School of GeoSciences

Entry requirements

Our selection process for PhD programmes is very competitive.

We normally need you to have a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent. However, we may take relevant work experience and/or a Masters degree into account.

If you are unsure whether you might be eligible, please contact the PGR Office on or +44 (0) 131 650 8556. 


English language requirement

If English is not your first language, we will also need to see evidence of your English language proficiency before we can offer you a place.

Minimum qualifications for funded places

Physical Sciences Programmes

To receive a grant for PhD study from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) or the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) you must have at least a 2.1 degree or higher.

Only UK/EU students who have been resident in the UK for the preceding three years are eligible for a full award. For some awards, candidates who are EU nationals and are resident in the UK may be eligible for a fees-only award.

Social Science Programme

It is normal in the Social Science Programme to undertake one year of Masters study, before proceeding to a 3 year PhD.

This Masters can be undertaken at Edinburgh within the Human Geography Research Group. We also welcome applicants who have an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) accredited Masters training from elsewhere and who wish to undertake a PhD at Edinburgh.

The MSc by Research in Geography is a training degree recognised by the ESRC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and can be taken as a stand-alone degree or to fulfill the year-one training requirements of 1+3 ESRC funding; or by those students who wish to qualify for +3 funding from the ESRC or AHRC.