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Eligibility Requirements

Following a recent announcement by the ESRC, the Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP is delighted to open this year’s studentship competition, for entry in October 2021, to both home and international students. All applicants will be eligible for a full award consisting of a maintenance stipend (£15,609 in 2021/22), and payment of tuition fees at the home fee rate.


To be classed as a home student, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK national (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

If an applicant does not meet any of the criteria above, they will be classed as an international student. Please note that we can award up to 30% of studentships to international students per cohort.

Please see below for each institutional position on what proportion of the international tuition fee will be covered for successful international MGS applicants. This guidance will be updated to confirm the fees information for the remaining institutions in advance of the open competition deadline (26th January 2021).

Aston University - International students awarded funding through the MGS at Aston University will be required to fund the difference between home and international fee rates from alternative funding sources. The MGS DTP cannot provide funds to cover this difference.

Loughborough University - The difference between UK and International tuition fees can be covered by a third-party sponsor, the student directly or in some cases may be available from the School to which you intend to apply. You are advised to contact the School directly to find out whether funding to cover the difference between UK and International fees might be available. Please contact the School of Social Sciences and Humanities (, the School of Science (, the School of Business and Economics (, or the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (

University of Nottingham - The University of Nottingham will be offering a limited number of Fee Scholarships to international applicants who are successful in securing studentship funding from MGS. The Fee Scholarship will be used to cover the difference between the level of home fees and international fees.

University of Warwick - International students awarded funding through the MGS at the University of Warwick will not be required to cover the difference between home and international fees.

Residency requirements for UK nationals

In terms of residency requirements for UK nationals, for courses starting from 1st August 2021, candidates will continue to be eligible for home fee status as long as:

  • they were living in the EEA or Switzerland on 31st December 2020, and have lived in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK or Gibraltar for at least the last 3 years before starting a course in the UK
  • have lived continuously in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK or Gibraltar between 31st December 2020 and the start of the course
  • the course starts before 1st January 2028

Residency requirements for those with pre-settled status

If applicants do not have 5 years’ continuous residence in the UK when they apply to the EU settlement scheme, they will usually get pre-settled status. They must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

Those with pre-settled status will qualify as a home student if they have 3 years’ residency in the UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland immediately before the start of their course.

For more detailed guidance regarding residential eligibility please refer to the ESRC website.

Other Eligibility Criteria

  • Students intending to study part-time are eligible for an ESRC award.
  • Students are able to apply directly from undergraduate programmes (as we have a 1+3 award option with a Masters continuing onto PhD study) and we ring-fence a number of studentship awards for students applying straight from an undergraduate degree.
  • Students applying for Distance learning programmes are not eligible for an ESRC award.
  • Students who already hold an award, or who are financially supported by another organisation, which covers maintenance and/or tuition fees are not eligible for an ESRC award.
  • Students who have already commenced doctoral study are eligible to apply for an ESRC award, provided that they are within the first year of a full-time programme or the first two years of a part-time programme. However, if you have already begun your PhD, you must already have completed the required training as outlined in the Guidance Notes for Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP applicants. The ESRC does not permit the suspension of a PhD to undertake the required training modules, nor for them to run alongside year 2 and 3 of a PhD.
  • Students must usually have qualifications of the standard of a good honours degree at first or upper second class level or equivalent professional experience.