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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre SouthamptonPostgraduate study

How To Apply

Applicants are invited for postgraduate study in the Graduate School of NOCS (GSNOCS).

PhD application deadlines: The application period is now open for those wanting to be considered for projects starting in October 2017.

The application form will remain open to those applying for projects with project-tied funding and for applicants who wish to self-fund their studies.

Applications for our postgraduate programmes can be made using our online application form. 

To to apply for a standard PhD visit The Student Record System Self Service.

When completing the online application form, please note that our programmes are within the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Science. Regardless of the individual project title you wish to apply for, please enter 'Ocean and Earth Science' in the search field in order to apply for PhD opportunities.

Potential PhD students are requested to apply using the University of Southampton postgraduate application form, appending a:

Applicants normally list a couple of projects in which they are interested; this allows the application to be reviewed by the relevant supervisors. For full project listings please visit the GSNOCS webpage.

Please submit only one application. Up to three projects can be listed on the one application.

You may contact potential supervisors directly to discuss any aspects of the proposed research that may need clarification, or the Postgraduate (Research) Administrative Officer for general queries regarding applications or funding.


The target date for applications for an October 2017 start is 2 January 2017 for GSNOCS or SPITFIRE funded projects and 31 January 2017 for Oil & Gas CDT and 16 January 2017 for the NEXUSS CDT. Some funded projects become available throughout the year and applications for these are welcome at any time. It is your responsibility to ensure that your references are received by the deadline.

Please see notes under 'Funding' below regarding deadlines for overseas awards.


OES will refund half of any reasonable travel costs, on production of original receipts (including online travel tickets) and to a limit of £150, and mileage claims will be processed at a flat rate of 0.23p per mile.


The studentships advertised on our website are all available for an October 2017 start; some may be available sooner if full funding has already been obtained.

The Graduate School of NOCS is awarded approximately 10 responsive research studentships from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) every year, which are awarded to the highest calibre UK resident applicants. A number of our NERC quota studentships are also cooperative awards in sciences of the environment (CASE) studentships, which encourage research students to gain additional experience outside academia and are jointly supervised by a member of staff of an academic institution and a scientist from industry, business, commerce or a public sector research institute. The GSNOCS also bids annually for a NERC Industrial CASE studentship.

NERC also funds studentships through research grants (tied) or thematic programmes; the funding is allocated to specific projects.

The Graduate School awards some fully-funded studentships to highly ranked applicants. Other studentships are fully funded through early stage training programmes (EST), grant income, industrial support and other sources. UK residents are eligible for all forms of funding except EST, EU residents are eligible for NOCS studentships and EST studentships, industrially supported studentships and any other non-NERC funded sources.

University funding for overseas students

The Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award (DHPA) is awarded to academically outstanding candidates. Approximately half of the overall fee and stipend cost for a three year PhD needs to be funded by an industry partner in order for a student to be considered for the award.

Due to our limited funding options for overseas students, we strongly encourage you to seek your own funding. Please look at our information on other scholarships.

International scholarships

Multiple international student scholarships, awarded by GSNOCS, are available for highly qualified non-UK/EU applicants to cover the cost of overseas student fees. Applicants must identify the project(s) in which they are interested and are strongly encouraged to contact the relevant supervisors directly prior to making a formal application.

On-line application form

Apply for your postgraduate position at Ocean and Earth Science

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