Great Western Four+ Doctoral Training Partnership (NERC)
The Great Western Four+ Doctoral Training Partnership (GW4+ DTP) comprises the University of Bristol, University of Bath, Cardiff University, University of Exeter, British Antarctic Survey, British Geological Survey, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the Natural History Museum and Plymouth Marine Laboratory.
The partnership provides a multidisciplinary training environment for postgraduate students in NERC sciences. Due to the nature of the funding, this programme is open primarily to UK students. There will be a limited number of studentships available to international students - including those from the EU.
This NERC-funded doctoral training partnership programme offers studentships for 42 months within three research themes: Dynamic Earth, Living World and Changing Planet.
As part of your PhD studies, you will be offered training that equips you with a range of skills for future employment in many different working environments. You will be expected to attend training during your PhD and are encouraged to take up work placements. Details of training can be found on the NERC GW4+ website.
PhD projects are available in earth and environmental science topics within the Schools of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Geographical Sciences. New projects are advertised annually from October on each school's webpage:
An upper second-class degree or higher (or international equivalent) in a discipline related to the PhD project for which you are applying, such as geology, biological sciences, environmental sciences, chemistry or geography. Some projects may be suitable for those with computing, mathematics, engineering and physics degrees. Applicants with additional relevant experience and/or a master's degree are encouraged to apply.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
Fees and funding
- UK: full-time
- £4,665 per year
- UK: part-time
- £2,332 per year
- Overseas: full-time
- £25,300 per year
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.
More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.
University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.
Funding for 2023/24
Full studentships including the tuition fee will start in September 2023.
International applicants (including EU)
There are a limited number of full studentships for international students. Although international students are usually charged a higher tuition fee rate than ‘home’ students, those international students offered a NERC GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership full studentship starting in 2023 will only be charged the ‘home’ tuition fee rate (which will be covered by the studentship). International applicants need to be aware that you will have to cover the cost of your student visa, healthcare surcharge and other costs of moving to the UK to undertake a PhD.
Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.
Our approach to training is centred around our three research themes:
- Dynamic Earth
- Natural hazards
- Solid earth and planetary geology
- Living World
- Ecology, conservation and biodiversity
- Genomes and evolution
- Biogeochemical cycles
- Changing Planet
- Atmospheres, oceans and ice
- Climate change impacts and sustainability