Scholarship fund

PIC Masters Studentship Scheme in Population Studies 

History and aim of the scheme: The Population Investigation Committee (PIC) established a scholarship fund in 1996 to facilitate further training in demography past undergraduate level, for which there was a lack of funding at that time. In 2009, the ESRC & the PIC entered into a joint funding agreement which extended the number of awards available each year, and which aimed to aid the recruitment & initial development of talented students in demography by contributing to student fees and maintenance costs. However, co-funding ended in 2016 when the ESRC withdrew from the scheme. In 2024, the PIC itself will fund a minimum of two awards

Please read the following information carefully before applying or enquiring. Applications for 2024 will be accepted from April until 13 June, but should be submitted by the institution where the applicant plans to study & not directly by the student. 

Eligibility and residential criteria: Eligibility for the Scholarships is restricted to students eligible for UK 'home' fees only, accepted on a PIC-approved Masters degree course at a PIC-approved institution. Only courses with a high demographic content are approved. Currently-supported courses are:   

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine:

MSc Demography and Health

Contact Sarah Walters

MSc Reproductive & Sexual Health Research 

Contact Melissa Palmer


London School of Economics & Political Science:

MSc Health & International Development with Population Studies (the population studies specialism course units must be taken so that the course comprises at least 70% demographic course units)

Contact Tiziana Leone -

University of Liverpool:  

No courses currently approved, but eligibility may be determined if there is high enough demographic content.

University of Oxford:

MPhil Demography & Sociology - with a high demographic content & a demographic dissertation. As this is a two-year course, the award would be split over the two years.


University of Southampton:

MSc Demography
MSc Social Research Methods with Applied Statistics

Contact Olga Maslovskaya –   

Additional UK courses MAY be eligible if the institution can show the course would meet the aims of the scheme to actively increase demographic skills & research capacity. Prospective students would be expected to take a high proportion (75%) of course units with demographic training content, including methods, and candidates would be monitored to ensure these courses were those studied. Please contact the PIC initially at  

All candidates must meet the residential and academic criteria:  

Residential criteria: Scholarships will only be awarded to students who are normally UK resident. All candidates should have settled status in the UK and have been ordinarily resident here for at least three years - ie not just for the purposes of education.  

Academic criteria: Candidates must have qualifications of the standard of a good honours degree at first or upper second class level from a UK academic institution. In the majority of cases, candidates will have undertaken an undergraduate course at a recognised UK higher education institution. However, some may have qualifications from outside the UK, or be able to offer a combination of qualifications and/or experience. In both cases it will be necessary for the institution where the candidate proposes to study to ascertain whether these qualifications can be equated to an honours degree and at what level. A less-than-sufficient first degree may be enhanced by the attainment of a Masters degree. If a candidate is applying who has enhanced their degree, enough details should be given to show that this has sufficiently enhanced the candidate’s knowledge to the standard required. 

Number of awards available in 2024: In 2024, for the academic year 2024-2025, there will be a minimum of TWO awards.

Value of awards: The value of a scholarship in 2024 will be £15,000, to include tuition fees. An initial payment of £12,000 is made at the beginning of the academic year from which the institution usually deducts tuition fees. The balance of £3,000 is paid in late February or early March of the following year, on receipt of a satisfactory progress report from the student’s supervisor. Tuition fees at the University of Southampton & at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine may be capped at the maximum agreed RCUK level, as those institutions have in the past generously agreed to subsidise the balance of the total amount charged. Please note, however, that tuition fees at the London School of Economics & the University of Oxford are NOT subsidised & must be paid in full from the award. Awards are usually administered by the institution at which the student will be studying. 

Application and assessment process: Applications are NOT accepted from individual students. The named contact listed previously will coordinate applications, and will be invited to put these forward this year. THREE applications per institution, presented in ranked order, are the maximum number allowed. Applications can be accepted from students wishing to study part-time over a two-year period (when the amount of the award will be split between the two years.) Scholarships are not available to students subsequently awarded or holding major grants from other sources such as Research Councils. The closing date for applications in 2024 will be Thursday 13 June. Each application will be assessed by the PIC Scholarship Committee, whose decision is final. All candidates should be informed of the outcome of their application by early July. 

Applications via an institution should consist of the following in one PDF file for each application, sent to

  • A completed application form available here - PIC-Application-Form
  • Two references from persons able to confirm the student's suitability for an award 
  • Candidates will be expected to be planning a career in demographic research, or in an area where demographic skills are a necessity. Previous experience of quantitative methods is not essential but would be welcomed, although candidates should be able to demonstrate that they have the numerical skills needed to acquire these essential research methods. 

Applications will be graded based on the evidence of initial qualifications & references provided, (although the qualifications themselves do not attract a specific grade), outline of proposed research area, demonstration of commitment to demography, relevant experience, & the demonstration or development of quantitative skills. 

We particularly welcome applications from ethnic minority candidates, from first-generation students and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. 

On completion of their course, successful candidates will be required to return an assessment of their course on the form provided, which will also ask for information about future work or study intentions to aid the PIC’s internal monitoring & assessment of the scheme.

Population Investigation Committee
London School of Economics
Houghton Street,
London WC2A 2AE

Tel: 020 7955 7666