Postgraduate study

Geriatric Medicine

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Our research activities and collaborations span preclinical science, experimental medicine and clinical trials, with the focus on the key geriatric syndromes of cognitive impairment, stroke and frailty, each leading causes of morbidity. Our work also encompasses the broader field of healthy ageing.

The research programmes in geriatric medicine have their main bases in three different hospitals:

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

A programme of studies of the effects of use, disuse, ageing, and disease on muscle structure and function. In addition, work continues on the development of case mix adjusted outcome assessment to facilitate increasingly sophisticated comparisons of hip fracture care in different centres.

The Royal Infirmary is also the base for studies investigating the role of fitness training after stroke, the effect of stroke on muscle function and fatigue after stroke, in close collaboration with the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences; and for new studies investigating the role of glucocorticoids in the aetiology of delirium following surgery.

Western General Hospital

A series of collaborations with the IDG in brain ageing and its disorders, the SFC Brain Imaging Research Centre and the MRC Human Genetics Unit, examining factors influencing age-associated changes in cognitive function, including early life influences. There are also studies of the health of older adults with a learning disability.

Borders General Hospital

The base for Scotland’s first comprehensive stroke ascertainment study, which is creating a wide range of research opportunities, in addition to providing information crucial for service planning and development.

The minimum entry requirement for our research programmes is an undergraduate degree, with an excellent or very good classification (equivalent to first or upper second class honours in the UK). For some non-UK applicants the entry requirement is a Masters degree. Please check the entry requirements by country.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the 'Enabling Skills' sections are not considered)
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

If you completed a CAE or CPE before January 2015 please contact the Admissions Office for the accepted grades.

Find out more about our language requirements:

For detailed information on fee status, policies and payment see:

You will be responsible for securing funding to cover all your tuition fees, additional fees and living costs for the duration of your studies. For guidelines on living costs see:

  • Room F1424
  • Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
  • 51 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SA

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit two references with your application.

Further information on making a research degree application can be found on the College website:

You will be formally interviewed (in person, by video-conferencing or Skype).

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Room F1424
  • Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
  • 51 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SA