PhD in UK for Indian Students: Guide for 2023

Ph.D. in UK for Indian students is definitely worth it, considering the numerous benefits it comes with. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), students from India studying at UK universities increased by 50% in 2021-’22 reaching a total of 126,535. Indians comprise one of the largest student populations throughout the United Kingdom today.

One of the reasons for this is that the UK is one of the most renowned academic destinations in the world and offers an outstanding research environment, renowned faculty, and access to a wide range of resources.

An impressive four UK universities have been placed in the top 10 of the 2023 QS World University Rankings, and 28 universities are featured amongst the Times Higher Education’s top 200 in 2023. There are many top universities in the UK and these are not only located in London, but in other cities like Leeds, Glasgow, Warwick and Liverpool, to name a few.

Boasting a wealth of experienced professionals, educators, cutting-edge research centres, and top infrastructure facilities, the UK equips young doctoral students with essential and practical skills that are indispensable in today’s highly competitive job market. Students can benefit from strong research and development opportunities, as well as collaborations with industry experts.

Is PhD in UK Worth it?

The United Kingdom is renowned for its extraordinary postgraduate research (PGR) students, who boast immense potential as the world-leading researchers and innovators of tomorrow. Through a strong partnership between industry and academia, students are regularly presented with the chance to tackle real-world questions and work on projects alongside their professors.

With 47.8% of PGR candidates coming from outside the UK, it is clear that Britain has established itself as a favoured destination for internationally mobile applicants.
The five reasons that make pursuing a Ph.D. in the UK worth it are:

  • As a British Ph.D. holder, you will have the opportunity to undertake meticulous research, participate in world-leading conferences and workshops, and gain invaluable international exposure.
  • UK universities are investing in creative doctoral training programmes and providing extensive support to those pursuing PhDs, enabling candidates to develop the skills necessary for a successful career. These opportunities give students additional advantages in preparing them for various job roles.
  • The UK government provides a multitude of funding opportunities for doctoral candidates, such as loans, stipends, and scholarships like the Commonwealth Scholarship, and Marshall Scholarship among others. Students can also choose to pursue their courses part-time or full-time. Applicants from countries like Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the USA, New Zealand, EU students, and India among others enjoy a wide range of student finance options.
  • The new Graduate Route visa allows international students to stay in the UK for up to three years.
  • The UK is home to a multicultural society with numerous attractions, so pursuing a PhD in Britain can open up numerous personal and professional opportunities.

What is the Ph.D. Fees in UK?

The average tuition fee for a Ph.D. in the UK is usually between £15,000-25,000 annually for international students. The exact amount depends on the university, its course offerings, and any additional costs such as research materials, field trips, cost of living, and other expenses.

What are the PhD requirements in UK?

In order to pursue a Ph.D. in the UK, candidates need

  • An undergraduate degree equivalent to a UK 2.1 or higher along with a Master’s degree in a related subject.
  • Excellent academic results in all courses of study, with an average grade of 65% or higher in their most recent qualification.
  • A strong command of the English language, evidenced by a good IELTS score or equivalent.
  • The ability to demonstrate research potential.
  • A good statement of purpose or SOP, research proposal, and references.
  • Proof of financial support for their studies and living expenses, if it is a self-funded course.
  • Eligibility for UK student visa

Additionally, Ph.D. aspirants may need to meet specific entry requirements of their chosen universities. It is important for them to thoroughly research the requirements of their academic institutions before applying. Reaching out to prospective supervisors and faculty members is encouraged.

What are the career opportunities after getting Ph.D. in UK as an international student?

UK degrees provide students with the ability to thrive professionally in any environment, enabling them to succeed and providing opportunities for life-changing careers at renowned global organizations. It is estimated that 60% of doctoral candidates pursue STEM subjects like computer science, with close to 20% studying the social sciences and a slightly smaller proportion focused on arts and humanities.

In terms of career options, international students benefit from access to world-leading research companies and institutions. Ph.D. holders typically take up positions as research scientists and consultants in various organisations across the country. Some of the job roles available to Ph.D. graduates include university lecturers, research fellows, biomedical engineers, and data analysts.

Those in STEM fields can find work in the healthcare and biotechnology sectors, financial services, engineering, or software development. Meanwhile, those in social science fields can pursue roles in government policymaking, research organisations, media outlets, NGOs, and charities. Arts and humanities students can work within publishing companies, art galleries, or museums. The UK is also home to a wealth of resources such as networking events and career fairs, allowing doctoral students to find potential employers.

In fact, according to a Universities UK International (UUKi) report, 83% of international graduates attribute their successful job placements to their British degree

The newly instated Graduate route grants a three-year work visa to international postgraduate students. This opens up a wealth of job opportunities for those who have recently completed their Ph.D.

Ph.D. graduates in the UK typically earn an average yearly salary of £35,000 or an hourly wage of £17.95. Entry-level positions offer around £30,000 per year and more experienced individuals can earn £43,200 annually.

How to Apply for PhD in UK?

Applying for a Ph.D. in the UK through TC Global’s platform is easy and straightforward. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Ph.D. in the UK with the help of TC Global:

1. Research potential study areas

Before you start your application process, research potential universities and courses of study to ensure that you are applying for an appropriate programme. Consider factors such as cost, duration, and location before finalising your decision. We at TC Global can help you with this.

2. Create a strong profile

TC Global’s Relationship Members will review your existing profile and ensure that it is up to date with all academic and professional achievements. We will also review your statement of purpose and research proposal to ensure that it is tailored to the university’s requirements.

3. Submit applications

Once your profile is ready, we will help you submit your applications to multiple universities. Scholarship applications and visa support will also be provided if needed.

4. Receive offers

Our team will help you review and evaluate offers from all the universities.

5. Prepare for visa application

We will provide all the necessary guidance to ensure that you have a smooth visa application process.

Student Speak

Here’s what some students say about the Ph.D. programmes

What are the best universities in UK for Ph.D.?

The UK has some of the best universities in the world for doctoral studies, with many offering excellent research facilities and financial support.

Sr No University THE 2023 QS 2023 Scholarships Available
1 University of Oxford 1 4 AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership
Clarendon Fund Scholarships
Lincoln College: Keith Murray Scholarship
Oxford Indira Gandhi Graduate Scholarships
Ertegun Scholarship programme in Humanities through Oxford University
2 University of Cambridge 3 2 Gates Cambridge Scholarships
Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarships
Research Council-funded postgraduate studentship
3 Imperial College London 10 6 President’s Ph.D. Scholarship Scheme
4 University College London 22 8 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Studentships
Doctoral School Fellowship
UCL Research Excellence Scholarship
British Society for the Philosophy of Science
5 University of Edinburgh 29 15 College Ph.D. Studentships
Edinburgh Doctoral Scholarships

Here are the top universities for Ph.D. studies in the UK:

1: Oxford University

Source: Oxford University

The University of Oxford is renowned for its excellence in teaching, research, and societal impact. They successfully blend their esteemed past with the creative and progressive mindset of a modern college. Oxford is a top-ranked university and one of the oldest in the world. It is also home to an exceptional academic community, boasting over 90 Fellows of the Royal Society and a whopping 100 members of the British Academy.

Why study Ph.D. at this school?

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results showcased that Oxford had the most significant volume of world-leading research. Comprising more than 1,900 academic staff members, nearly 6,000 research personnel and 7,000 graduate students, Oxford is a leading centre for research and education.
With support from an academic supervisor, students will be immersed in a singular thesis project. Upon finishing your DPhil program, students are likely to pursue either an academic career or jobs that require advanced research abilities.


The Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Philosophy programme is a three- to four-year full-time research venture, where you can get the support and guidance of an expert supervisor during your doctoral-level research project. The eligibility criteria are:

  • An applicant must have achieved a Master’s degree with scores equivalent to the highest honours, or excellent upper second-class honours in a related field
  • A first-class or outstanding upper second-class undergraduate honours

Besides this, other criteria like the English language requirements fulfilled through IELTS, TOEFL or PTE scores, research proposal and a statement of purpose will have to be submitted.

Admission process & fees

As an international student, you will pay £28,020 each year while pursuing this research degree. The application fee is £75 per course and students can submit their application online along with the following details:

  • Proposed field and title of a research project
  • Proposed supervisor
  • Referees: Three overall, all of which must be academic
  • Official transcript(s)
  • CV/résumé
  • Research proposal: A maximum of 1,200 words
  • Written work: Two essays, a maximum of 2,000 words each

Scholarship options

Oxford University offers several scholarship opportunities to international students such as

  • AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership
  • Clarendon Fund Scholarships
  • Lincoln College: Keith Murray Scholarship
  • Oxford Indira Gandhi Graduate Scholarships
  • Ertegun Scholarship programme in Humanities through Oxford Univers

2: University of Cambridge

Source: Cambridge University 

Cambridge is one of the five most sought-after institutions for graduate recruitment opportunities according to The Graduate Market 2021 report. The university’s mission is to serve society through groundbreaking research and teaching at an international calibre of excellence. With their comprehensive reach across the world, Cambridge strives to create a generation of forward-thinking leaders who will shape tomorrow’s future.

Why study Ph.D. at this school?

Ranked in the Top 3 universities worldwide for academic and employer reputation (QS World University Rankings 2023), Cambridge students gain access to countless learning opportunities that equip them with critical skills employers look for. Prospective graduates have the opportunity to thrive in a multitude of professional environments, such as academia.


The eligibility criteria for international students are as follows:

  • To be considered for this program, applicants must have obtained a UK Good II. i Honours Degree or higher.
  • Candidates with a 2:1 Bachelor’s degree could be eligible if they are able to show a promising aptitude for research.
  • English language requirements must be met, especially if the candidate’s first language is not English.

 Admission process & fees

To complete their application students have to:

  • Submit documents and information via the Cambridge Applicant Portal
  • Pay any necessary application fees
  • Obtain references from your referees.

The overseas student fee for the Ph.D. degree starts at £46,069 for one year.

Scholarship options

Cambridge offers a variety of scholarships to prospective international students. Some of these scholarships are

  • Gates Cambridge Scholarships
  • Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarships

International students can also apply for Research Council-funded postgraduate studentship

3: Imperial College London

Source: Wikipedia

An education at Imperial is unique, as students become part of an esteemed community of world-renowned researchers. What really sets the university apart and makes it globally influential is its emphasis on practical application to confront universal challenges, along with the highly collaborative interdisciplinary environment that enables effective outcomes.

Why study Ph.D. at this school?

Imperial College London stands out as a premier university, renowned for its excellence in science, technology, business, and healthcare. As part of the college’s Doctoral program, students have access to an exceptional research community where faculty from various departments collaborate to provide students with specialised support and world-class resources.
Imperial College London has been named the top research institution in the UK for 2021, based on findings from the Research Excellence Framework.


Admission to the Doctoral Programme is highly competitive and prospective students need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • High grades in their undergraduate degree
  • Master’s Degree with Merit or Distinction recognition
  • Scores of at least ninety percentile on either the GMAT or GRE. (depending on the chosen course)

 Admission process & fees

The fee for international students starts at £ 25,300. Students can apply online and are required to submit the following:

  • Contact details of two academic referees
  • Official transcripts
  • Official GMAT or GRE test score
  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV)
  • English language test results
  • Statement of purpose
  • Students shortlisted by the Academic Selection Committee will be invited for an interview.

Scholarship options

Imperial College London offers a wide range of generous scholarships and bursary opportunities to assist international students with funding their studies. Some of the scholarships include

  • Imperial College London President’s Ph.D. Scholarship
  • Schrödinger Scholarship Scheme
  • Stevenson Fund

4: University College London

Source: University College London

Nestled in the heart of London, University College London or UCL opened its doors to students from all over the world nearly two centuries ago. Today, more than 16,000 faculty members are helping 50,000 students with diverse backgrounds and cultures reach their academic goals. UCL continues to be London’s preeminent multidisciplinary university.

Why study Ph.D. at this school?

The Doctoral School at UCL plays a vital role in connecting research students to each other, providing an opportunity for scholars from various backgrounds and cultures to come together. Students have access to academic societies that host graduate seminars and social gatherings.
UCL is highly committed to the success of its students, providing them with resources, such as state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, as well as personalised career guidance to help them reach their goals.


To apply for the Ph.D. course, students must:

  • Hold a first or upper-second-class honours degree or an equivalent qualification
  • A Master’s degree (or international equivalent).
  • Overseas applicants should have achieved high grades in subjects relevant to their research
  • Fulfill the course’s English language requirement

It is also important to seek out an academic staff member with the required specialization before the application deadline.

 Admission process & fees

The international fee starts at £26,200. After your proposed supervisor(s) has approved of you and the research proposal is finished, students can formally apply for their chosen course via UCL Online Portal.

Scholarship options

University College London offers several scholarship and bursary options for international students pursuing Ph.D. in UK, including

  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Studentships
  • Doctoral School Fellowship
  • UCL Research Excellence Scholarship
  • British Society for the Philosophy of Science

5: University of Edinburgh

Source: University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh has been a leader in education for over four centuries, helping to shape and inform the pioneers of tomorrow. With world-renowned experts teaching its courses, choosing the University of Edinburgh ensures you are receiving top-quality education with far-reaching opportunities.

Why study Ph.D. at this school

An esteemed proponent of higher learning, the University of Edinburgh is acknowledged as one of the top 50 universities on a global scale. Their groundbreaking research has placed them in the uppermost tier among other UK universities according to 2021’s Research Excellence Framework.
Students can access a plethora of educational opportunities ranging from traditional degrees to distance learning. With its renowned faculty, cutting-edge facilities, and thriving student culture, the University of Edinburgh is sure to provide an enriching educational experience.


To apply for a Ph.D. in UK at Edinburgh University, students must:

  • Possess a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in a relevant field or have an approved equivalent qualification/experience equivalent to first or upper-second-class honours in the UK.
  • Demonstrate competence in written and spoken English by fulfilling the English language requirements.

 Admission process & fees

The cost of studying for Ph.D. students starts at £24,800. To apply for the Ph.D. programme, students must submit an application form and relevant documents such as academic transcripts, CV/resume and a research proposal using the University’s online application system.

Scholarship options

The University of Edinburgh offers a range of scholarships for international students pursuing a PhD in UK. These include:

  • College Ph.D. Studentships
  • Edinburgh Doctoral Scholarships

Let’s get you into top Ph.D. courses in UK

TC Global can help students get into top Ph.D. courses in the UK.

At TC Global, we simplify international education, learning, and mobility through connecting students, universities, and a global community on a single platform where there are over 1000+ education providers and over 80,000+ courses.

Our platform enables students to study anywhere in the world in just a few steps. From search and discovery and finding the right course fit for you, to applications, visas, and departure – we see you through it all. We can help get you zero in on the best PhD courses.

To move forward with us, download our app or visit and sign in to create an account on our student platform and onboard with us in quick, easy steps.! 🚀

Then simply set up a visit to pick a Relationships Team closest to you and choose a slot to meet with a Relationship Member.

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