Nursing Studies


We operate a gathered field approach for PhD and MSc by Research applications, find out how this works.

When to apply

The 2020/21 admissions will open on 1st October 2019.

The School of Health in Social Science operates a gathered field approach for all PhD and MSc by Research applications. A gathered field approach means that all complete applications which meet our minimum entry requirements will be held until the next deadline at which point applications received will be considered on a competitive basis. You do not need to wait until the deadline to apply, we will accept applications at any point during the year, and encourage contact with potential supervisors well in advance of formal application. Outcome decisions on your application will be provided at the different points of the year shown below.

All communication about your application will be sent through the online admissions system. Please ensure you check your application inbox regularly and particularly after the notification dates as listed below.  

First deadline: Friday, 29th November 2019

If you are planning to apply for funding opportunities, including the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Award, Principal’s Career Development Scholarship, and Edinburgh Global Research Scholarship, you should apply in this round.

Complete applications received by this date will be considered and outcome notifications will be issued mid-January 2020 for an enrolment date of September 2020.  

Second deadline: Friday, 20th March 2020

Complete applications received by this date will be considered and outcome notifications will be issued mid-May 2020 for an enrolment date of September 2020.  

Third deadline: Friday, 12th June 2020

Complete applications received by this date will be considered and outcome notifications will be issued late July 2020 for an enrolment date of September 2020 (or January 2021 for PhD Programmes).  

Complete applications

An application will be considered ‘complete’ if you have submitted:

  • the online application form
  • an undergraduate degree certificate and transcript (and your MSc degree certificate and transcript should this be required). Most postgraduate degree programmes in the School of Health in Social Science require a minimum of a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent. Some programmes also require applicants to hold a Masters level degree. Please check the relevant pages on the degree finder for more detailed information.
  • a research proposal based on the criteria for the programme you are applying for submitted on the relevant template (see below) and
  • two references – some programmes require one of your references to be from your most recent academic institution. Please check the relevant entry requirement pages on the School website for more detailed information. Please note that it can take a number of weeks for your referees to respond to a reference request. We must have received your references by the deadline dates above for your application to be considered in that particular application round. If you wish the University to contact your referees through the online application system you must have started the online application and submitted the reference request several weeks before the deadline dates so that your referees have time to respond.
  • if you are applying for the PhD by Distance you must also submit the PhD by Distance application form.

Evidence of English Language may also be needed before an unconditional offer can be made, but is not required by the application deadline. More information about what the English Language requirements are can be found on the degree finder or on the relevant entry requirement pages on the School website.

If an application is not ‘complete’ by the application deadline it will be rejected. Applicants may make a further application at one of the later deadlines and this will be considered if it is complete.  

Research Proposal

As stated above, we strongly recommend that you contact a potential supervisor from your area of interest to discuss your outline research proposal before applying. Applicants who have been in touch with a potential supervisor before applying are often more successful in gaining an offer for study. Please note that conversations with potential supervisors can take several weeks. Please ensure that you approach a potential supervisor as early as possible and, at least, several weeks before the relevant deadlines.

You must use the relevant template (see below) when submitting your research proposal.

Where research proposals do not meet the minimum entry criteria we may provide feedback to allow you to review and amend the proposal. If we do so we will contact you to ask whether you wish to revise and resubmit the proposal and be considered at the following application deadline.



If you would like more information about submitting your application and the admissions process please do not hesitate to get in touch with the School Postgraduate Research Admissions Administrator.

Louise Carracher 0131 651 5144

Please feel free to contact the programme director if you have any further questions or wish to discuss your research proposal:

Sheila Rodgers 0131 651 13940

Apply Now

Once you are ready to apply for this programme, applicants need to complete the online University of Edinburgh application form.

Apply now