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You will pay the University Composition Fee (UCF) to your College. You are liable to pay the UCF for the minimum number of terms for your degree:

Fee Liability for PhD (NOTAF, CPGS) 

Course Full-time Part-time

9 terms (3 years)

15 terms (5 years)

EdD N/A 15 terms (5 years)
MLitt, MSc

6 terms (2 years)

10 terms 


After this time you enter a 'writing up' period and will normally be automatically exempt from payment of the UCF.  Your college accounts office is informed of your fee liability each term by the Student Registry (through the 'Fee Bill').

However, your Faculty or Department may request the continued payment of fees beyond the minimum period if:

  1. you are making substantial use of University facilities, beyond the minimum period, or
  2. your PhD course is of longer duration (applies to certain courses in Photovoltaics, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, High Performance Structural Metallics, Nuclear Energy Futures).

Research Councils and other external sponsors

If you have extended funding beyond the minimum period your sponsor may expect to pay fees for you. These funds are usually dedicated for fees and cannot be used for other purposes. If this applies to you, either you or your award administrator should email the fees office ( to request an extension of your date of exemption to match your funding end date.

Other exemptions from fee liability:

  1. Intermission (suspension) of studies for ill health etc.
    You may be eligible for exemption from the payment of fees during the period of intermission. However, if you are studying for 21 days or more of Full Term you will normally be liable for fees for that term. Intermission will not impact on the overall number of terms of fee liability.
  2. Exemption or Allowance of Terms You may be eligible for exemption of fees if you are granted an exemption or allowance of terms in order to allow you to submit your thesis early. You should contact your College Tutor if you are in financial hardship. Please note that the circumstances in which exemption/allowance of terms is granted are very restricted.