ESRC funded studentships

Applications for PhD Studentships for October 2023 are now closed.

The SWDTP supports doctoral students by developing not only their research skills, but by offering a wide range of training, placements, activities and events as well. We work in a collaborative way across the five institutions and have SWDTP students that will also form part of your cohort. The SWDTP is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC).

We have 45 fully-funded studentships from the ESRC available through twelve disciplinary pathwaysThese span the social sciences and five innovative interdisciplinary pathways. This offers students the broadest possible approach to their studies with us.

Click on the black tick icons below to find out more at each institution.

Interdisciplinary Pathways






Disciplinary Pathways






Area & Development Studies

Economic & Social History



Human Geography

Management & Business Studies

Political Science & International Studies


Social Policy

Social Work

Socio-Legal Studies


All students have the opportunity to take part in a work placement during their time of study with us. Placements provide the opportunity for students to further develop their research and transferable skills in a non-academic environment. For more information on placements, please visit our collaboration pages.

What is an ESRC studentship?

An ESRC studentship is funding provided by the ESRC to make up at least 50% of a student’s postgraduate research programme. The programme supports part-time as well as full-time students. This is in recognition that students have different needs (i.e. caring responsibilities) and can require different flexibilities. Where the ESRC funding is less than 50%, the remainder of the funding must be found from an institution or other external sources. The ESRC has established 14 Doctoral Training Partnerships across the UK, of which the SWDTP is one.

A Masters is not a prerequisite for studying at the SWDTP. A range of training programmes are available based on an assessment of the applicants prior learning and training needs. All studentships are offered on a full or part time basis.

How much is an award?

The standard maintenance award for October 2022 is £17,668 per annum. The ESRC will also cover fees to the value of £4,596 per annum. Students are also eligible for an annual nominal allowance of £750 Research Training Support Grant (RTSG).