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Queen’s University/China Scholarship Council PhD Scholarships 2023

This page provides information for prospective applicants for the Queen’s University/China Scholarship Council Awards.

There will be up to 20 full PhD scholarships available for candidates starting their studies in the 2023-24 academic year.  Applicants currently in the first year of a PhD programme at Queen's in the 2022-23 academic year may also apply, if they meet the eligibility requirements (including academic criteria and English language).  Such applicants must have commenced their PhD on or after 1 September 2022 in order to be eligible for consideration.

How to apply

Scholarship Value

Queen’s University Belfast provides a full tuition fee scholarship for successful applicants.  For those commencing the first year of PhD studies in 2023, the scholarship will cover up to three years full-time international PhD tuition fees, and one year thesis only/writing up charge (approximately £315).  The award is subject to registration at Queen’s, continued funding by the China Scholarship Council and to confirmation of satisfactory progress.

The China Scholarship Council provides:

• Maintenance stipend (as specified by the CSC)
• One economy class return journey from China to the UK
• Funding to cover visa application fees


(i) Candidates must be citizens of the People's Republic of China at the time of application, and either permanently resident in China or studying overseas. (Those working overseas are not eligible.)

It should be noted that citizens of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are not eligible for consideration under the CSC joint funding route. Candidates must hold a PRC passport.

(ii) Successful candidates must return to China upon completion of their degree.

(iii) Candidates will also be required to satisfy the selection criteria set out by CSC. Details can be found on the website: China Scholarship Council.

Areas of Research

Applicants to all postgraduate research areas will be considered, subject to available supervision. Please consult the School websites for details of research opportunities.

Academic Criteria

The required minimum academic qualifications are normally an undergraduate Bachelor degree with good grades (considered by the University to be equivalent to a UK Bachelor Honours degree, Second Class Upper Division or higher) and a Master’s degree with good grades, awarded by a recognised higher education institution. 

Applicants who do not have a Master’s degree, but who hold very high grades in an undergraduate Bachelor degree from a recognised Chinese higher education institution may be considered on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the relevant School.

Applicants currently in first year of a PhD programme, or who are currently employed in China, are eligible to apply if they also meet the criteria above.  Such applicants must have commenced their PhD on or after 1 September 2022 in order to be eligible for consideration.

Applicants who have been studying outside China must hold the equivalent of a UK Bachelor Honours degree Second Class Upper Division (2:1) or better, and a Master’s degree with good grades.

By the deadline for receipt of applications to Queen’s University Belfast (Tuesday 24 January 2023), applicants must have met the English language requirement (IELTS or TOEFL internet-based test) for their chosen degree programme (see requirements below) as well as have provided evidence of all academic qualifications undertaken to date.

English Language Requirement

An IELTS score of 6.5* overall with a minimum of 5.5** in each test component OR TOEFL internet-based test with overall score of 90* and minimum marks as follows: Listening (17), Reading (18), Speaking (20) and Writing (17). 

The above requirement must be met by Tuesday 24 January 2023.

*IELTS/TOEFL test must have been taken within two years of the expected start date of the course. All IELTS/TOEFL test results must be sent to Queen’s by Tuesday 24 January 2023.

**NB: Applicants wishing to undertake a PhD programme offered by the Queen’s Management School, School of Law, or the School of Psychology must obtain higher English language overall and component scores as outlined within the Queen's University Belfast Course Finder.

Exemptions to English Language Requirement

If you have completed an academic qualification to the required standard, equivalent to a UK Bachelor's degree (or higher) which was taught in one of the majority English-speaking countries listed below*, you are normally exempt from additional English language requirements. Exceptionally, some programmes with higher requirements will still require an IELTS test, including all research programmes offered by the School of Psychology.

*Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States of America