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Information for prospective students

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS2) supports doctoral, MPhil and research master's degree qualifications in all Welsh universities, jointly sponsored by external partners from Wales.

KESS allowed me to complete a PhD, take extra courses to further my employability and also made a connection with a local employer who have subsequently given me an opportunity to work with them. With the current employability difficulties faced by graduates, this chance was invaluable.

Dr. James Evans Cardiff University

Eligibility criteria

Applicants for these awards must:

  1. have a home or work address in the relevant area* of Wales (East or West) at the time of your application for funding and enrolment
  2. have the right to work in the UK on completion of the scholarship
  3. be classified as a ‘home’ or ‘EU’ student
  4. satisfy the respective admissions criteria
  5. Applicants for research PhDs will be expected to have one or both of the following:
    1. a first degree, normally with class 2:1 or equivalent in a relevant subject
    2. a relevant master's degree qualification or equivalent.

It is a condition of eligibility for KESS2 funding that you have not applied for, nor are intending to apply for, a doctoral or research master's loan. Please read clause (3) (m) of The Education (Postgraduate Doctoral Degree Loans) (Wales) Regulations 2018 for more information.

*West Wales and the Valleys region is made up of the following 15 local authorities: Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen. East Wales region is comprised of 7 local authorities: Cardiff, Flintshire, Monmouthshire, Newport, Powys, Vale of Glamorgan and Wrexham.

How to apply

In the first instance, applicants should make initial enquiries via the named School / academic supervisor for each funded KESS2 project.  All applicants must apply initially via the Cardiff University application process for postgraduate study, identifying the KESS2 Scholarship they wish to be considered for.

If deemed suitable for the project, applicants will be invited to complete a ‘KESS2 Participant Form’ which assesses eligibility for funding. Applicants must also be able to provide supporting documentary evidence of their eligibility. Guidance on this requirement is outlined in the KESS2 Participant Form, an example of which can be downloaded as above. Suitable applicants will be sent this form to complete following the School selection process.  Further advice is available from the KESS2 team.



Esther Meadows

Finance and Compliance Project Officer

Our funders

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the Higher Education sector in Wales. It is part-funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF).