Moray House School of Education and Sport

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PhD (Full-time or Part-time)

To apply for research degrees, applicants need to complete the online University of Edinburgh application form.

Apply now - PhD Education  Apply now - PhD Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences 

MSc by Research (Full-time or Part-time)

To apply for research degrees, applicants need to complete the online University of Edinburgh application form.

Apply now - MScR Education  Apply now - MScR Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences 

How to Apply

We ask all postgraduate research applicants to create a research proposal and contact a potential supervisor before submitting an application. Please ensure that, in your research proposal, you clearly identify the Moray House research area of expertise that your proposal falls under, as well as at least one staff member with expertise in this area. We are able to support only applications for research study in the disciplines and research clusters that relate to our School.

1. Write a research proposal

As part of your application, you must submit a detailed research proposal. For a PhD application, you must use the template.

Guidelines for writing a PhD research proposal

Guidelines for writing a MScR research proposal

2. Contact a potential supervisor before submitting your application

We encourage applicants to contact potential supervisors before submitting an application. At this stage, members of staff would normally provide generic and informal guidance on one draft of your proposal only, and not a detailed or formal review of your application. 

When contacting a potential supervisor:

  • Contact a member of staff from the list only if the area of your proposed study is listed under their areas of expertise
  • Send this staff member a short proposal (maximum 5 pages) and explain in a couple of sentences why you are contacting them specifically. If you do not receive a reply within a couple of weeks, it is fine to send a polite reminder.
  • Do not contact more than one member of staff simultaneously with generic enquiries.

When you submit your application online, please clearly state the names of any staff with whom you have discussed your proposal. If you have not discussed your proposal with any staff members, please identify on your proposal at least one staff member that is expert in your proposed area of study and may be an appropriate supervisor. 

Supervisors and topics

3. Apply using the University's application system

There is no application fee to apply for a research degree.

Applicants currently undertaking a degree or who do not yet have certification or classification may still apply. Any decision to accept your application is likely to be conditional on successful completion of your degree with a classification that meets our normal entry requirements.

The online application system may ask you to provide a certificate. Even if you cannot upload a certificate at this stage, please upload a transcript of the marks of your current programme with a note of when you are expecting to complete the programme.

If you do not meet the requirements to apply for a Research degree, we encourage you to consider applying for one of our Masters' programmes. In particular, our ESRC-recognised MSc Education (Research) provides excellent preparation for doctoral study.

More about our MSc Education (Research)

Application deadline

The deadline for a degree beginning in October is normally the 15th July. The deadline for a January start is normally the 15th October.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply well before these deadlines, as places are very competitive and many supervisors have limited capacity and may not be available if they have reached the maximum number of PhD students they can supervise.


After your application is submitted online, it is checked to ensure that all the entry requirements are met and the research proposal and any appropriate documentation are submitted. Please ensure that all required documents are submitted online as missing documents delay the processing of your application. All doctoral proposals submitted as part of an application will be run through plagiarism detection software.

Each application is normally reviewed by at least two members of academic staff in your proposed area of study, as well as the School’s PhD programme directorate. We aim to review all applications within 6 weeks. You will be notified in writing once a final recommendation is made.

Related Links

Guidance on applying