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PhD in UK for Sri Lankan Students

12 min read
Blog Summary Explore PhD opportunities in the UK for Sri Lankan students. Immerse yourself in British academia and advance your research career.
PhD in UK for Sri Lankan Students

UK is very well known for its academic performance. In today's world, it is a country that is famous for its educational greatness and has prominent noteworthy universities. According to a study, nearly every fifth university of the top fifty universities is situated in UK. People wish to study in the UK for its flexibility and short degree. PhD in UK for Sri Lankan students is very beneficial because the country UK is very famous and well known for its academic excellence. PhD in UK for Sri Lankan students is excellent because the UK provides the best learning experience and unmatched quality education. The UK offers a wide range of courses for Sri Lankan students according to their passion and interest.

Why Pursue PhD in UK for Sri Lankan Students

By studying PhD in UK, the Sri Lankan students will benefit in many ways, such as getting a flagship UK degree which is very famous in the world. The students will be beneficial to study in the UK because of its lower tuition fees and living costs compared to other countries with top higher education. One of the benefits for Sri Lankan students to study in the UK is that many UK countries have their campuses in Sri Lanka because Sri Lanka is a member of the UK transnational education system. A PhD in UK is very beneficial because the UK offers PhD in a shorter time. The UK offers international research standing and multiple structures in PhD

PhD in UK for Sri Lankan Students: Course Highlights

PhD programmes in the United Kingdom result from excellent research and industrial collaborations. The PhD programme is a three-year programme that culminates in submitting a thesis 12 months before the program's conclusion. Although each PhD university in the UK has its curriculum and timetable, the following are the major takeaways for studying a PhD in the UK:

Course Duration

3-4 years

Average Tuition Fee

£15,000 to £20,000/ year

Mode of study

Full time or part-time

Popular Courses

Computer Science, Engineering and Technology, Paramedic Sciences, Law, Social Science, Architecture, etc.

The top Universities

University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, London School of Economics and Political Science

Popular Intake in UK to Study PhD

Different universities offer international students to study in UK. Almost all universities have their intake periods. The table below highlights the UK's popular intake to study PhD for international students.


Starting months

Application deadlines



June to July


January or February

August to September


April or May

October or January

What are the Types of PhD in UK?

There are many types of PhD. UK universities are well known for their academic performance. UK universities offer different types of PhD programs. Here we will briefly discuss other kinds of PhD programs offered by UK universities.

  • Standard PhD

The standard PhD is a type of PhD offered by UK universities. It is a full-time on-campus degree. Its tenure is 3 to 4 years. In its first year, students discuss research ideas and create strategies with managers. In the second and third years, students collect data and study it. And in the end, students compose their thesis and submit it with viva.

  • Integrated PhD

In this type, there is a three-year study, the same as a standard PhD with one year of master's in research—this type of degree by more than 30 universities in the UK.

  • Professional PhD

This is a type which is used in different fields like engineering and medicine field. This study offers students for future jobs. This is an initiative type of PhD. People who study it get the title of doctor, such as a doctor of administration.

  • Distance Learning PhD

International students with work or family obligations in the UK prefer this type of PhD. It is also a preferred option when the chosen topic necessitates the researcher's presence in a specific location. Students communicate with their supervisors via phone, email, or Skype and attend university for one or two weeks each year. It takes between 5 and 6 years to complete.

  • PhD by Publication

This PhD, also known as a Higher Doctorate, is awarded to students who have published original work such as book chapters, journal articles, and books. However, most UK universities only accept their alumni for PhD by Publication. Students must submit five to eight published works and a 5,000 to the 20,000-word supporting statement.

Popular PhD Courses in UK for International Students

As we know, the UK is very famous for its academic progress and is very well known for its higher education. PhD in UK for Sri Lankan students is a perfect opportunity because the UK is a very affordable country compared to others. There are many PhD courses which are given below:

  • Media, Culture and Arts PhD
  • PhD in engineering
  • PhD in the field of computer science
  • PhD in Information Technology
  • PhD in Electronics and Communications 

Popular Specialization for PhD in UK

  • Management
  • Finance
  • Computer science
  • Data science
  • Engineering
  • English
  • Political science
  • Psychology
  • Architecture
  • Medicine and Healthcare
  • Law
  • Sociology

Top Universities for PhD in UK

As we know, that UK is very well known or famous for its academic performance. Almost all top universities belong to the UK. The UK offers international students to study in their universities. The benefits of studying in the UK are that the time duration is less, and they are affordable. Some famous universities offering different PhD programs are given below in the table.


