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Postgraduate research  Finance overview  Funding  How to apply

studying law at Cambridge

If your application is successful, it will be a condition of your admission that you have adequate funds to cover your fees and living expenses for the duration of your course. In many cases, these will derive from a scholarship or grant, and we provide information below on potential sources of such funding. Other students are self-funding throughout their time in Cambridge, relying on personal savings or support from family.

It is essential that you think realistically about your funding before embarking on a research degree. Full-time research is demanding and time-consuming: to try to do that work whilst subject to worries regarding your financial situation is very difficult, and under no circumstances will the University accept the need to earn money as a valid reason for failure to complete your research on time.

You must also bear in mind that the University's regulations prohibit research students from undertaking any non-academic-related employment during their course, and strictly limit the amount of paid academic-related employment that research students are permitted to undertake during their course: no more than ten hours a week, and then only with the permission of their research supervisor and college tutor. Overseas applicants should note that this limit may be lower than the limit on paid employment permitted by your visa. Applicants who have funding from a grant should also be careful to ensure that they comply with any conditions from their funder regarding paid employment: for example, some permit no more than six hours of paid work per week.

Funding Opportunities for Prospective Students

There are many funding opportunities at Cambridge from a wide variety of sources including the Cambridge Trust, Gates Cambridge, Colleges, Departments, Research Councils (Prospective PhD students in Law are eligible to apply for an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Studentship and/or an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Studentship) and central University funds.

The most comprehensive information about such funding can be found on the Postgraduate Admissions website which provides detailed information about the University-wide funding competitions to which you can apply by completing the funding section of the Application Form (via the Postgraduate Applicant Portal). You should take a look at the really useful Postgraduate Funding search tool which allows you to search for funding you are eligible for according to what course you are applying to and your fee status. You should also consult the websites of individual Colleges.

In addition to the central funding awards, the Faculty of Law is pleased to be able to offer the following awards that provide either full or partial funding. Details are provided below.

Maitland Studentship in Legal History

The Managers of the F.W. Maitland Memorial Fund are able to offer one Studentship, tenable from 1 October 2023, for students undertaking doctoral research in legal history at the University of Cambridge. Studentships are tenable in the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of History, or the Faculty of English.

The Studentship is for PhD research only; applications will not be accepted from those applying to commence an MPhil. in October 2023. The Studentship is tenable for up to three years. Applications will be accepted from those who commenced their PhD course before October 2023; in such cases tenure of the Studentship will be limited to the period for which University fees remain chargeable.

Continued tenure of the Studentship will be subject to satisfactory academic progress, and to the meeting of any other conditions set by the University for continuation of study. In making decisions on the award or continuation of studentships, the Managers will take into account funding available from other sources. Preference may be given to applicants who hold, or will hold by the commencement of the Studentship, a relevant master’s degree.

The maximum annual value of the Studentship will be a sum equivalent to the total of the University of Cambridge’s minimum maintenance requirement for PhD students (which for the academic year 2023-24 is £17,668) plus PhD fees at either the home or overseas rate, as applicable (the home rate for 2023-24 is £9,387, and the overseas rate £28,401).

Candidates wishing to be considered for the Studentship should apply for admission as a postgraduate student by the relevant funding deadline for the PhD in Law, History or English as set out in the online Course Directory and should also complete the studentship application form and send it directly to Mrs Alison Hirst, University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law, 10 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DZ or by email to by 5 January 2023.

Wright Rogers Law Scholarships

There will be an election to two Wright Rogers Law Scholarships in August 2023. Candidates for the Scholarships must have successfully completed a course of study qualifying them for a degree in any university or similar institution in the United Kingdom and have spent at least one year in the study of law. If elected, a Scholar will be required to carry out study or research relating to the Laws of England under the direction of the Electors. The tenure of a Scholarship will be for one year from 1 October 2023 in the first instance, but a Scholar may be eligible for re-election for a further two years. A Scholar must already be or must become a member of the University.

The annual value of each Scholarship will be at least £3,000 and will be determined by the Electors of the Wright Rogers Scholarship Fund after taking into account any other financial resources that may be available to the Scholar. Applications for a Scholarship should include a Curriculum Vitae, details of proposed course of study at Cambridge, a statement of funding secured to date towards the proposed course of study and/or details of any applications for funding that are pending. Completed applications should be sent by email to Mrs Alison Hirst, Faculty of Law ( by not later than 1 July 2023. Candidates must also arrange for two persons each to send a reference to Mrs Hirst so as to arrive by the same date.

Arnold McNair Scholarship in International Law

The Arnold McNair Scholarship Fund supports a one-year Arnold McNair Scholarship in the area of international law. The Scholarship is open to any member of the University of Cambridge who has kept at least eight terms and who is a candidate for, or has been classed in, Part II of the Law Tripos. A letter of application, together with a statement of the nature of the further study or research that the applicant proposes to undertake, a statement of funding secured to date and/or details of any applications for funding that are pending should be sent by email to Mrs Alison Hirst, Faculty of Law ( by 25 June in any year. The present value of the scholarship is at least £5000. If the available income of the Fund is sufficient, a second Scholar may be elected.