Funding for graduate study

The University provides a comprehensive guide to all sources of funding for graduate study, a few of which are listed below. Contact us if you wish to support our students or have an area of interest you would like investigated.

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The University of Oxford will be offering 15 doctoral scholarships from 2021-2023, thanks to a £1.35m grant from the Leverhulme Trust. Students will complete multi-disciplinary research on the impact of poverty and social inequalities in early childhood.

The ground-breaking programme of doctoral scholarships, spanning the social and biological sciences, will aim to reduce the impact of these disadvantages on children’s life chances. Directed by Professor Jane Barlow, this is Oxford’s first doctoral programme that brings together expertise from diverse disciplines with the explicit goal of reducing the impact of social inequality in early childhood through the application of biological science.

We seek applications from high calibre individuals who have an interest in building on recent scientific advances that have begun to apply knowledge developed between the biological and social sciences with the aim of using a multiple level of analysis perspective to reduce social inequalities in early childhood.

About the Programme

This exciting new programme of scholarships will expose students to expertise and cutting edge mixed-methods research across the fields of psychology, sociology, neuroscience, endocrinology, genetics, and ethics, producing a new generation of scientists who have the necessary skills to be future research leaders in this important field.

Four lead departments are affiliated with the programme: Social Policy and Intervention, Sociology, Psychiatry and Experimental Psychology.

Students will complete a training programme tailored to their individual skills and project requirements, including attending activities offered to the full Leverhulme cohort. They will be formally admitted by the Department linked to their primary supervisor, and will have access to the diverse range of seminars, workshops and advanced training opportunities offered by that Department.

To find out more:

Visit the Department of Social Policy and Intervention website for more details 

The ESRC is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on social and economic issues. The University, in collaboration with Brunel University and the Open University, hosts the Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership - one of fourteen Doctoral Training Partnerships accredited by the ESRC as part of a Doctoral Training Network.

In order to be considered for a Grand Union DTP ESRC studentship, you must select ‘ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentships in Social Sciences’ in the University of Oxford scholarships section of the University's graduate application form. You must also complete a Grand Union DTP Application Form and upload it, together with your graduate application form, by the relevant January deadline for your course.

Information about ESRC studentships at Oxford can be found on the Grand Union DTP website. Please ensure you have read all of the guidance available on the website before completing the Grand Union DTP Application Form. Questions can be directed to the Grand Union DTP Office.


The 1+1 programme is a unique, two-year postgraduate experience which offers you the opportunity to combine the depth of our specialised, one-year MSc in Sociology with the breadth of Saïd Business School’s top-ranking, one-year MBA. As a result, you will embark from Oxford with the skills to translate specific domain knowledge into practical and innovative solutions to the many challenges facing our 21st Century world.

In addition, the Oxford Pershing Square Graduate Scholarship is available for up to five extraordinary 1+1 students who are committed to addressing world-scale social challenges. The Scholarship provides full funding for tuition, college fees and living expenses for both the MSc and MBA year. 

Visit the Saïd Business School website for more details  

All graduate applicants to degree-bearing courses are eligible for this prestigious scholarship funding. Approximately 130 awards are made across the University every year and most of these provide only partial funding, though some full awards are made too. Please see the Clarendon Fund website for further details. Prospective students must apply by the January application deadline for admission to one of the Department’s degree programmes.

Some Oxford colleges make funds available to support graduate students in their studies; the amount and the conditions vary from college to college and in some cases from year to year. The Oxford Fees, Funding and Scholarship Search lists awards available from colleges and you should check individual college websites for information on eligibility and application procedures. Graduate studentships are also sometimes available to students once they have started their studies in Oxford, from some colleges – again, check individual college websites and the University Gazette for announcements. Students who are admitted to Nuffield College to undertake one of the courses offered in Sociology will have full funding underwritten by Nuffield for the duration of the fee liability of the course. Prospective students can also apply for Scholarships offered by St Cross College.


The AHRC provides public funding in support of research into the arts and humanities, for approximately one quarter of the UK's research population. Oxford participates in the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership, providing a number of scholarships each year to students working in eligible subject areas across the Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions. Information about applying for AHRC scholarships at Oxford can currently be found on the DTP website.


Occasionally, special sources of funds become available for graduate students in particular subjects. Any information that the Department receives about such schemes will be posted here.

Prospective graduate students from outside the UK may be able to access other sources of funding including from their home state or other schemes.

There are also sources of funds available to students after they have begun studying at Oxford– including essay and thesis prizes, research assistance and other casual work for the Department and for colleges, and teaching for the Department and for colleges. Funding may also be available for specific parts of a course – e.g. to undertake fieldwork or to study in overseas institutions. Information about sources of support in the Department for current graduates is posted on the Department’s website.

Professional bodies such as the British Sociological Association can often also assist with funds for conferences or fieldwork, so they are well worth joining. They can also be valuable resources when it comes to finding a job after finishing graduate study.