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If you are a current staff member who plans to start a postgraduate course at the University of Cambridge, you may be eligible for the reduced staff fee for your course.

In order to qualify, you must:

  1. Be a candidate for a research course covered by the Code of Practice for Research Students (i.e. PhD, MSc, MLitt, CPGS, EdD, those MPhils examined by thesis and oral only). Course information can be found in the University's Statutes & Ordinances, Chapter I. The MD course is not eligible for staff discount.

  2. Have a contract of at least 40% full time employment with the University of Cambridge from the first day of the research course (this does not include employment in one of the approved University Partner Institutes, nor ESOL, nor CUPA, nor Colleges). The course is considered to start on the first day of term, which is 1 October for Michaelmas Term, 5 January for Lent Term, and 10/17 April for Easter Term.

  3. Have your Head of Department's support for the reduced staff fee being charged. Where the employing department is different from the admitting department, the agreement of both Heads must be obtained.

  4. Be able to demonstrate that your research will overlap almost entirely with your paid employment (for full-time courses) or contribute directly to it (for part-time courses).

  5. Sign an undertaking that you understand and agree that if the employment contract comes to an end, then so will the reduced staff rate and you will be assessed for the remaining fees/maintenance in the usual way.

Cost of reduced staff fee

The reduced staff University Composition Fee (UCF) is one-third of either the full- or part-time Home Student UCF for all qualifying students, irrespective of whether they are classified as Home or Overseas.

Application procedure for applicants and current students

  1. Ensure an application for admission to postgraduate study has been completed in the normal way, via the course directory and the Applicant Portal
  2. Complete the Staff Fee Application Form and send it to your departmental postgraduate administrator.

  3. Your Head of Department will complete their section of the form, which should then be returned to the Fee Policy Manager, informing us of your staff status (at the discretion of the department).

Please note:

  • If you are already part-way through your course and have been employed by the University since the outset, you may be eligible for a refund of the difference between the reduced staff fee and the full UCF for any terms completed since the commencement of the scheme in January 2004. Students who have completed their course are not eligible for a refund.
  • Staff fee application forms should be returned to Education Services by emailing the scanned form to Please note that the approvals process includes an employment verification check. Consequently there may be a delay between a staff fee application being submitted and the staff fee appearing on the individual's student record, as a staff fee application will not be approved until the individual has received their University employment contract or contract extension letter.
  • Students in receipt of the staff fee need to inform their College Finance Office (or equivalent) of any change in their University employment status during their course, to help ensure that their College charges them the correct fee for the term(s) in question..
  • Any student in receipt of the staff fee whose University contract is extended must ensure that their department notify the Fee Policy Manager to ensure that they continue to receive the staff fee whilst remaining employed by the University.  
  • Further information on the reduced staff fee can be found in the University Composition Fee section of the University's Statutes & Ordinances, Chapter I.