Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarships in the Humanities

2018 entry

We are pleased to offer three fully-funded doctoral scholarships for outstanding students looking to commence their doctoral degree in September 2018. Each scholarship is worth £84,000 covering both fees and maintenance costs for three years (full time registration) or six years (part time registration).

The scholarships are funded by the Wolfson Foundation, an independent charity that supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science, health, education, and the arts and humanities. Since 2012 the Wolfson Foundation has committed some £13 million to support doctoral studies in the humanities at UK universities distinguished by their research excellence.


Geographical criteria

No restrictions

Domicile for fee status

No restrictions

Level of study

Postgraduate research (doctoral)

Year of entry

2018-19 academic year; applicants must be able to start their degree in September 2018.


Scholarships are available in three disciplines that align with the Wolfson Foundation’s interests – history, literature, and languages. It is expected that one studentship will be awarded in each of these three areas. The three areas that the scheme covers are broadly defined and it is recognised that many research projects may cover more than one area.


As well as broad-based historical and historiographical studies, this may include such areas as classics, history of art, or architectural history, provided the research is grounded within historical methodology.

Research funded in this area has included work on socio-political change in East Africa; society and ideology in the Milanese region, c. 1000-1200; and laughter in the 18th century.


As well as literary and textual studies, this may include research that involves critical theory or film and other visual media, provided there is a literary element within the research (e.g. translation of literature to screen). This does not include creative writing.

Research funded in this area has included work on the ocean in mid-19th Century American verse; narratives of needlework in early-modern England; Samuel Johnson and religious thought of the 18th Century; and the evolution of parasitology and how it has shaped the dialogue between science and literature.


Research should be in applied languages other than English rather than linguistics. It may involve the study of literary or historical texts where these are in languages other than English. Students receiving scholarships under this stream may be based in non-languages departments – for example, history or anthropology departments.

Research funded in this area ranges widely, and often overlaps with the other two disciplines. Research funded in this area has included work on 'Engishiki Norito' in the context of the Old Japanese literary continuum; the influence of Francophone culture in Southern Italy; and the evolution of languages and identities in Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav Croatian cinema.

Schools and departments

Art History; Classics; English; Film Studies; History; Modern Languages; Social Anthropology

Additional criteria

Scholarships will be awarded solely on academic merit. Applicants should have an outstanding academic record and hold:

  • an undergraduate degree with first class honours from a UK university or an equivalent international qualification; and
  • a Masters degree in a field of study relevant to their proposed doctoral research.

Applicants who have not at the date of application completed their Masters degree should be able to show evidence that they are on course to do before the start of the doctoral degree.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate in their application that they have the potential to influence their chosen field. Applicants for these scholarships are expected to aspire to an academic career; applicants should in the covering letter with their application describe their professional aspirations and how the scholarship would help them to achieve their ambitions.

What does it cover?

Duration of award

The scholarships will be paid over three years (full time registration) or six years (part time registration). Scholarship holders are expected to have completed the doctorate degree by the end of the scholarship term.

Value of award

Each scholarship is worth £84,000 to be paid in equal amounts over three years (full time registration) or six years (part time registration). The scholarships are sufficient to cover annual registration fees with the balance payable to the scholarship holders as a maintenance component to support living costs and other expenses associated with their research such as travel to libraries, galleries, archives or attendance at academic conferences.

The scholarships are open to both UK/EU applicants and international applicants and are of sufficient size to cover the higher fees payable by international students. However, where the higher international fees are payable the balance remaining for the maintenance component will be reduced by the corresponding amount.

Tuition or maintenance award

Tuition and maintenance

How to apply

  1. Apply for a research course at St Andrews, following the general advice on applying for research degree programmes.
  2. Apply to the Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarship, available for application in the Scholarships and Funding catalogue. After you have applied to your intended course, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access the catalogue. If you are already a current student at St Andrews, you can access Scholarships and Funding through MySaint.

As part of the scholarship application, you will be asked to provide:

  • Personal statement: Explaining why you are applying for the scholarship, outlining your career aspirations, and how the scholarship will help you to achieve your career aspirations (no more than two pages).
  • Project Outline: A one paragraph outline and title for the proposed research project.

Before applying, please read the Terms & Conditions: Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarships T&Cs 2018 (PDF, 511 KB)

Please contact us should you have any questions regarding the scholarships: provost@st-andrews.ac.uk

When do applications open?

September 2017

At what stage of my course application can I apply to the scholarship?

You will be able to apply for the Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarship after you have submitted your application for a research place at St Andrews. However, you do not need to wait until you have received an offer of a place before applying for the scholarship.

It is strongly recommended that you submit your course application, including all required supporting documents, as early as possible in order to meet the scholarship deadline.

Scholarship application deadline

Applications must be submitted with all required supporting documents no later than 17:00 (UK time) Wednesday 15 November 2017.