China Scholarship Council and University of Exeter PhD Scholarships

The University of Exeter combines world-class research with high levels of student satisfaction at its campuses in Exeter and Cornwall, South West England. Formed in 1955, the University has over 21,000 students from more than 130 different countries. Exeter has been a leader in cutting-edge science, engineering, mathematics and medicine research and 98% of our research has been rated as of international quality.

The University of Exeter is proud to offer up to 10 full-time PhD scholarships in collaboration with the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for Chinese students starting in the academic year 2019-2020. 

More information about application dates and how to apply for 2019 entry will be made available in late July.

Scholarships are available for study in the following subjects:

College of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES)

• Biosciences
• Geography
• Psychology
• Sport and Health Sciences

Find out more about College of Life and Environment Sciences. 

College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (CEMPS)

• Engineering
• Computer Sciences
• Geology
• Mathematics
• Physics and Astronomy
• Renewable Energy

Find our more about College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. 

Medical School (UEMS)

• Medicine
• Medical Imaging
• Medical Sciences

Find out more about the Medical School.

Business School (UEBS)

• Accounting
• Economics
• Finance
• Management Studies
• Organisation Studies

Find out more about the Business School.

College of Humanities

• Archaeology
• Art History & Visual Culture
• Classics and Ancient History
• Drama
• English
• Film Studies
• Foreign Language Centre
• History
• Liberal Arts
• Modern Languages
• Theology and Religion

Find out more about the College of Humanities.

College of Social Sciences and International Studies

• Arab and Islamic Studies
• Education
• Law
• Politics
• Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology

Find out more about the College of Social Sciences and International Studies.

Applications for 2018 entry have now closed.

Information about application deadlines for 2019 entry will be made available in late July.

For general information about studying at the University of Exeter, you can contact International Student Recruitment - East Asia Team based in Beijng and Shanghai at the following email address:


  1. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the People’s Republic of China at the time of application and intend to return to China upon completion of their studies at the University of Exeter.
  2. The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of academic merit with candidates requiring the equivalent of a Distinction in a UK Master’s degree from a prestigious university (Typically an average of 85% or above from a Chinese Higher Education Institution).
  3. Successful candidates will meet the relevant academic requirements as well as the English language proficiency requirements for entry into a PhD programme set out by the University of Exeter. Applicants are generally expected to have a score of IELTS 6.5 – 7.0 or equivalent overall with no less than 6.0 in any section. 
  4. Candidates will also be required satisfy the selection criteria set out by CSC. Details can be found China Scholarship Council's website. 

Full tuition fees of successful applicants will be funded by the relevant College at the University of Exeter. The China Scholarship Council will provide a living allowance, including the cost of a return flight from China to the UK, accommodation and subsistence, depending on the applicant’s eligibility.


Qi Wang

My name is Qi Wang. I started my PhD journey at the University of Exeter in October 2010, after receiving the M.Phil in the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering of Tsinghua University. My life changing decision was made during a study visit to the Centre for Water Systems (CWS) at the University of Exeter during the Spring Festival of 2010.

During that visit to Exeter, I met the Director and Co-founder of CWS, Prof. Dragan Savić, and had a chance to share my research work with the people in CWS. It was fascinating to see the various projects dealing with the severe water issues (e.g., urban flooding and water leakage) in the real-world using smart ideas and cutting-edge technologies. I was able to talk to many PhD students about their programmes and research topics and was excited by their knowledge and the effective solutions they were bringing to solve difficult problems. Weekly seminars given by speakers from outside the university shared innovations from both academia and industry and facilitated potential future collaborations.

There was no doubt that the free academic atmosphere, genuine colleagueship, efficient administrative management, as well as the comfortable working environment encouraged me to continue the research career right there.

When I returned to Tsinghua University, I started to apply for the scholarship provided by the College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences (CEMPS) while at the same time preparing my application to China Scholarship Council (CSC) for the maintenance bursary. With the support of Prof. Dragan Savić and my postgraduate supervisor, Prof. Shuming Liu, I was successful in securing both awards.

 My four-year research topic has been in the challenging interdisciplinary field of water engineering and computer science. My findings have resulted in several publications in both conference proceedings and journals. In addition, I took part in training sessions designed specifically to support postgraduate students and these helped me to improve the way I worked and helped me get the most out of my PhD life.

Alongside these academic achievements, I have benefitted from the reputation of the CWS and Exeter and I have secured an associate professor position in the School of Civil and Transportation Engineering at the Guangdong University of Technology, which I believe has significantly accelerated my academic career.

I really appreciate the life lived in Exeter University, including the people in CWS as well as many local residents. I do recommend talented Chinese students to study in Exeter, and I swear it will further cultivate your value, broaden your global vision and eventually enhance your core competitiveness.

Yawei Han

My name is Yawei Han. I began my PhD study in the History Department, University of Exeter in September 2016 and am fully funded by a CSC scholarship (tuition fee and living costs). My research interest is in Modern British history, especially the ideas of the famous British socialists, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and their influence on welfare state policy in the post-war period.

The History Department at the University of Exeter enjoys an excellent reputation, and has close connections with Chinese history research community. I was attracted by its outstanding research and it has exceeded my expectations since I started to study here. I am impressed by the academic atmosphere and the devotion and enthusiasm of the staff and PhD students.

“There are many academic activities in the department which cover a wide range of areas of history research. The regular meetings with the supervision team benefit me in many aspects, and they are always exciting and inspiring.”

The department and the College of Humanities have established a solid academic community among the PhD students. The annual research conference offers opportunities for postgraduates to prepare for an academic career. On the wider University level, many programmes are held to help me adapt to the new environment. The support at all levels helps develop my abilities, both academic and non-academic.

“I am grateful to the China Scholarship Council (CSC), without whose support, my life will be totally different.”

WU Chao

Wu Chao CSC

WU Chao is a PhD student of Centre for Earth System Science (CESS) of Tsinghua University since 2014. Funded by CSC and Exeter, he started the one year joint PhD programme in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES) of the University of Exeter in September 2016. His research interests include large scale wildfires, permafrost and vegetation dynamics modelling induced by climate change.

Ranked 3rd for research power in Geography and Environmental Studies and 4th in the UK for research in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, Exeter has world leading research capacity in climate change and earth system sciences. Many of Exeter’s professors enjoy world renowned reputations in these fields.

PhD students here interact with professors closely not only in their research groups but in day to day life. Each week there is ‘cake time’ for staff and students, regular group meetings, academic seminars and a range of other activities that enhance the communication between students and faculty and support students’ research skills.

WU Chao believes that his PhD study at the University of Exeter has given him access to world leading research which will significantly improve his research capacity in his chosen fields, broaden his research horizons and expand his professional networks for the future.

WU Chao also enjoys living in Exeter because of the charming campus, safe neighbourhood and beautiful countryside and surroundings in the South-West of England. 

For general information you can contact International Student Recruitment - East Asia Team based in Beijing and Shanghai at the following email address:

If you have any questions about Postgraduate Research at the University of Exeter, you can the Doctoral College team at: 

The University of Exeter Doctoral College brings together institution-wide support, training, and administration for all of our postgraduate and early career researchers. The Doctoral College works across all six Academic Colleges within the University as well as key Professional Services, to ensure that postgraduate and early career researchers have an outstanding start to their research careers.
Find out more.