the contract. From the moment the contract ends, students will be liable to pay fees until thesis submission.

If you are under 60 when you start your course, you may be able to borrow up to £28,673 to study a doctoral-level course, such as a PhD or EdD (for courses starting on or after 1 August 2023). This loan is available whether you are studying full-time or part-time, but you will need to meet certain eligibility criteria.

You can use this loan to pay for your tuition fees or living costs. Interest is charged on the loan and, of course, you need to pay this loan back, but not until:

  • You have graduated (or the April four years after the course started)
  • Your salary is over the threshold amount for your repayment plan. The threshold amounts change every year

You can find out the most up-to-date information about doctoral loans including how to apply on the Gov.UK website

The University of Derby has a postgraduate research development (PGR) fund to support research students. We make funds available at different points throughout the academic year and award them on a competitive basis. The fund will support students with training, events and conferences.

If you are a UK student and have a disability that affects your ability to study, you may be entitled to Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA). This can pay for the additional support that you may need for university.

You can find out more about DSA on the Gov.UK website, including eligibility stipulations, how much you could get, and how to apply.

The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding Online is a database that identifies alternative sources of funding (charities, foundations, and trusts) who can grant awards to any student regardless of subject or nationality. Current university students have access to the guide free of charge.

Tuition fee adjustment due to withdrawal

If a PGR student withdraws from their studies, they may be eligible for an adjustment of tuition fees. This may be a refund of fees paid or a reduction in fees due. Fee adjustments are calculated with reference to the thesis submission and tuition fees adjustment table above. Withdrawal requests must be completed by the PhD Manager. It must be approved by the Director of Studies and cannot be backdated.

Additional Information for Overseas students.

For students returning to their home country, any refund that may be due will be returned directly to the originator via the original method of payment. If fees are owed, a Statement will be sent that shows the amount owed to the University. This should be paid immediately. The University reserves the right to take action to recover debts. Refunds are issued in Pounds Sterling and all currency charges will be the student’s responsibility.

Tuition fee adjustment due to authorised break from studies (ABS)

If a PGR student decides to take ABS, the annual fee will be adjusted as per the table below:

Length of breakPercentage refundPercentage charged
3 months and under 25% 75%
4 months - 6 months 50% 50%
7 months - 9 months 75% 25%
10 months - 12 months 100% 0%

When returning from an authorised break from studies, the PGR student will be liable to pay any outstanding fees.

International fee status

Please note that gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), and/or acquiring three years' ordinary residence in the UK, part-way through a course will not change the student’s fee status. Find out more information from UKCISA

Penalties for Non-Payment

If payment is not made in accordance with University policies, the University reserves the right to take action to recover the debt. If a standing order payment is not made, the University may require payment of the total amount outstanding, not just the missed payment. Any student that has an outstanding debt to the University will not be re-enrolled for subsequent academic years. Students with outstanding debt to the University, are not entitled to graduate or receive their certificate.