Postgraduate masters application fees - survey results

Deputy President (Education)
Friday 23 October 2020

Following the recent introduction of the £80 application fee for all MSc and MRes courses, Imperial College Union has put together a short survey to determine the student opinion on this topic. In this survey, we aimed to find out whether Imperial students agree with the introduction of this fee, if the introduction of the fee would discourage them from applying to an MSc or MRes course at Imperial, and if they would considering applying without an application fee in place (Undergraduate students only). 

This survey was advertised in an all-students email on 14th October, running until 21st October, and was responded to by over 2500 students, with 1089 Undergraduate, 564 MSc/MRes, 848 PhD and 42 MBA students taking part. To determine how the introduction of the fee was received by different demographics, we also asked students for their fee status (Home, EU/EEA, International) and whether they are, or have been in the past, the recipients of the Imperial Bursary (Home students only). We also asked students how much, if any, they believe would be an appropriate application fee for these course, to determine whether they disagreed with the fee in principle or the amount. 

Overall, the results of the survey suggest that the fee was received overwhelmingly negatively. Almost 90% of students disagreed with the fee introduction, and only 5% of students were in favour of it. Over half of the students surveyed (58%) also agreed that the application fee would definitely or probably discourage them from applying, with additional 19% unsure of how the fee would affect their decision to apply. Just over half of the students who took part in the survey believed that an appropriate fee is no fee, setting the value to £0. The other half chose a non-zero value for the fee, with the most answers in the £20-29 region. The modal non-zero answer was £20, and the mean non-zero answer was £29. Only a small number (58 students) believed the application fee should be £100 or higher.

You can find the full results, including the breakdowns by degree level, fee status and bursary here: PGT fees survey report

We will be bringing the results of our survey to meetings with the College, presenting the student opinion and advocating for the removal of the application fee. If you are not happy with the fee introduction, and want to help us increase pressure on the College to remove it, you can get in touch with Imperial College President, Alice Gast (, or the Provost, Ian Walmsley (