PhD program 

Course duration

Tuition fees in GBP

University of oxford, university of Cambridge, college of London

Field of computer science

Full time duration – 3 years/part time ( 6 years )

22,200 – 33,250

College of London, college of Cambridge, The University of Manchester

Field of Engineering

Full-time duration – 3 years/part time ( 6 years )

22,704 – 32,352

LSE, Oxford University, Cambridge University, Manchester University

Field of sociology

Full-time duration – 3 years/part time ( 6 years )

19,338 – 24,450 

University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, LSE, KCL18740

Field of law

Full-time duration – 3 years/part - time ( 6 years )

18,740 – 25,758

The Entry Requirement for PhD in UK

Before planning to study in the UK, you should be aware of their requirements to study in their universities. Some significant requirements to study in UK are as follows

  • You should have a four-year bachelor's degree or any degree equivalent to a master's in the UK.
  • You should achieve 70percent marks in your bachelor's or master's degree.
  • You should have done some English courses like IELT/TOEFL/PTE.
  • You should at least score 70 marks in IELTS and 90 marks in TOEFL, and 60 marks in PTE.

Admission Requirements to Study PhD in UK for Sri Lankan Students

The admission requirements for PhD programmes in the United Kingdom for Indian students vary depending on the university and the course you wish to pursue. Let us look at the basic requirements for applying to PhD programmes in the United Kingdom:

  1. Master's degree
  2. Research proposal
  3. English proficiency test scores
  4. Required Documents

Academic Transcripts and a Master's Degree

The essential prerequisite for a PhD in the UK is a master's degree in a related field, along with academic transcripts for each level of study. Some universities may require only a bachelor's degree, depending entirely on the circumstances.

 Proposal for Research

A research proposal is a document required by most universities when students apply for PhD programmes. The research proposal should include the following information: the topic of study, the purpose of the study, and how the study will be carried out.

Test Results for English Proficiency

As an international student, you must have proof of English proficiency in IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, or other tests. A minimum IELTS score of 7.0 or higher is required for Indian students seeking a PhD in the UK.

Required Documents

Before we get into the famous universities for aspirants to study PhD in the UK, let's quickly go over some of the essential requirements to check in the UK that one must meet:

  • A degree equivalent to a Master's degree in the United Kingdom or a four-year bachelor's (Hons) degree is required.
  • Minimum of 70% in your master's and bachelor's degrees
  • Research proposal for your PhD based
  • Proof of TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scorecards
  • Work sample, written or published
  • Essay submissions
  • GMAT/GRE results
  • Transcripts of Academic Achievement
  • Recommendation Letter (LOR)
  • Portfolio for specific courses
  • A CV (if applicable)
  • Purpose Statement (SOP)
  • A copy of a current passport
  • UK student visa

Application Process for PhD in UK

Firstly you have to choose your PhD. That in which subject you are willing to do PhD according to your previous study. Then you have to check whether you are eligible for that or not your entry requirements. If you qualify, then you should move on and choose a research topic and project. Then after that, you have to look for a supervisor. Then you have to select the university you are willing to study at. Then you have to give the application and fill out the form before the due date. After that, you have to check fees, funding and support. If you are eligible for them, then they will inform you.

Cost of Studying PhD in UK as an International Students

  • PhD fees in the United Kingdom differ for international and domestic or EU students. For domestic students, the cost is estimated to be £6,000 per year. On the other hand, international students face higher costs, ranging from £15,000 to £20,000 per year.
  • Aside from tuition, students must also cover the cost of living in the UK. The average monthly cost of living in the UK is around £1100 - £1300. This cost can vary depending on your lifestyle and the city in the UK.
  • In most universities, international students receive a scholarship or bursary as financial aid to pursue their PhD programmes.

