Thatcher Scholarships

The Margaret Thatcher Scholarship Trust has been established to create fully-funded scholarships which will enable the most promising students to benefit from the unique education and intellectual environment that is offered by Somerville and Oxford.

Somerville has fostered generations of young minds with its pioneering spirit, which spurred its students on to extraordinary achievements, and counts Margaret Thatcher among its most illustrious alumni.

This is an unprecedented endeavour for an Oxbridge College, both in scale and in scope. The Thatcher Scholarships are open to all, at undergraduate and postgraduate level, regardless of the subject of their course, and without regard to national, cultural or ethnic origin.

Scholars are also supported by the Thatcher Development Programme, a new initiative open to all students at Somerville, providing training, access to internships, help with travel to conferences and support for all kinds of career development.

The aim of the Trust is to create a living legacy for this famous alumna that grows in stature with each passing year, as it enables some of the brightest minds in the world to come to Oxford as Thatcher Scholars.

Scholarship Details

To be considered for any of the Thatcher Scholarships, applicants must first be accepted onto a course by the University of Oxford through the usual admissions process (undergraduate admissions or graduate admissions). The scholarships are tenable at Somerville College only.

Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit in order:

  • To foster academic excellence
  • To support individuals who have a determination to succeed, and
  • To equip them to excel in their chosen field

The Thatcher Scholarships cover 100% of course fees and provide a generous grant towards living expenses and travel to Oxford, enabling Thatcher Scholars to graduate free from debt.

The selection timetable for the scholarships varies for graduates and undergraduates, and for undergraduates will also depend on fee status. But in all cases students who meet the high academic standard will automatically be considered for the scholarships and invited to apply, where appropriate.


Thatcher Scholarships for Undergraduate Applicants

Applicants will be considered for these scholarships once they have been offered a place to study at Oxford at Somerville College. For entry in 2020/21, the following scholarships are available:

Qatar Thatcher Scholarship

For undergraduates with Overseas fee status who are ordinarily resident in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates or Yemen. All courses are eligible with the exception of Medicine.

Lee Kuan Yew Thatcher Scholarship

For undergraduates with Overseas fee status who are ordinarily resident in Singapore and can demonstrate that they have overcome hardship. All courses are eligible with the exception of Medicine. Preference will be given to students with an offer for one of the following courses:

  • Engineering Science
  • Economics and Joint Schools
  • Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • Law

Thatcher Scholarships for Current Undergraduates

Current undergraduates will be considered for these scholarships after their First Public Examinations (for most subjects, these are in the first year). Awards will be extended to cover the cost of the initial year(s) retrospectively. More information about these awards, including eligibility, will be available in December 2020.


Thatcher Scholarships for Graduate Applicants

Applicants will be considered for these scholarship once they have been offered a place to study at Oxford. All eligible applicants will be considered for this scholarship, regardless of which college (if any) is stated as the preference on the graduate application form. However, successful applicants will be transferred to Somerville in order to take up the scholarship. For entry in 2020/21, the following scholarships are available:

Oxford-Thatcher Graduate Scholarships

For graduates who have an offer to study Economics.

Oxford-Qatar-Thatcher Graduate Scholarships

For graduates who are ordinarily resident in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates or Yemen.


The Qatar Thatcher Scholarships and the Oxford-Qatar-Thatcher Graduate Scholarships are made possible through the generosity of the Qatar Fund for Development.