Scholarships and Student Funding

Edinburgh College of Art PhD Scholarships

Edinburgh College of Art is delighted to announce its next round of scholarships to applicants for PhD programmes in our five Schools: School of Art; School of Design; ESALA (Architecture and Landscape Architecture); History of Art; and the Reid School of Music.

Our Schools offer a rich and vibrant postgraduate research community with a broad range of academic research interests. ECA is now inviting applications from students whose research interests speak to the research focus of the five ECA Schools:

School of Art: The School of Art will prioritise applications relating to Post Media, Educational Turn and Art Criticism. We also welcome applications focussing on Contemporary Art Practices (Intermedia, Painting, Sculpture, Print, Drawing, Film & Video, Photography, New Media, Performance, Sound Art, Art Writing, Artists' Publishing, Curating), Extradisciplinary Arts (Education/Anthropology/Social Practices/Science), Parahumanities, Contemporary Visual, Material & Sensual Cultures, Contemporary Cultural Theory & Criticism, Artist-led Cultures, Histories of Contemporary Art (1975-Present).

School of Design: We welcome applications relating to the School’s Research Centres and Groups, including: Design Informatics; Scottish Documentary Institute; ‘█raft’ (digital technologies and traditional ways of making); ‘Disign’ (dissonant and transgressive design practices); ‘Lines’ (narrative and storytelling)

ESALA (Architecture and Landscape Architecture): Architectural and Urban Design; Cultural Studies in Architecture; Digital Media; History, Theory and Conservation of Architecture and Urbanism; Landscape Architecture; Material Science and Technology; and Sustainability

History of Art: The Arts of Medieval and Renaissance Europe; the Global Middle Ages; Visual culture in the British Isles in the Medieval, Early Modern and Contemporary eras; 19th and 20th century European Art; Aesthetics and Art Theory; Feminist and Marxist Theory; Contemporary Art; Urban Visual Culture; Art and Ecology; Curatorial Studies; the Arts of the Islamic World, South Asia, China and Japan

Reid School of Music: Interdisciplinary musicology - particularly with sociology, philosophy, politics, psychology. We also particularly welcome proposals that make use of our world-leading historical instrument collections and/or the work of the Acoustics and Audio Group at Edinburgh

We will expect ECA PhD Scholarship holders to be energetic members of the ECA postgraduate community, and to present their work to the wider student and staff body during the period covered by their award. Successful award holders may also be required to carry out teaching and public engagement activities as part of their scholarship. There are also a range of training and development opportunities.

Available awards

5 x ECA PhD Scholarships, for the sum of £18,000 per year for three years full-time study (for part-time see below), open to new PhD students commencing study in September 2016. One ECA PhD Scholarship will be awarded per School. Please note this award is for new PhD entrants only.

Please note: ECA will initially liaise with Student Administration so that any scholarship award is first used towards meeting 2016-2017 tuition fee costs for the successful candidate. For those awards where there is any remaining balance, this will be paid to the award winner as a stipend.


Applications for full-time and part-time PhD study will be considered. Awards made to part-time students however will be made pro-rata, therefore £9,000 per year over 6 years of prescribed study.

If wishing to commence a new programme of study in September 2016 you must ensure that you have fully completed and submitted your PhD programme application for admission using the University's online system by no later than  22nd February 2016.

Scholarship applications from prospective students which are not supported by a fully completed PhD programme application (including references) and not submitted by 22 February 2016 will not be considered for funding.

Please note: if successful in obtaining funding from any other University of Edinburgh or Research Council funding sources, recipients of the ECA PhD Scholarship must relinquish their ECA PhD Scholarship.


This scholarship is now closed. We are no longer accepting applications for the 2016-2017 academic session.

Selection Procedure

The Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) ranking scheme criteria for AHRC PhD Studentships will be used by the ECA Selection Panel.  The Panels will rank the applications in relation to the following criteria:

  • Qualifications OR relevant professional experience
  • Preparedness for research
  • Quality of research proposal: context, proposed methodology, originality & innovation – including interdisciplinary research, cogency & importance of project
  • Clarity & strength of plans for knowledge exchange, public engagement & impact, including dissemination beyond academia
  • Fit between student, project & research environment, including cross-HEI supervision where there is demonstrable benefit for the student/research project

The ECA Selection Panel will meet in April 2016 to review the scholarship applications. All scholarship applicants will be contacted with the outcome by early May.  The successful applicants will be announced on the ECA website at the start of the 2016-17 academic year.

Contact us

Please contact the ECA Postgraduate Office – – if you have any questions about the application process. 


If you have an academic enquiry please contact the School Postgraduate Research (PGR) Director for the programme you wish to apply for: