PhD Studentships

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Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business studentships

We are currently accepting application for a total of eight funded PhD research studentships.

The full-time studentships are supported for three years and will start on 01 October 2023.
Project description
Building on our recent success in REF 2021, the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business at the University of Plymouth is making a strategic investment in eight funded PhD Studentships and invites talented applicants to submit outstanding PhD research proposals and applications connecting with all our disciplines across the arts, humanities, social sciences and practice as research.
Successful candidates will join the diverse postgraduate research community of over 400 researchers who work across a variety of disciplines recognised as world-leading across the SHAPE disciplines of the arts, humanities, social sciences, and business and education. The Faculty has long been a national leader in fostering civic engagement focusing on creative industries and economies, placemaking, art and design practices, and social action research into the changing global societies and challenging real-world issues.
You are required to have a good honours degree (1st Class or an Upper 2:1) and likely a masters degree in a relevant subject (completed with Distinction or a High Merit), and a strong wish to pursue a PhD with an original research project. Candidates are highly encouraged to identify possible PhD supervisors in the areas of their research and are invited to contact academics in advance of making applications. Please see our postgraduate research page for PhD programmes, and research areas and staff expertise.
We are specifically encouraging applications from under-represented Global Majority candidates who identify as Black, Asian, Brown, dual heritage or those whose heritage is indigenous to the Global South and have been referred to as ethnic minority.
If you wish to ask questions about the studentships then please contact the Faculty Deputy Director for the Doctoral College, Dr Sana Murrani.
Studentships will be granted to the strongest applications assessed on the basis of applicant’s academic excellence, the strength of the research proposal and it’s fit to the research supervision.
The studentship is supported for three years and includes full Home tuition fees, a bench fee of up to £1500 plus a stipend of £17,668 per annum (2022/23 rate). The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover International fees will have to cover the difference between the Home and the International tuition fee rates (approximately £12,697 per annum).
NB: The studentship is supported for three years of the four-year registration period. The fourth year is a self-funded ‘writing-up’ year.
How to apply
To apply you must complete our online application form. Please view the list of interest areas above and choose the relevant programme title, select ‘Apply now’ from the programme page and follow instructions.
Please submit with your application, the following mandatory documents:
  • A one page personal statement, indicating your research background and intentions for the studentship. Please clearly state that you are applying for Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business studentships, the name of the studentship interest area that you are applying for and the name of a potential Supervisor (if known) on the top of your personal statement.
  • 3-page CV/résumé, detailing your full education and employment history (and current status), publication, experience, etc.
  • A research proposal (no more than 4 pages). The research proposal must include: a title, a clear synopsis of the field of research, a research question/proposition/problem, and a clear suggested methodology, an indication to the expected contribution to knowledge, all must be contextualised with appropriate literature and attached with a list of references at the end. A 5th page to be added that specifically indicates which research discipline/area of expertise (indicated on the advert page for this post) your research proposal fits within and whom if any are the academics in that area who you feel your work compliments.
  • A selection of portfolio of work where appropriate (max 15 pages). Please note that if you wish to include films then please provide web-links within your portfolio.
  • The details of two academic referees (please provide names and details on the application form).
  • Evidence of up-to-date qualifications (certificates and transcripts for masters or bachelor degrees, plus any relevant professional qualifications).
  • English proficiency certificate (for non-UK nationals).
Please clearly state that you are applying for Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business studentships, the name of the studentship interest area and the name of a potential Supervisor (if known) on the top of your personal statement.
Applicants cannot apply for this funding if they are already a PhD holder or if currently engaged in Doctoral study at the University of Plymouth or elsewhere.
For more information on the admissions process generally, please visit our how to apply for a research degree webpage or contact the Doctoral College at
The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 17 April 2023. 
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview week commencing 1 May. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received a response within six weeks of the closing date should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.