Funding Eligibility

Eligible Disciplinary Pathways

The following disciplinary pathways are eligible for funding through the SCDTP. If you wish to find out about masters programmes under each eligible pathway, please contact the pathway leads of each university to find out more.

  • Area Studies – Portsmouth 📧
  • Criminology – Portsmouth 📧 & Southampton 📧
  • Demography – Southampton 📧
  • Economics – Southampton 📧
  • Education – Brighton 📧& Southampton 📧1, 📧2, 📧3
  • Gerontology – Southampton 📧
  • Human Geography – Southampton 📧
  • Linguistics – Southampton 📧
  • Management & Business Studies – Portsmouth 📧, Southampton 📧
  • Politics & International Relations – Southampton 📧1, 📧2
  • Psychology – Portsmouth 📧 & Southampton 📧
  • Science & Technology Studies – Southampton 📧
  • Social Science Methods for Health Research – Southampton 📧1, 📧2
  • Social Policy – Brighton 📧 & Southampton 📧
  • Social Statistics – Southampton 📧
  • Sociolegal Studies – Southampton 📧
  • Sociology – Southampton 📧
  • Sport, Leisure & Tourism – Brighton 📧 & Chichester 📧

Types of awards available

  • 1+3.5 MSc+PhD, and including a Research-in-Practice placement
  • +3.5 PhD, and including a Research-in-Practice placement
  • +4.5 Interdisciplinary award, including a Research-in-Practice placement
  • +4.5 Integrated PhD (only in Economics, Education or Gerontology at Southampton) including a Research-in-Practice placement

For more information on each type of award, see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Steered Awards

Some of our awards are steered (see below), with the remainder being non-steered and open.

ESRC steered awards:

  • Advanced Quantitative Methods – 3 per annum (AQM is taken to mean that the methods to be used ‘move beyond core quantitative techniques in the student’s discipline’.)
  • Data Skills – 2 per annum (DS is for research that builds capacity in data skills and analysis (data-driven research), as well as promoting the analysis of a wide range of data sources within the academic community, including to develop the student’s data analysis skills using big data, web-scraping or machine learning; using advanced digital data skills; or using administrative and/or linked data.)
  • Interdisciplinary – 2 per annum (Studentships steered in this area must be at least half, and no more than two-thirds, made up of social science. Applications must be genuinely interdisciplinary and inclusive; they should not exclude the approaches of either Council and we would not expect any application to have a share ratio greater than 2:1.)


SCDTP ring-fenced awards:

  • Economics – 4 per annum
  • UK BAME – 2 per annum (As part of the SCDTP’s strategy for wider participation and greater equality, diversity and inclusion, two studentships per year will be awarded to UK applicants from Black or Asian Minority Ethnic communities. Information on candidates’ eligibility will be drawn from the Inclusive Monitoring Form of the SCDTP Application Portal.)


SCDTP strategically steered awards:

  • Widening Participation – 1 per annum (Building on the SCDTP’s focus on widening participation, the SCDTP will designate at least one award per year for a ‘first generation to go to university’ student.)
  • South Coast Award – 1 per annum (The South Coast region features coastal communities experiencing deprivation and marginalisation. This problem is well recognised in the Government’s policies for economic and social development in coastal communities, and the SCDTP is well placed to address local social and economic challenges through its research. Each year, one studentship will be designated to focus on the South Coast and such challenges.)

Applicants who wish to be considered for the steered awards (except for the BAME awards), please contact the supervisor you wish to work with to express your interest. Your potential supervisor will involve you in filling in the relevant information requested in the steer forms or will obtain the information needed during your PhD interview.

Academic Qualifications

  • For all studentships, students must have qualifications of the standard of a good honours degree at first- or upper second-class level, from a UK academic higher education institution.
  • Degree qualifications gained from outside the UK, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience that is equivalent to a relevant UK degree, may be accepted.


  • +3.5 PhD Awards

The ESRC expects that applicants embarking on a +3.5 programme would have achieved a level of research training that would allow them to proceed directly to PhD; this is usually through the attainment of a previous Master’s qualification in the social sciences. In addition, +3.5 awards assume that the student will undertake a Research-in-Practice placement during their PhD. Where such placement has not taken place by the end of the third-year of studies, the SCDTP reserves the right to remove 0.25 of the +3.25 duration of funding. For more information on the Research-in-Practice, please see the Training section.

Residential Eligibility

The South Coast DTP is able to accept applications from UK and International applicants to all of our accredited disciplines/pathways, however due to UKRI funding conditions, awards to non-UK residents are capped at 30% of our overall allocation.

To be classed as a home/UK student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

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

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student.

You should refer to the UKRI terms and conditions of training grants for full details.



Residency Requirements


  • UK National

The UK includes the United Kingdom and Islands (i.e. the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man).
In terms of residency requirements for UK nationals, for courses starting from 1 August 2021, candidates will continue to be eligible for home fee status as long as:

They were living in the EEA or Switzerland on 31 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 31 December 2020 and the start of the course the course starts before 1 January 2028.
Eligibility on these grounds will only be available for courses starting up to seven years from the last day of the transition period (i.e. on 31 December 2027 at the latest).

Children of UK nationals will also be eligible for support on the same terms, even if they are not themselves UK nationals, as long as both the UK national and the child meet the conditions listed above.

This will not apply to Irish nationals living in the UK and Ireland whose right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals under the Common Travel Area arrangement.


  • EU Settlement Scheme

EU, EEA or Swiss citizens can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If successful, applicants will get either settled or pre-settled status. 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.

Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or Indefinite leave to enter (ILE) Candidates with ILR or ILE can continue to live in the UK without applying to the EU Settlement Scheme.


  • International Student

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student.