Fees & Funding (PG)

Funding is available from a range of sources to help postgraduate students cover their course costs, including grants awarded directly by Wolfson College.


How much does postgraduate study at Cambridge cost?

The cost of studying a postgraduate degree at the University of Cambridge is broken down into two areas:

  • University Composition Fee: a payment made via your College to the University to cover the cost of your education and your College membership
  • Maintenance: the estimated minimum cost of living during your time at the University, including food, accommodation, and other essentials.

These, along with any additional costs, make up the minimum financial commitment you will be required to demonstrate before you can be admitted to the University. For more information about financial commitments, please carefully read all the relevant sections on the Postgraduate Admissions website.

What funding is available?

Prospective students may be eligible for funding from a variety of different sources, including government loans, grants from the University and its Colleges, as well as scholarships from research councils, external institutions and other sponsors.

University of Cambridge

Every year the University of Cambridge awards over £100m in scholarships to new postgraduate students. Prospective students are encouraged to read through all of the funding pages on the Postgraduate Admissions website, particularly how to apply for postgraduate funding, as well as using the Postgraduate Funding Search tool to look for specific awards in your field and level of study.

Wolfson College

Wolfson College distributes over £350,000 a year to postgraduate students in the form of fully-funded studentships as well as partially-funded awards. There are two fully-funded PhD studentships awarded by Wolfson itself, as well as several match-funded studentships delivered by the College in partnership with other institutions and departments at the University.

These awards are highly competitive and based on academic merit, which is determined by faculties and departments upon receipt of an application. For match-funded awards, candidates only need to ensure their applications are submitted before the relevant University or Department funding deadline, no separate scholarship application is required. For College awards, there is a separate form to complete, detailed in the sections below. In all cases, priority is given to students who have listed Wolfson as their first- or second-choice College in their application.

PhD Studentships

John Hughes PhD Studentship at Wolfson College: Thanks to the generosity of Wolfson College alumnus John Hughes, the College is able to offer for the first time in 2023 a PhD award that will cover three years of tuition (at the Home rate) and maintenance costs (currently £17,368/year) for a PhD candidate in any subject.  This award will next become available in 2026/2027.

Wolfson College PhD Studentship in Geopolitics: Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the College is able to offer a studentship that will cover three years of tuition and maintenance costs (currently £17,368/year) for a PhD candidate working on a topic in Geopolitics.  While applicants pursuing a PhD in History or in Politics & International Relations are likely to be the strongest candidates for these awards, applications will be considered from students working in any subject, provided their research topic falls within one of the key research areas of the Centre for Geopolitics.  Competitive applications will be those from students whose proposed research applies historical analysis, area studies expertise, political science and the experience of practitioners to address major problems of conflict and world order: past, present or future. 

Rowan Williams Cambridge & Wolfson College Studentship: Wolfson is proud to partner with the Cambridge Trust in sponsoring a Rowan Williams Cambridge & Wolfson College Studentship to support students who face severe barriers in coming to study in Cambridge. Named after the former Chairman of the Cambridge Trust's Board of Trustees, the Rowan Williams Cambridge & Wolfson College Studentship is a full-cost award available to undergraduate and postgraduates (both MPhil and PhD).  Detailed information available from the Cambridge Trust. No separate application required.

Arts and Humanities Research Council & Wolfson College PhD Studentship: These awards cover tuition and maintenance for 10 terms of doctoral study in any topic in the Arts & Humanities. No separate application required.

Vice-Chancellor’s & Wolfson College PhD Studentship: Generous donations from friends and alumni enable Wolfson to partner with the Cambridge Trust in funding 4 or 5 PhD studentships each year that cover tuition and maintenance costs (currently £17,368/year) for doctoral study in any subject. In 2023/2024, preference may be given to applicants in Chemistry, Physics and Physiology, Development & Neuroscience.  No separate application required.

Wolfson College-CDT Studentship for Women in the Physical Sciences: applications are invited for a new four-year PhD studentship beginning in 2023 for candidates with a first degree in physics, astrophysics or mathematics, specialising in astronomy, particle physics or related topics in theoretical physics. The studentship will be based at the Cambridge Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Intensive Science, an innovative, interdisciplinary centre, distributed between the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), Department of Physics (Cavendish Laboratory), and the Institute of Astronomy (IoA).  You can find more information and application requirements on the CDT DiS website.

In previous years Wolfson has also partnered with the Cambridge Judge Business School, the Departments of Land Economy, Biochemistry, Pathology and Pharmacology to fund PhD Studentships. We expect to announce similarly co-funded PhD studentships in the future.


