The Wales DTP awards over 50 ESRC studentships annually across 20 accredited pathways. A studentship usually covers academic fees and a maintenance grant. There are also further funds to support specific activities.

A masters is not a prerequisite for studying at the Wales DTP. A range of training programmes are available based on an assessment of the applicant’s prior learning and training needs. All studentships are offered on a full or part time basis.

Types of Studentship

All studentships are available as either a 1+3 or +3 award (or, in the case of some Economics studentships, 1+1+2 or +1+2) dependent on the needs of the successful candidate.

  • 1+3 awards: Funding is provided to complete a research training master’s degree (one year) and then study a PhD (three years). If you hold or are just completing an undergraduate degree and wish to study for a PhD this award would be suitable.
  • +3 awards: Funding is provided to start a PhD directly. If you have achieved a level of research training that meets ESRC requirements and we are satisfied you are equipped with research skills of sufficient depth and breadth to start the PhD, this award may be suitable.
  • (1)+1+2 awards: Funding is provided for you to complete a second year’s research training and then move on to a shorter 2 year PhD. This currently applies to Economics provision at Cardiff University.

How to apply

The first step is to find out which universities within the Wales DTP offer research training in the field you want to work in. To find this out, browse through our pathways.

You will then apply for a PhD advertised either as “supported by the ESRC Wales DTP” or “with the possibility of being awarded a fully-funded ESRC DTP Studentship”. Apply through the institution at which the studentship is based. The closing deadline for applications is 3rd February 2023 at 12.00pm GMT..

Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview. After interview, a final short-list of applicants will be put forward to the ESRC Wales DTP Doctoral Panel at which final decisions with regard to studentship awards will be made. Successful applicants can expect to hear in April 2023.

In this 30 minute video, Wales DTP Director Professor John Harrington explains who the DTP are and what we do, and the benefits of undertaking a PhD.  He also guides you through the process of applying for a funded studentship and the support available.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

Historical structural inequalities in education have resulted in underrepresentation of some racial and ethnic communities in academia. The Wales DTP has taken action to begin addressing these issues through an initiative which permits pathways within the DTP to put forward up to four studentship nominations rather than three in its general studentship competition, provided that at least one of those applicants is of Black British, Asian British or minority ethnicity British background. The DTP values diversity and equality at all levels and encourages applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. In line with our commitment to supporting and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, and to increase recruitment of currently underrepresented groups, applications from Black British, Asian British, minority ethnicity and mixed race British candidates are particularly encouraged and welcomed.

Further information about the DTP’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy is available on our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion page.


ESRC studentships are available to students who show through their academic qualifications and other achievements that they are well qualified to undertake doctoral research. A good undergraduate degree (First or Upper Second Class or equivalent) in a relevant discipline is important. Valuing excellence, we are striving to widen participation and welcome applications from students who have attended universities outside as well as within the ‘Russell Group’.

Wales DTP studentships are available to both home and international (including EU and EEA) students for entry from October 2023 onwards. All applicants will be eligible for a full award consisting of a maintenance stipend and payment of tuition fees at the UK research organisation rate. Applicants must satisfy new UKRI studentship eligibility requirements. For further details see the UKRI web site.

Home students

To be classed as a home student, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK national (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

If an applicant does not meet any of the criteria above, they will be classed as an international student.   For further details, see the updated UKRI guidance on EU and international eligibility.

Please contact the Admissions team at the institution to which you wish to apply if you are uncertain of your status.

International students

Following a UKRI announcement on 20th August 2020, international students will be eligible for awards from October 2021.

Up to 30% of fully funded Wales DTP studentships are available to international students per cohort. Successful applicants will receive a fully-funded Wales DTP studentship and will not be charged the fees difference between the UK and international rate.

How to make the most of a DTP studentship

Dr Aled Singleton completed an ESRC Wales DTP PhD at Swansea University (Social Work & Social Care), and was awarded an ESRC Wales DTP Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2021.  In this 12 minute video,  Aled reflects on their studentship and offers guidance to ensure you get the most out of your DTP studentship experience.

Read more about Dr Aled Singleton’s work by clicking here to visit his profile.