School of Divinity

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Study for a PhD in three-years full time, or six years part-time.

In most cases, research for a PhD will require you to undertake at least three years' full-time study, and to write a thesis of up to 100,000 words.  (Part-time study is also available, but not for those who require a Tier 4 visa.)

For admission to the PhD programme, you will need to show a proven ability to sustain independent research under supervision, normally in the form of a masters programme that includes a dissertation. You will also need to be competent in academic writing in English.

You will have regular 1:1 supervision and work with advice from two supervisors.  From the beginning, the British pattern of PhD studies focuses on working towards the thesis – there is little or no coursework.  This means that from the start you need to be well-prepared in any special skills you need for your research project, including languages.

During the first year you explore your chosen area of research and refine your research proposal.  At around the nine-month mark, you will submit a draft chapter for discussion at a Review Board, together with a developed proposal for the whole thesis.  On the basis of your progress-to date, and the prospects for your research, the Review Board will make recommendations on the continuation of your studies into the second year.  After that, you will have an annual review to discuss your progress.

PhD by Distance

For all students the recommended route to a PhD in the School of Divinity is by full-time study based on residence within reach of Edinburgh. However, suitably qualified applicants from both overseas and the UK whose circumstances make regular attendance in Edinburgh impossible may apply to study part-time for a PhD at a distance.

PhD by Distance