Postgraduate funding

King’s-China Scholarship Council PhD Scholarship programme (K-CSC) 2020-21

Eligibility criteria

  • Open to residents of the following countries

  • Candidates MUST:
    • Be citizens and permanent residents of the People’s Republic of China;
    • Be due to commence a full-time MPhil/PhD research degree programme at King’s College London in the 2020/21 academic year, i.e. from 1 October 2020, and by no later than 31 March 2021;
    • Satisfy the CSC's criteria on education and employment as set out by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) on their website;
    • Agree to return to China upon completion of your studies/research;
    • Have submitted all the required application material/information (as instructed in the ‘Application Process’ section below) by the deadline of 23:59 GMT on 5 January 2020;
    • Have met the English language requirements for your chosen research programme by no later than by 9am GMT on 20 January 2020;
    • Ensure that your referees submit their supporting references to the King’s admissions office by 9am GMT on 20 January 2020;
    • Also, follow the separate local application procedure within China and submit the required documentation to the CSC by its stated deadlines (see for further details).
    Please note that:
    • Students who have already commenced their doctoral degree at King’s are not eligible
    • These scholarships cannot be held on a part-time basis
    • Distance learning programmes are not eligible
    • Professional doctorate degrees are not eligible
    • Joint PhD programmes are not eligible
    • Students who fail to apply to both King’s and the CSC, as appropriate, will not be considered
    • These scholarships cannot commence prior to September/October 2020
  • Applicable subjects
    All Subjects

Application details

Applications may be submitted
16-Oct-2019 until 05-Jan-2020

Information about the funding
King's College London and the China Scholarship Council (CSC) hold an agreement to jointly fund PhD students to pursue research degrees at King's College London.

As part of the agreement, successful students will receive a scholarship that covers the tuition fee, an annual living allowance that includes overseas student health cover, a return airfare to London and visa application fees.

Up to 100 K-CSC scholarship awards will be available for the 2020-21 competition.

Please be aware that students funded through this scheme must abide by any additional terms and conditions set by the CSC. Scholars will be required to enter into a legally binding agreement with the CSC before they are able to take up the scholarship. If there are any significant developments that could affect/hamper a scholar's expected completion of the PhD, scholars are advised to get in touch with the Education Section in the Chinese Embassy.

Key Dates
Mid October 2019 – January 2020:

  • Practice your English language skills.
  • Review our K-CSC supervisor catalogue and the university’s Online Research Portal to find a suitable supervisor.
  • Contact potential supervisors about your area of research interests.
  • Discuss your research ideas with your potential supervisors (some disciplines may require a research proposal).
5 January 2020:
  • 23:59 GMT deadline for you to apply to King’s College London for the scholarship and submit all the relevant information and supporting documentation, such as transcripts and official translations.
20 January 2020:
  • 09:00 (am) GMT deadline for you to submit proof of English language proficiency via your online admissions application. Please note that this is also the deadline for your referees to submit their supporting references to King’s College London via the admissions portal and it is your responsibility to ensure your references are submitted on time.
10-31 March 2020:
  • The China Scholarship Council (CSC) online application opens. The application guidance will be published on the CSC official website.

Specified use
Successful students have their full international tuition fees covered by the university and receive, from the CSC, an annual living allowance (currently set at a rate of £1200-1350 per month) plus overseas student health cover, a return airfare to London and visa application fees. The Scholarships are valid for up to 4 years.

Bench fees are NOT covered by this scholarship.

For guidance on budgeting, please visit our Money Advice webpages.

Application procedure
Applications for the K-CSC are accepted until 23:59 GMT on 5 January 2020

Please follow the instructions below. Applicants who fail to apply as instructed below will not be eligible for consideration.


  • 1. By the deadline of 23:59 GMT on 5 January 2020, apply to King’s College London for a full-time MPhil/PhD degree programme with a 2020-21 start date (i.e. from 1 October 2020) using the King’s online admissions application (*
    - Applications must include the name of a proposed supervisor whom you have already made contact with.
    - Applications must be complete with the relevant supporting documentation, i.e. official transcripts and certificates, including professional/university-made translations, and if applicable: personal statement/writing sample/research proposals (please refer to online prospectus for programme-specific requirements).
  • 2. On the funding part of your KCL online Admissions Application Form, ensure you tick the box at item 5 (Award Scheme Code or Name) and enter the code: 2021-KCSC (please copy and paste the code exactly!).
  • 3. By the deadline of 9:00am GMT on 20 January 2020, ensure that you have submitted proof of English Proficiency via your online Admissions application and ensure that your referees have provided King’s with your supporting references. It is your responsibility to ensure that your referees submit the references in time.
  • 4. Submit a separate application to the CSC by its stated deadline and following the local application procedures in China. Note that the local CSC application process is completely separate to King’s processes and their deadlines may differ from King’s College London.