PhD Scholarship in UK for Sri Lankan Students

Most UK universities and institutes offer scholarships to Sri Lankan students. They offer Scholarships and different grants. Other universities, colleges, and departments give these grants and scholarships. If you are a Sri Lankan and get a Diploma with good grades, you are eligible for a UK university scholarship program.


Awarded to

Amount/ Benefits

Oxford Indira Gandhi Graduate Scholarships

Indian nationals on Merit basis for pursuing DPhil in areas of interdisciplinary research

Course fees and living costs are covered

Ertegun Scholarship programme in Humanities through Oxford University

Students pursuing DPhil in humanities

£15,609 + full course fees

Gates Cambridge

Non-EU students enrolled in a postgraduate program

£17,500 + full course fees + two air tickets + visa

President’s PhD Scholarship Scheme through Imperial College London

High performing masters students with excellent academic performance and research potential

Full tuition fees + £21,800 per annum for 3.5 years

Edinburgh Doctoral Scholarships

Students showcasing outstanding merit and research potential

University tuition fee + stipend of £15,609 per annum

How to Apply for PhD in UK?

The UK is a very famous country because of its academic excellence. Students from abroad are allowed to study here.

  • If you want to study in the UK, you should first decide which university you want to study at. Then you should check their eligibility.
  • If you are eligible for that, you should continue checking their application process. You can apply to any university by visiting their website.
  • You should fill out their admission form and give them the required information to study.

Job Opportunities After PhD in UK

In the United Kingdom, a PhD graduate earns an average of 42,200 GBP annually. Most of them pursue academic careers, particularly in teaching and education. According to Prospects UK, more than half of PhD graduates in the UK are either educators or scientists working in the science and pharmaceutical industries.One reason could be that private sector companies have become more research-oriented recently and are looking for more researchers. Clinical psychologists, biochemists, medical practitioners, and university researchers are also popular career paths for PhD graduates. PhD graduates' salaries in various jobs in the UK are listed below:

Job Role

Average Annual Salary (in GBP)

Data Scientist


Principal Scientist


Senior Software Engineer


Postdoctoral Research Associate


Research Scientist


Senior Research Scientist


The Career Scope After PhD in UK

UK degree is precious as compared to other countries. It is very well known for its academic performance. So, as they have degree value, so who will study from it will get higher paid jobs. After doing a PhD, you can be a teacher, scientist, engineer, and doctor according to your study. An average student who has study PhD in UK can earn about 42,000 GBP per year.

UK Visa Requirements to Study PhD

International students may begin the visa application process up to three months before the start of their course. Students must submit the following documents when applying for a UK student visa:

  • CAS number for passport CAS request form (issued by the university)
  • Acceptance Copy of deposit payment confirmation letter
  • Transcripts of academic work
  • Evidence of financial support
  • Parental or guardian consent
  • English language proficiency scores
  • Proof of parental relationship (for those below the age of 18)
  • Test results for tuberculosis

Still unclear about anything? Well, not to worry. Contact AECC and get your queries answered today! AECC is one of the world's leading educational consultancies with versatile expert professionals ready to help you with any queries you may have. Contact us so we can be of assistance to you in your journey to achieving your dream.

Frequently Asked Questions

What attracts Sri Lankan students to pursue Ph.D. studies in the UK?
The UK offers prestigious universities, research opportunities, cultural experiences, and a global outlook.
Which UK universities are known for offering Ph.D. programs to Sri Lankan students?
Universities like the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, and Imperial College London are renowned for their Ph.D. programs.
What are the common admission requirements for Sri Lankan students applying for Ph.D. programs in the UK?
Requirements typically include a master's degree, research proposal, academic transcripts, and English language proficiency.
Are there scholarships or financial support options available for Sri Lankan students pursuing Ph.D. studies in the UK
Yes, various scholarships, grants, and funding opportunities exist to support Ph.D. students in the UK.
Can Sri Lankan students work part-time during their Ph.D. studies in the UK?
Yes, international Ph.D. students in the UK can work part-time during their studies, usually up to 20 hours per week during term and full-time during breaks.

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