E4 Doctoral Training Partnership

Entry and Eligibility Criteria

Please carefully read this section to find out about our entry and eligibility criteria.

UKRI Funding Eligibility

The E4 DTP studentships are regulated by the UKRI Training Grant Terms and Conditions. This is to be read in combination with the UKRI Training Grant Guidance document which contain further details on the UKRI funding eligibility criteria (see Annex B in particular).

International Applicants Eligibility for UKRI funded studentships

Since 2021, international students are eligible to apply and to be awarded UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships. These include stipend to support living costs, UK-rate Home fees and research costs as relevant.

The University of Edinburgh will cover the difference between Home fees and International fees meaning that it will not be necessary for E4 DTP International applicants who will be offered an E4 DTP project at the end of our recruitment process to find additional funding to cover the home/international fees gap.

The E4 DTP will therefore offer fully-funded studentships for all appointed students, regardless of their fees status.

However, it is important to note that UKRI restricts the number of international students that DTPs can take on board to a maximum of 30% of their overall students’ number. For E4, this represents a maximum of 7 international students per annual recruitment round.

To manage expectations from our pool of international applicnats, we have introduced a pre-nomination stage by which the application of any international candidate must be approved by the lead supervisor of the project they apply for, ahead of the application deadline. More information on our Application Process page.

Part-time study

Part-time study is possible but only available for students who do NOT need a Visa to come study in the UK. Students who would like to consider part-time studies are encouraged to discuss with the supervisor of the project(s) they are applying for as this will require their full approval.

Fees status category

For an indication of the different fees status categories applicants can fall in, please refer to the below table.

Please note that this as an indicative table only as fees statuses can vary and depend on a number of parameters and personal circumstances. The fees status will be pre-assessed at application stage and the E4 DTP Admission team might have to get in touch with you to clarify your situation after we have screened your application. The final fees status will be confirmed by the University of Edinburgh at the time of your administrative application (if/when appointed). You may be requested to complete a fees status questionnaire so the University admission service can confirm your fees status then.

If you are unsure of which fees status you are likely to get after lookgin at the below table, please get in touch.

You are… Indicative fees status

a UK national, AND will have been living in the UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland for at least the last 3 years before starting the course in the UK (September 2022)

Home Fees status

an Irish national, AND will have been living in the UK or in the Republic of Ireland for at least the last 3 years before starting the course in the UK (September 2022) Home Fees status

an EU (except Irish), EEA or Swiss citizen living in the UK who has obtained settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme  AND will have been living in the UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland for at least the last 3 years before starting the course in the UK (September 2022)

Home Fees status

a non-EU citizen living in the UK, who has obtained Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or Indefinite leave to enter (ILE)AND will have been living in the UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland for at least the last 3 years before starting the course in the UK (September 2022)

Home Fees status

in none of the above categories.

All other situations include:

  • UK nationals living outside the UK/EEA/Switzerland/Gibraltar, not meeting the above UK residency requirements;
  • Irish citizen living in the EU outside the Republic of Ireland, not meeting the above UK/Ireland residency requirements
  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens living in the EU/EEA, outside the UK;
  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens living in the UK, without pre-settled or settled status or who do not meet the above UK residency requirements;
  • Non-EU citizens living outside the UK;
  • Non-EU citizens currently living in the UK under a Visa.  



International Fees status

There are exceptions for migrant workers, children of UK nationals, asylum seekers and refugees and futher guidance on the definition of a UK absence for UK nationals. See Annex B of the UKRI Training Grant Guidance document

You can also find more information on fees statuses on the following webpage Work out your fee status | The University of Edinburgh

Entry Requirements

Academic Eligibility Criteria

We would normally require applicants to have a minimum of 2.1 undergraduate degree or equivalent. However, we may take relevant work experience and/or a Masters degree into account.

The E4 DTP aims to recruit PhD students from a diverse range of backgrounds. Our selection process looks at both academic and professional experience, and we do not consider a Masters degree a requirement for application to an E4 studentship.

International applicants should refer to our Postgraduate Entry Requirement by Region directory to find out about international/UK degree equivalences.

English Language Requirements

Fieldwork in Mexico (photo G. Wells)
Fieldwork in Mexico (photo G. Wells)

All PhD applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

Degrees taught and assessed in English:

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than 3.5 years old at the beginning of the degree programme.

English language tests:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 92 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than 3.5 years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than 2 years old.

We don't need to see English Language Tests results at the time of the application but will require one by the interview stage (end of February). Applicants who already have an English Language Test fitting the above requirements can add it to their application when they submit but we recommend those who don't have a test yet to wait until the outcome of their application is known (early February) before booking a test. Please note that some of the organisations listed above currently offer online tests.

Postgraduate Studies English language requirements

UKVI list of majority English speaking countries

Approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries

International Applicants

Selection Process