*Students who have already applied for admissions, and those who previously applied but deferred entry to 2020/21, must update their online admissions application for 2020/21 with the code 2021-KCSC. The same deadline of 5 January 2020, 23:59 GMT will apply.

Please be aware that material from your admissions application will be extracted and used as part of the assessment/selection process. It is your responsibility to ensure that all the relevant information and supporting documents are provided in time.

Selection Process:
Once the application deadline has passed, the Admissions Office and the Centre for Doctoral Studies (CDS) Office will gather and record the details of all the applications received that state 2021-KCSC as the Award Scheme Code.

The Admissions Office and the CDS Office will check the eligibility of all applicants, and all applications that are deemed eligible will be circulated to faculties for assessment.

Assessment of applications will be based on:
  • i) Evidence and strength of academic qualifications gained (minimum entry qualification is an undergraduate 2:1 and/or a higher degree), and where applicable, professional qualifications and/or relevant experience;
  • ii) Strength of the research proposal
  • iii) Match of the applicant’s interests with his/her potential supervisor

Academic faculties will put forward their ranked shortlist of candidates to the CDS office by 28th February 2020. The CDS office will consider the nominations across all academic faculties and decide on the university’s final list of nominees. Only those candidates who have met the English entry requirements for their programme and obtained an admissions offer will be eligible for nomination to the CSC.

Please be aware that the admissions offer letter only relates to your place for the doctoral degree programme and will not include scholarship/fee waiver information. Confirmation of fee waiver support will be communicated directly with the CSC at the point of nomination (see below).

CSC Nomination
As soon as the CDS office has finalised the university’s list of nominees, we will notify applicants of their nomination status via email.

The CDS office will also submit the university’s final list of nominees to the CSC by their nomination deadline of 4th March 2020.

Final Decisions
The CSC will conduct a separate selection process based on the applications it receives directly within China, and will evaluate candidates according to CSC requirements and priorities. The CSC will make the final overall decision about the awards and they will confirm their list of successful scholarship recipients with the CDS office towards the end of May/early June.

  • Students can only be successful with a K-CSC scholarship if they have been chosen/supported by BOTH the King’s College London Centre for Doctoral Studies and the China Scholarship Council
  • For those students who make it on the King's College London nominations list, their details (to include: full name, date of birth, gender, programme details, start date and end date) will be shared with the CSC as part of the nomination process for identification purposes

Announcement of Results
If your K-CSC application is deemed ineligible, i.e. due to the late or incomplete submission of information/documents, your admissions application will automatically be rejected via the online admissions portal.

If you are unsuccessful with the K-CSC award, your admissions application will also automatically be rejected via the online admissions portal. This is because the university will assume that you no longer wish to pursue your place at King’s any further without K-CSC funding. However, if you decide that you do want to continue with your MPhil/PhD degree at King’s, i.e. because of alternative funding or self-funding (where possible), you can get in contact with the admissions office to request that your admissions application be reinstated.

Applicants who make it on to the university’s final nominations list will be informed via email as soon as possible, which is likely to be around the 4th March 2020.

Final decisions lie with the CSC and will be confirmed towards the end of May/early June 2020. As soon as the CDS office is aware of the final outcome, they will contact the successful candidates. Unsuccessful candidates will also be informed at this point.

Candidates who are successfully offered a K-CSC award will be asked to provide a decision on acceptance/decline by a given deadline. If a successful candidate fails to respond by the given deadline or declines the offer, their award offer will automatically be withdrawn.

For full details about these scholarships, please click on the guidance document at the bottom of this page.

Contact details

King's College London
Tel: 020 7848 3389/0202

Zhang Yan
Project Officer
Division of European & Asian & African Affairs
China Scholarship Council
Level 13, Building A3, No.9 Chegongzhuang Avenue
Post Code:100044

Application material


Please note the database is updated regularly but is a guide only and not a guarantee of funding nor an exhaustive list of all funding available.

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