Am I likely to succeed in the competition for College or School studentships or scholarships for doctoral level study?
Based on our collective experience of assessing the large volume of scholarship applications we receive each year, some guidance is provided below on what factors influence a positive decision. In general, only those candidates who can give a positive answer under three or more of these headings are likely to receive an award. This applies directly to the awards (including College of Humanities & Social Science Scholarships and School of Social and Political Science Scholarships) where the School is responsible for recommending applicants for awards, but will serve as a good guide for any competitive funding schemes.
Was your undergraduate degree in the highest possible classification in your university system? If not, was it very close to this classification? Awards are made on the basis of evidence of academic achievement and your degree is one of the most important indicators of this. If you can not answer yes to either of these questions, it is unlikely that you will receive a School or College award.
Do you have a postgraduate degree? If so, was it awarded with distinction? Did you do well in the dissertation element? The panel making recommendations on awards are looking for people who will be able to conduct a substantial intellectual project under academic supervision.
Relevant work experience
To what extent does your employment history support your application? Have you been operating in the field you intend to study in? In cases where your last degree was awarded more than five years ago, being able to show relevant experience will become more important. Work may be paid employment, volunteering or internships. Any experience of research will be especially helpful.
Other evidence of commitment
As so many applicants meet the criteria of showing high levels of academic achievement through their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, further information may make the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful application. Have you undertaken any relevant volunteering? Have you written anything for a newspaper on the subject that you intend to study? Did you do anything to disseminate findings from your undergraduate or postgraduate dissertation?
We would stress the highly competitive nature of any scholarship. Meeting the above criteria will increase your chances of success, but inevitably because of the limited numbers of scholarships available, it still does not offer a guarantee that you will succeed.