Biological Sciences

Short-term visiting research students

We welcome applications from students registered at other Universities to the University of Edinburgh for a period of research, within the Graduate School of Biological Sciences.

As a Registered Visiting Student coming to the University of Edinburgh, you can gain research experience and/or study which will directly contribute to your degree. There are two categories of visiting research students:

1) Visiting Research (VRes) Student for less than or up to twelve weeks, you will not be charged a fee and are not subject to the university’s English language entry requirements;

2) Visiting Research (VRes) Student for more than twelve weeks and up to and including twelve months, you will be charged a flat rate. Current fee rate here. You will be subject to the university’s English language entry requirements. Further information regarding this is noted below.

 All visiting students to the University must be registered on the University’s student record system EUCLID, unless the duration of the visit is less than two weeks.

Once registered, you will have access to courses, supervision, and full library and IT facilities. You will also receive an official record of the time you spend at the University of Edinburgh.

How to apply

If you wish to be considered for a place as a visiting research student, you should make contact with a member of our academic staff in your field and identify someone willing to supervise you.

Then complete the application form below.

You must include with your application:

  • evidence that your home institution has approved your visit, eg a supporting letter from your home institution/supervisor, or a copy of Erasmus agreement if applicable (note that the standard length of visits for students on Erasmus+ traineeships is 3 months)
  • evidence that your potential supervisor in the School of Biological Sciences has agreed to host your visit

Students who require a visa must submit their formal application at least 8 weeks before the intended start date. You should note that only the Graduate School can issue offer of admission letters which may be used for Visa application purposes. All others must apply at least 6 weeks before otherwise we cannot guarantee that applications will be processed in time.



Forms should be sent to


English language requirements

Any Visiting Research Student applicant in attendance for longer than twelve weeks, will be expected to provide evidence that they meet the minimum English language entry requirements. For PhD programmes within the school these are-

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
  • UKVI list of majority English speaking countries
  • 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)
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components
  • If you cannot provide evidence of your competency in English, your application will not be considered by the school.


International students

International students must apply for a Student Route Visa (previously Tier 4) for visits of more than 6 months. All students holding a Student Route visa must study full-time and meet English Language requirements as set out above. For visits of less than 6 months you should apply as a Standard Visitor   Nationals of one of the countries that appears on the List of Visa Nationals will need to apply for their visa 2-3 months before they intend to travel.

For visits under 6 months, Non-visa nationals (including all EU nationals) can request entry to the UK as a Standard Visitor on arrival to the UK.

The Standard Visa is only valid for a maximum of 6 months, with no extensions permitted. 

You should indicate on the application form what type of visa you will hold to come here. Please contact the University's Student Immigration Service if you require any advice about visas.

You should also check whether you require an ATAS certificate;  the CAH3 code is CAH03-01-01.


University Policy on Visiting Students

Fee information  

Visa advice from our Immigration website

English language requirements