Apply to the SWDTP

Studentships at the University of Bristol

The South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP) offer twelve disciplinary pathways spanning the social sciences alongside five innovative interdisciplinary pathways.

Fully funded ESRC studentships are available at the University of Bristol. Read full details about scholarships.

Applicants may apply to one or more pathways but please note the ESRC's eligibility criteria for overseas and EU students.

Students wishing to apply for ESRC funding can apply for either:

  • a MSc/MRes followed by PhD programme (1+3 award)
  • PhD only (+3 award)

However, students wishing to undertake PhD only (+3 awards) must meet the ESRC criteria in terms of previous master's level study and should read the SWDTP ' A guide to Applying for an SWDTP Studentship'. 

Students applying for ESRC funded scholarships must speak to their chosen school prior to application in order to discuss their research ideas with a suitable supervisor.

Students are encouraged to look at ways of incorporating collaboration with external partners into their research proposal. Collaboration does not always have to be a financial arrangement and could take the form of a placement, voluntary work, data sharing or other payment in kind opportunities.

Students considering overseas fieldwork, overseas institutional visits or difficult language training should mention this in their application where possible.

Applying for the studentship

Please note: You must hold an offer from the University of Bristol before applying for an ESRC studentship.

Before applying for an ESRC studentship

Students must first apply to the University of Bristol for their desired MSc/MRes followed by PhD (1+3 award) or PhD only (+3 award) programme using the University of Bristol's postgraduate application form.

In the university application form, students need to indicate that they wish to be considered for the ESRC studentship in the "fees and funding" section.

On receipt of an offer for your programme from the University of Bristol

Students are then required to complete the SWDTP application. This is comprised of a Student Statement, Supervisor Statement and Equal Opportunities Form. Students must discuss their application with their prospective supervisor before submitting it.

To be considered for an ESRC studentship at the University of Bristol, the SWDTP application must be emailed to the admissions administrator in your prospective school of study:

Any general enquiries relating to the SWDTP should be directed to

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