Imperial College London logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: n/a
  • Foreign: n/a
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English
  • Deadline:
  • 30 January 2016
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 939pts.
  • Duration:
  • 3 years

    Photos of university / #imperialcollege

    The department admits about 40 PhD students each year. A full-time PhD at Imperial College will normally take 3-4 years. Most applicants apply to do a specific research project. Some projects are funded through research grants held by faculty members, others are funded from departmental studentships, some of which are funded by EPSRC, NERC, or STFC, and in some cases students bring their own funding in the form of scholarships from their employer or home government. 
    The Department is also participating in a number of newly established Centres for Doctoral Training, which offer additional studentships and scholarships to the Department-specific schemes described above. They also offer additional topic-specific education and training.

    Departmental PhD projects and scholarships are available in the following areas:

    • Alternative Energy Systems
    • Computer Modelling
    • Environmental Science and Engineering
    • Geochemistry
    • Geophysics 
    • Mineral Extraction and Processing
    • Paleontology
    • Paleoclimate
    • Petroleum Engineering
    • Planetary Science 
    • Remote Sensing
    • Sedimentology and Surface Processes
    • Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.

    University requirements

    Program requirements

    Regardless of the source of funding, interested students should begin the application process by contacting a faculty member to discuss the potential research topic. On-line applications should only be submitted after the potential academic supervisor has expressed sufficient interest in your application. In order to be eligible to compete for one of our department-funded studentships, the on-line application should be submitted before Friday 30th January 2015.


    • Examine the PhD Opportunities webpage and find a project in which you are interested
    • Contact the supervisor to make an informal application
    • If the supervisor is prepared to consider your application further, then proceed to submit an IC online application; applications for departmental scholarships must be submitted no later than Friday 30th January 2015

    Departmental studentships cover fees (up to £4,000 per year) and pay a bursary of approximately £16,000 per year. Studentships funded through research grants may be available to overseas students in exceptional cases. 

    Imperial College PhD Scholarship Scheme

    The scheme aims to provide up to 50 research students with great potential the opportunity to work within their chosen research field with the support of an excellent supervisor.

    The earliest start date for funded places is 1 August 2015.

    Successful candidates will receive the following financial support for up to 3.5 years: 

    • Full funding for tuition fees 
    • A stipend of £20,400 per annum to assist with living costs 
    • A consumables fund of £2,000 per annum for the first 3 years of study


    1. Applications are accepted from talented candidates from Imperial College London, the UK and worldwide. There are no restrictions on nationality. 
    2. Candidates must be among the highest achievers in their undergraduate cohort, and in receipt of, or due to receive a first class UK degree or equivalent. 
    3. Candidates with Master’s qualifications should have achieved a distinction or, where this has yet to have been achieved, be able to provide evidence of high performance that will lead to a distinction. They should also hold a first class UK undergraduate degree or equivalent. 
    4. Candidates with degrees from overseas institutions are strongly urged to determine if their scores/grades are equivalent to the relevant eligibility criteria. 
    5. Prior to applying candidates must have made contact with a supervisor in an academic department at Imperial College London who has agreed to supervise their research project. Please note that supervisors are only permitted to supervise one scholar at any time. Please review this list of existing supervisors [xls] who are not available to supervise a student on this scholarship scheme. Please note: current registered Imperial PhD students are not eligible to be considered for an Imperial College PhD Scholarship. The scheme is only open to new PhD applications.

    How to apply

    The scheme is now open for applications.

    There is not a specific scholarship application form.  You should submit your application for admission to study at Imperial through our online admissions system and your department will put you forward for the scholarship based on academic merit and potential.

    1. When prompted for a personal statement you must ensure that it consists of approx. 1000 words and outlines your academic and research achievements to date, explaining in brief your planned research project. 
    2. You must also attach a completed Self-nomination form [Word] which tells your department that you want to be considered for this specific scholarship scheme. 

    Eligible candidates will be advanced to the next review and selection process; please see the deadlines below.

    Review and selection

    Applications will be reviewed by a two-stage process:

    1. Candidates meeting or predicted to meet the eligibility requirements will be reviewed by the Department to which they have applied. Departments will select a shortlist of the very best candidates to present to the Imperial College Selection Panel for consideration. 
    2. The final decision will be made by the Imperial College Selection Panel. The members of the panel are the Vice-Provost (Research) and the Faculty Vice-Deans for Research. The Panel will consider shortlisted candidates from all Faculties. Scholarships will be awarded to the candidates who show the most potential. 

    Successful candidates will receive written confirmation of their scholarship. Any offer of a PhD place will be conditional on final interview by the Department and (if applicable) on the candidate receiving the predicted qualifications.

    Applicants not selected for the scholarship will automatically be considered for the PhD.

    Applications put forward for this scholarship scheme will be considered throughout the academic year.

    • Applicants who apply before 31 October 2014 and are awarded a scholarship will be notified by 30 January 2015. 
    • Applicants who apply before 31 January 2015 and are awarded a scholarship will be notified by 1 April 2015. 
    • Applicants who apply before 7 April 2015 and are awarded a scholarship will be notified by 5 June 2015. 

    As we are a multidisciplinary department, we do not require applicants to necessarily hold an undergraduate degree in the Earth sciences. Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree in a field appropriate to the intended area of PhD research, with a classification of at least upper-second-class, or the equivalent. 

    A full-time PhD at Imperial College will normally take 3-4 years. 

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