Master's Studentships

The Aziz Foundation Scholarship:  The Aziz Foundation has partnered with Wolfson College to fund scholarships for Home-fee-rated students who are actively engaged in British Muslim communities and who wish to study for a full-time or part-time Master's degree at the University of Cambridge in order to improve access for individuals from social groupings who historically have been underrepresented at the University.  An Aziz Foundation Scholarship will cover the University Composition Fee for the course. The scholarships are aimed at those who wish to advance in their careers and bring positive change to their communities. We invite applications from people who are dedicated to community service, social development and effective advocacy within and for British Muslim communities.  Applications will be accepted from students who have already been offered admission to Cambridge for 2023/2024 and are pursuing courses and/or career aspirations in the following priority areas:  Media & Journalism, Technology, Sustainability/Environment, Law, Policy, Arts & Culture, Sports.  Applications will not be accepted for students intending to take up courses in science, health policy or mathematics. Please note that the scholarships are only open to those who qualify for Home Fees status in the UK, and applications from international students will therefore not be considered. The aim is to support emerging leaders who have a high level of commitment to the British Muslim community as well as the aspiration to lead and inspire in their respective fields.  Applications are made directly to the Aziz Foundation via their website.  The deadline for applications is 12 noon on 30 June 2023.

The Boyce Family Scholarship: an endowed MPhil scholarship in the Social Sciences. The Boyce Family Scholarship will cover the tuition fees of one full-time, one-year MPhil student, as well as a contribution towards the successful student's maintenance costs. It is open exclusively to students who are normally resident in North America (including the Caribbean) and South America, and preference will be given to students from backgrounds underrepresented at postgraduate level in their field of study, in the first instance, to female students and those from minoritised backgrounds. Preference will also be given to students who are pursuing an MPhil in Land Economy, or another course with a focus on the built environment, sustainability, and/or conservation. Apply via this online form before 12 April 2023.

Cambridge UK & Wolfson College Masters Scholarships: Each year Wolfson partners with the Cambridge Trust to cover the cost of two awards of £12,000 each for Home fee status MPhil students in the Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences.  No separate application required.

Cambridge UK & Wolfson College Hoath Family Masters Scholarship in Sustainability and Conservation: One award of £12,000 for a Home fee status MPhil student in a field related to sustainability and conservation. This scholarship is made possible by the support of the Cambridge Trust and a generous donation from the Hoath Family. Hoath Family awards were established in December 2020 by a gift from Emeritus Fellow Professor Steve Hoath in memory of his parents. The purpose of Professor Hoath’s gift is to: stimulate th development of Wolfson College’s interdisciplinary Sustainability and Conservation Research Hub which launched in July 2020; encourage students, alumni and members to be involved in the Hub’s activities; and support students who have a broad interest in sustainability and conservation particularly those who might not otherwise have the financial means to do so.  No separate application required.

Rowan Williams Cambridge & Wolfson College Studentship: Wolfson is proud to partner with the Cambridge Trust in sponsoring a Rowan Williams Cambridge & Wolfson College Studentship to support students who face severe barriers in coming to study in Cambridge. Named after the former Chairman of the Cambridge Trust's Board of Trustees, the Rowan Williams Cambridge & Wolfson College Studentship is a full-cost award available to undergraduate and postgraduates (both MPhil and PhD).  Detailed information available from the Cambridge TrustNo separate application required.

Wolfson OCS Kenya Scholarship: up to £40,000 to cover University and College fees and maintenance for a student from Kenya on a one-year postgraduate course. Offered in conjunction with Oxford and Cambridge Society of Kenya and the Cambridge Trust.  No separate application required.

Wolfson College Scholarship for Women Entrepreneurs from Emerging Economies The Scholarship for Women Entrepreneurs will cover up to £25,000 for one recipient per year for the next five years, beginning 2023/2024. Where possible, co-funding opportunities will be sought, in order to increase the amount available to each recipient. The scholarship for Women Entrepreneurs is funded by a generous anonymous donor who wishes to support female students from overseas who (a) are ordinarily resident and consider their home to be one of the countries that the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has defined as developing; and (b) are pursuing a full-time Masters course that is intended to prepare them to return to their home country and develop or improve business opportunities there. The scholarship is thus intended to expand the role of women, particularly those wishing to start or develop their own business, in economies where they have been historically under-represented.  Applications open via this link on 5 January and close on 12 April. 

Postgraduate Awards

Thanks to the generosity of its donors, Wolfson is able to offer around £100,000 per year to postgraduate students to help meet the costs of their study. These awards are made on the basis of academic merit and typically range from £3,000-£8,000 per recipient, to enable the College to provide funds to a greater number of students. See the full list of College awards here.

Wolfson also offers additional financial support in the form of hardship funds, sports awards, travel and research grants, and musical scholarships.

Government and external funding

UK nationals and those residing in the UK with EU settled status may be eligible for a postgraduate study loan from the UK Government. Specific funds are available for UK students with disabilities via the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA). Financial support is also available for students with families to help meet childcare costs.

International students should check UK postgraduate scholarships, funding opportunities from their governments, as well as international funding bodies. There are also many other sources of external funding to which both UK and international prospective students can apply.

Research Councils

Research Councils are the largest funder of PhD students at Cambridge. There are six UK Research Councils, and each council is also able to offer a limited number of studentships to international students. Some studentships also include funding for Masters programmes taken prior to a PhD in a 1+3 year format.

Personal funding

Over 75% of masters students and 25% of PhD students were self-funded in the academic year 2022-23. All prospective students are required to demonstrate that they can cover their course costs in the process of making their application.