UCL Faculty of Arts & Humanities


Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarships

The Wolfson Foundation is offering two postgraduate research awards in the humanities for 2021/22. These will be for three areas in history, literature and languages.

For the 2021/22 academic year, there will be a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 awards offered in total, pending confirmation from the Dean.

The intention is that Wolfson Scholarships will be awarded to outstanding students who demonstrate the potential to make an impact on their chosen field. Wolfson Scholarships will be awarded solely on academic merit. Ideally, the successful students would aspire to an academic career.


The Wolfson Scholarships are open to both UK and Overseas applicants.

Departments in the Faculties of Arts and Humanities and Social and Historical Sciences and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies are able to nominate students for the Wolfson Scholarships.

Wolfson Scholarships will be available in three disciplines that align closely with the Foundation's interests: history, literature and languages.

The awards are available for doctoral research only, and will be paid over three years (or up to six years part time). For full-time students, it is expected that students complete their doctorate in three years.

Students should have an outstanding academic record, usually a first class honours degree at undergraduate level and a Master's degree from a recognised university in a cognate field of study to their proposed doctoral research.

Awards are for students beginning their doctoral study at the start of the academic year 2021/22.

Level of award

Each student starting in 2021/22 will receive a total of £90,000, which equates to £30,000 per annum.

The funding available covers a stipend, fees and a research allowance.

Definition of subject disciplines

The three disciplines that the programme covers may be broadly defined. 

  1. History - 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. 
  2. Literature - 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.
  3. Languages-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 not in English). Students receiving scholarships under this stream may be based within non-language departments (for example, history or anthropology departments).

How to apply

Candidates do not apply directly for the Wolfson Scholarships, but must be nominated by their department. Candidates should check their own department's application procedure (details can be found on the department's website) and inform their Departmental Graduate Tutor that they would like to be considered for the Wolfson scholarship.

Once departmental selection processes have concluded, Departmental Graduate Tutors should send nominations (normally no more than three for any one subject discipline and up to a maximum of six per department/unit) to the Joint Faculties Office (kitty.ho@ucl.ac.uk).

Nominations should include the following:

  • an indication of the subject discipline most relevant
  • the full UCL PhD application form, excluding written samples and including:
    • academic transcripts
    • CV (if available)
    • academic references in support of the application
  • a research proposal of no more than 1000 words
  • a letter from the proposed supervisor confirming that they are willing to supervise the specific project outlined.


Departmental Graduate Tutors should send nominations to the Joint Faculties Office (kitty.ho@ucl.ac.uk) by Friday 29 January 2021. (Please note that departmental deadlines will be earlier than this - it is important to check departmental websites for details of local processes.)