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Please note, applicants wishing to apply for a LAHP studentship should already hold an offer of a place to study from the RCA.  The RCA application portal is now open, and the final date for submitting an application is 1 December 2021; interviews will usually take place in December.

People at work

With the Government's introduction of the new Doctoral Loan and the continued support available via the Arts and Humanities Research Council, there are more financial support options than ever before. In this section you can find information about both of these funding strands.

London Arts and Humanities Partnership

London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) is an AHRC-funded doctoral training partnership supporting PhD studies in the arts and humanities. LAHP supports all arts and humanities discipline-based projects (including both practice and thesis routes), as well as candidates specialising in interdisciplinary research. Our research and training environment encourages doctoral researchers to develop new methodologies. In addition, our network of partnerships with leading organisations in the cultural sector provides an outstanding resource for future LAHP students. The RCA particularly supports applications in the following AHRC areas: Cultural & Museum Studies, Information & Communications Technology, Art History, Design, Visual Arts, Media, Film Studies, and Ethnography & Anthropology.

Details of the Studentship

LAHP studentships will comprise:

  • Home Students: full fees waiver, stipend, access to additional funding opportunities, and a training events programme (for up to three years full-time/six years part-time). 
  • EU Students: full fee waiver, access to additional funding opportunities, and a training events programme (for up to three years FTE/six years part-time). 

Note that successful applicants will be required to submit their project for examination no less than 12 months after their funded period ends.


LAHP applications are open to new students, and existing RCA students.

  • New applicants who are NOT yet studying at the RCA: you need to have made your application to study at the RCA by 1 December 2021 if you wish to apply for LAHP funding. Please note this application is in addition to an application for the LAHP funding.  
  • Existing RCA PhD students: Existing students with no less than 50 per cent of their period of study remaining (excluding the continuation/writing-up period), at the start of the AHRC award will need to submit an application directly to LAHP.

Please see www.lahp.ac.uk for further derails.

How to apply

  • Applications for 2022 funding will open in 29 November 2021. Applications open via the LAHP application portal.
  • Applicants MUST have submitted an application for PhD study at one LAHP partner institution before the application deadline (please note application deadlines for individual institutions might be different. Please check directly with your own institution).
  • Applications close on 28 January 2022 at 5pm
  • We advise you to read the eligibility criteria carefully on the LAHP website to ensure they meet and understand the requirements. 

Find more information on how to apply and submit your application the LAHP website.

Successful Applicants

Successful applicants who will be awarded a LAHP studentship will be informed in Spring 2022.

About LAHP

In addition to the RCA, partner institutions include King’s College London, London School of Economics and Political Science, Queen Mary University of London, the Royal College of Art, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, the Royal College of Music and the School of Advanced Study (University of London), in formal partnership with the Museum of London, the Metropolitan Police and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Susi Dunsmore PhD Scholarship

This funding is for a full time PhD candidate based in the School of Design, applicants will start in September 2022. In exceptional circumstances, part time study may be considered.

The aim of this project is to develop innovative new pathways for the textile-led social development work of Susi Dunsmore. The successful candidate will be expected to;

  • Map and analyse Susi Dunsmore’s successful textile practice-led community development projects for women in East Nepal.
  • Employ appropriate and diverse research methods/methodologies including ethnography to understand the legacy and significance of existing textile practices in the region.
  • Use practice-led research methods to develop new and innovative applications for Allo (Nepalese Giant Nettle)
  • Apply a research methodology that supports responsible, ethical and globally inclusive and decolonising design practices.

Closing date: 17 December

Interview date: January 2022

For more information, see RCA Scholarships and awards

Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships

Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships are allocations of AHRC funded collaborative research studentships made to a museum, library, archive or heritage organisation, or group of such organisations to allocate to collaborative projects that support their work and objectives

Visit www.ahrc-cdp.org for more information on current studentships

Funding guides

The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding

One of the most useful resources to discover funding opportunities is The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding. This is an external resource that the RCA subscribes to and makes available for our students. You can log in with your RCA email or request the pin number from Student Support ([email protected]).  

Grants Online

Grants Online is one of the UK's most comprehensive and up to date information resources for grant funding. With nearly 5,000 funding schemes available within the UK, there's a lot of information to keep on top of. Grants Online is a regularly updated source for the latest funding opportunities.

UK Government Doctoral Loan

This Government-funding is provided via the Student Loan Company. The scheme provides loans to those who qualify of up to £27,892 to assist with the cost of postgraduate study. The Doctoral Loans are administered by the Student Loan Company and you should contact their information for further details, however here are the basic points. 


  • Course Eligibility - The course needs to be a stand-alone PhD programme starting after the 1 August 2018. Stand-alone MPhil programmes cannot get the Doctoral Loan nor the Master's Loan due to the fact the course can take 2-3 years. 
  • Personal Eligibility - candidates must be aged under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of the programme (usually 1 September). Most students from England should meet residency criteria but it could be more complicated for students from elsewhere in the UK or the EU (See the UK Government website for details).
  • Students cannot qualify for the Doctoral Loan if they are in receipt of Research Council Funding (such as LAHP MA, TECHNE or LDOC). 
  • Students will not qualify for the Doctoral Loan if they are not studying a full PHD course.


The amount students can borrow depends on the year they start their PHD programme:

  • 2022/23 entrants can receive up to £27,892
  • 2021/22 entrants can receive up to £27,265
  • 2020/21 entrants can receive up to £26,445
  • 2019/20 entrants can receive up to £25,700
  • 2018/19 entrants can receive up to £25,000

Payments will be split evenly over each year of the programme; within each year payments will arrive in three termly instalments. There is a maximum that can be paid each year which means that those applying late in their course may not be able to receive the full amount. Payments are made to the student directly and not to the College. 


Repayments are 6% of earnings over £21,000, or 9% of earnings if a student also has a Master's loan (the Masters and Doctoral Loans are combined for repayments but the Undergraduate loans are always kept as a separate deduction). Repayments will come out of earnings via PAYE if a person is employed. Interest is calculated as a snapshot of RPI in September each year plus 3%. 

How to apply Applications open in the summer via the Government website. Assessments are based on course eligibility, previous study, and residency; they are not in any way means-tested. Applications can be made until the ninth month of the final academic year (although late applications may not receive full-funding). 

Progression discount

Full-time UK, EU and International students who have completed a Master’s degree at the RCA will be eligible for a £1,000 discount on Research degree tuition fees for up to three years of study. The Research degree must be started within five years of graduation.

Other funding opportunities

We have a number of funding or part-funding opportunities that arise during the year and these will be advertised here and on jobs.ac.uk. For more information, contact the Research office or Student Support office.

Contact us

Get in touch if you'd like to find out more about studying at the RCA.

Register your interest with us here
Bahareh Saboktakin, Spindle