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Close up detail of a motherboard and wires against sketches for a robotic hand.

With the Government's 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.


London Arts & Humanities Partnership (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 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 the LAHP website for further derails.

How to apply

  • Applications for funding open in November. 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 for 2024 entry closed on 26 January 2024 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 via the LAHP website.

Successful applicants

Successful applicants who will be awarded a LAHP studentship will be informed in Spring 2024.

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.

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 Arts & Humanities Research Council website for more information on current studentships

The Paul Mellon Centre Scholarships

MPhil Scholarship and PhD Scholarship  opportunities as part of the PMC’s ‘New Narratives’ scheme, designed to increase the diversity of perspectives among scholars within the field of British Art History.

Funding guides

The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding

One of the most useful resources for discovering 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

Students who normally reside in England and study for a PhD may be eligible for a Doctoral Loan from Student Finance England.

Doctoral Loan Key Facts:

  • A loan of £29,390 is available.
  • The loan is paid in termly instalments over the duration of the programme (until you submit your thesis).
  • For full-time programmes you will initially be put on a four-year programme, for part-time programme, a seven-year programme. If your programme length changes, your remaining payments will be rescheduled.
  • The loan is not means-tested (i.e. it is not based on your income).
  • If you are in receipt of Research Council funding (or will be) you are not eligible for the Doctoral Loan.
  • If you already have an equivalent (or higher) level qualification you will not be eligible for the Doctoral Loan. This is regardless of when or in which country the previous qualification was studied.
  • If you are not studying the full PhD programme, you will not be eligible for the Doctoral Loan.
  • If you have previously received a Doctoral Loan (even if the programme was not completed) you will not be eligible for another Doctoral Loan except in certain circumstances.
  • You will only start to repay this loan from the April after you have left the programme, or the April four years after the programme started (whichever is sooner).
  • Repayments are 6% of anything earned over £21,000.
  • You can apply online at GOV.UK - Doctoral Loan for your Doctoral Loan.
  • Applications usually open in June and will take around four to six weeks to be processed.
  • To find out more visit GOV.UK - Doctoral Loan.

If you reside in Wales, then you can find out more about the funding available to you here:

Student Finance Wales

For more information on how to apply, visit Applying for student finance: PhD

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