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.


To be considered for the scholarship, students must first be accepted onto a course by the University of Oxford through the usual admissions process (undergraduate admissions or graduate admissions).

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 University and college fees (where applicable), and provide a generous grant towards living expenses and travel to Oxford, enabling Thatcher Scholars to graduate free from debt.

The scholarships are tenable at Somerville College.

The selection timetable for the Scholarships varies for postgraduates and undergraduates, and for undergraduates will also depend on fee status (Home/EU/Islands or International).  But in all cases students who meet the high academic standard will automatically be considered for the Scholarships and invited to apply, where appropriate.  Applications for the Scholarships should not be submitted to Somerville now.

Summary of the process

      • Undergraduates – UK, EU and Islands students will be considered for the Scholarship after their First Public Examinations (for most subjects, these are in the first year). The Scholarship will be extended cover the cost of the initial year(s) retrospectively.
      • Overseas students starting in 2017/18 will be considered for the Scholarship once they have been offered a place to study at Oxford.  For entry in 17/18, the Scholarship is available to all candidates with Overseas fee status, and preference will be given to candidates normally resident in Qatar or Arab countries.
      • Postgraduate Students for Master’s courses/DPhils starting in 2017/18 in the following departments will automatically be considered for the Scholarship if they apply by the January deadline for their course: Faculty of English Language and Literature; Department of Engineering Science; and Faculty of Law.

Further information can be found at the University of Oxford website.