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

Subject areas:

Arts, culture and media. Biomedical and life sciences. Chemistry. Computer science. Conflict and security. Dental training and science. Dentistry. Education management and policy. Engineering. Finance. Geography and the environment. History and classics. Imaging sciences. Intercalated. International affairs and development. Languages and literature. Law. Management. Mathematics. Medicine. Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care. Pharmacy, pharmacology and forensic science. Philosophy and religion. Physics. Policy and society. Politics and economics. Psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience. Public health. Specialist training for medical professionals. Summer School. Teaching. Therapeutic health.

Funding type:

Tuition fee. Stipend.

Awarding body:

China Scholarship Council.



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

Award details

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

K-CSC scholarship awards are available for the 2024-25 competition.

Please be aware that students funded through this scheme must abide by any additional terms and conditions set by the CSC.

Please use the postgraduate course finder to search for a suitable doctoral programme. 

To find a supervisor at King's, please click here for guidance. 

Award value

As part of the agreement between the CSC and King’s College London, successful students have their full international tuition fees covered by the university and receive, from the CSC, an annual living allowance (rate set by the CSC) plus overseas student health cover, return airfare to London and visa application fees. The Scholarships are valid for up to 4 years.

You will not be asked to pay any ‘bench fees’. These should be waived or covered by the relevant supervisor/department/faculty at King’s.

Please be aware that the cost of living in capital cities is usually higher than the rest of the country. This is true of London. Whilst funders may recognise this with their stipend levels, many CSC students choose to supplement their stipend in some way with additional funds. Please therefore also seek guidance on budgeting whilst living in London via the Money Advice webpages.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible, you MUST:

  • Be a citizen and permanent resident of the People’s Republic of China (and hold a Chinese passport);
  • Be due to commence a full-time MPhil/PhD research degree programme at King’s College London in the 2024/25 academic year (i.e., from Oct 2024 and by no later than June 2025), with an aim to complete the PhD degree;
  • Satisfy criteria set out by the CSC, e.g., relating to age (up to 35yrs on application), education, and employment. Please to refer to CSC website for full details (
  • Agree to return to China upon completion of your scholarship/degree;
  • Apply to King’s College London for the scholarship (as instructed in the ‘Application Process’ section below) by the deadline of 2 Jan 2024, 23:59 UK time;
  • By the deadline of 15 Jan 2024, 23:59 UK time:
    • have submitted all the required documentation to support your King’s admissions application;
    • have met the English language requirements for your chosen research programme;
    • ensure that your referees have submitted their reference(s) to support your admissions application;
  • Also, follow the separate CSC application procedure and submit the required documentation to the CSC by its stated deadlines (see for further details). NB: CSC application rules differ slightly between domestic applicants (those applying in China) and overseas applicants (those applying from abroad) – further guidance is provided below, under ‘CSC guidance’;

Please note that: 

  • Applicants 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 (such as the MD(Res) and DClinPsy) are not eligible
  • Joint PhD programmes are not eligible
  • Applicants who fail to apply to both King’s and the CSC, as appropriate, will not be considered
  • These scholarships cannot commence prior to October 2024 or after June 2025

CSC Guidance:

Depending on whether a candidate is applying from within China (domestic applicant), or from abroad (overseas Chinese applicant), the following CSC rules apply to King’s candidates:

For domestic applicants, you must either:

  • Be in the final year of an undergraduate degree at a Chinese university/institute in China and hold an MPhil/PhD offer to study at King’s for 2024/25. Or,
  • Be completing a master’s degree at a Chinese university/institute in China and hold an MPhil/PhD offer to study at King’s for 2024/25. Or,
  • Be an in-service staff (i.e., employed) in China and hold an MPhil/PhD offer to study at King’s for 2024/25.

