Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences


Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarships

The Wolfson Foundation is offering three postgraduate research awards in the humanities - these will be for three areas in history, literature and languages.

For the 2020/21 academic year, the Joint Faculties have agreed to offer 3 additional scholarships so six awards will be offered in total.

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.


Please note: only UK/EU applicants are eligible.

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 Postgraduate Scholarships in the Humanities. 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 2020/21.

Level of award

Each student starting in 2020/21 will receive a total of £88,500, which equates to £29,500 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 Faculty 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)
  • 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.


The deadline for departmental nominations to be submitted to the Joint Faculty Office (kitty.ho@ucl.ac.uk) is Friday 31 January 2020. (Please note that departmental deadlines will be earlier than this - it is important to check departmental websites for details of local processes.)