For overseas Chinese applicants, you must either:

  • Be studying a master’s degree abroad (e.g., in the UK) and be due to complete in 2024, and hold an MPhil/PhD offer to study at King’s for 2024/25. Or,
  • Be an overseas Chinese applicant (not including those who returned to China and then went abroad) who completed their master’s degree at an overseas university within one year and hold an MPhil/PhD offer to study at King’s for 2024/25.

NB: Final year undergraduate students who are studying abroad (i.e., at a university/institution outside of China) are ineligible to apply to the CSC.

The above CSC guidance is correct at the time of publishing, please refer to the CSC’s website for full details.

Award conditions

Please refer to the attached 'K-CSC 24-25 Guidance for Applicants' document for details about the terms and conditions.

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.

Application process

King’s College London accepts applications for the K-CSC awards up until 23:59 UK time on 2 January 2024.

To apply, please follow the instructions below.


STEP 1: By the deadline of 23:59 UK time on 2 Jan 2024, you MUST:
  • Apply to King’s College London for a full-time MPhil/PhD degree programme with a 2024-25 start date (i.e., from 1 October 2024) using the King’s online admissions application system – King’s Apply*. Please upload all necessary supporting materials by this stage where possible and ensure that you submit your admissions application by 2nd January 2024! Refer to Step 2 for further guidance on supporting documentation.
  • Contact a potential King’s supervisor that you would like to study under and include the proposed supervisor’s name in your admissions application (within the 'Research Proposal' section/Supporting Statement Category, select 'Yes' against the statement: 'I have identified the King’s supervisor I would like to study under', and input the name). For guidance on finding a supervisor, please read our 'K-CSC - Applicant Guide to Finding a Supervisor'. Normally, your programme will sit within the same department as your proposed supervisor. If you are unsure what programme to apply for, please check this with your proposed supervisor and/or department.
  • 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: 2425-KCSC (please copy and paste the code exactly). Applicants who fail to input this exact code as instructed will not be picked up when we extract details from the admissions system, so it is vital that you do this correctly! Please refer to the attached 'K-CSC 2024-25 Guidance for Applicants' document for full details and a print screen of what this should look like. 

*If you have already applied for admissions but deferred entry to 2024/25, you must update your online admissions application to include the code 2425-KCSC in the funding section of your application, as instructed above. The same deadline of 2 January 2024 at 23:59 UK time applies.

STEP 2: By the deadline of 23:59 UK time on 15 Jan 2024, you MUST: 

Ensure that you have submitted all the required supporting documentation as part of your online Admissions application, to include:

  • Official degree transcripts and certificates, including professional/university-made translations. Please note that if your degree is from a Chinese institution, you must also provide your graduation certificate;
  • Proof of English Proficiency**;
  • References: Some programmes will require two references, and some will only require one reference. Your online admissions application will indicate the correct number of references needed for your programme, and the admissions system will automatically submit a request to your given referee(s) once you have submitted your admissions application. Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that your referee(s) submit the reference(s) on time;
  • If applicable, you may also be required to provide a personal statement, writing sample and/or research proposal. Requirements vary between programmes so please refer to the online prospectus and admissions application for guidance about all necessary documentation.

To add any outstanding material, simply log back into your online admissions application and upload the relevant documentation. If you experience any problems with this, please contact the admissions team via the messaging section of your application. 

** PLEASE NOTE: if you are currently studying a master’s degree in a majority English speaking country, such as the UK and USA, you may still be required to provide a valid English test certificate by 15 January 2024 to prove your English language proficiency. If you have previously taken an English language test within the last 2 years, please upload your test certificate to your admissions application. For any queries relating to English language proficiency, please contact the King’s Admissions Team via your online application. 

For guidance about Postgraduate English language entry requirements, please refer to the webpage at: NOTE: if you are experiencing problems accessing an English Language test centre, you should consider the online options acceptable by King's, such as the TOEFL Home Edition and IELTS Indicator. Please be aware that the results turnaround time for some English tests is up to 10 working days, therefore, if you need to take a test, please do so as soon as possible.

PLEASE BE AWARE that material from your admissions application will be extracted and used as part of the assessment/selection process. As part of the standard admissions process, you may be contacted about missing material/documents, however, this is not guaranteed, and it is your responsibility to ensure that all the relevant information and supporting materials are provided in time. Applications that are incomplete by the given deadline will not be considered.

STEP 3: Submit a separate application to the CSC:
  • If you are selected for nomination by King’s for our K-CSC awards, we will issue you with a ‘Confirmation of Nomination’ letter by 8 March 2024. Please use this letter alongside your admissions offer letter to apply separately to the CSC via their application channels.
  • If you are currently in China, you must follow the local application procedures in China, or, if you are currently studying abroad, you may need to apply through a Chinese Embassy. For CSC guidance, please visit
  • Note that the CSC application process is separate to the process run by King’s College London.
  • The CSC application period is normally 10-31 March, however, application deadlines for institutions within China may differ, so please check carefully.



Terms and conditions

  • K-CSC 24-25 Applicant Guide to Finding a Supervisor (0.19 MB)
  • K-CSC 24-25 Guidance for Applicants (0.56 MB)

    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 2425-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 and selection. 

    The assessment of applications is based on:

    1. 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
    2. Strength of the research project
    3. 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 1 March 2024.

    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 are eligible for nomination to the CSC.

    The CDS office aims to finalise the university’s list of nominees and submit this to the CSC by 8 March 2024.

    As soon as the nominations list is confirmed, the CDS office will notify applicants of their status via email. 

    PLEASE NOTE: If you are successfully chosen for nomination, you will be issued a ‘Confirmation of Nomination’ letter by the CDS office to confirm that King’s College London agrees to waiver your tuition fees at King’s if you are eventually successful with the K-CSC scholarship. This letter is separate to the standard admissions offer letter provided by the admissions office for the degree programme. Please be aware that neither receiving an admission offer, nor receiving the confirmation of nomination letter, indicate that you are successful with a K-CSC award; you will be informed of the outcome of the K-CSC process separately, once all applications have been reviewed and approved by both the CSC and King's College London.

    Nominees must apply separately to the CSC via their channels and the CSC will conduct a separate selection process based on the applications it receives via their process. The CSC will evaluate candidates according to CSC requirements and priorities and make the final overall decision about the awards. The CSC will normally confirm their list of successful scholarship recipients with the CDS office towards early June.


    • Applicants can only be successful with a K-CSC scholarship if they are chosen/supported by BOTH the King’s College London Centre for Doctoral Studies and the China Scholarship Council.
    • For applicants who make it on to 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.


    For any questions relating to this scheme, please get in touch with Chan Sum, PG Scholarships Co-ordinator, at, or the Centre for Doctoral Studies at


    Student Testimonial

    Jinyun Tong, Computer Science Research PhD

    "When I studied in BUPT for my bachelor's degree, one of my lecturers had graduated from King's College London. He told us many stories about his research life at King's, which attracted me to choose King's as my goal.

    I completed an MSc in Computational Finance at King's College London and hoped to continue my research with my supervisor, so I applied for a PhD project. I wanted to study the principles of financial networks and derivatives with the help of computer science, and finally become an expert in this area. I would like to develop an academic career after graduation, professional knowledge and skills as well as a PhD degree are so necessary.

    When I put forward the idea of continuing research to my supervisor, he recommended me to apply for the K-CSC programme. The scholarship covers all the tuition fees and living expenses, so it can greatly reduce my financial pressure and make me focus on academic activities.

    If you are studying abroad and would like to apply for any CSC programmes for PhD projects, please pay attention to the conditions and terms of CSC, for it may require you to submit the application before graduation. I strongly recommend that you discuss with your supervisor and make a plan so as not to miss the opportunity."

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    Study mode:

    Postgraduate research

    Application closing date:

    Contact us for details on when to apply