PhD in Scottish History
The PhD in Scottish History offers you the opportunity to explore Scotland’s past at an advanced level through independent research.
The University of Edinburgh has one of the largest concentrations of scholars interested in the Scottish past. Our research expertise in Scottish history within the School ranges from late medieval kingship and saints’ cults to the Reformation, the witch hunt, government and finance, the Highlands in all periods, Scotland’s diaspora and external relations and its place in the Union. Colleagues in archaeology and classics also have Scottish interests and these scholars are supplemented by academics in other areas of the University, including:
- Celtic and Scottish Studies
- Social and Political Sciences
- Scottish Literature
The breadth of expertise in the School and in the wider University makes it possible for us to supervise a very wide range of topics. Each student is allocated at least two supervisors, allowing us to combine thematic, chronological and, if appropriate, disciplinary expertise in the supervisory team. We also have close links with external organisations, such as National Museums of Scotland, and may be able to include external partners in supervisory teams.
Details of PhD projects currently being undertaken in the School can be found on our list of research student web profiles.
The PhD is a substantial piece of independent research which makes a contribution to the state of existing knowledge in the field. The PhD programme is designed to take three years full-time or six years part time. The PhD is examined by submission of a thesis of up to 100,000 words and by oral examination.
PhD students work closely with their supervisors, who are recognised experts in the field of study. All PhD students pursue an individually tailored programme of research training agreed with their supervisors. The PhD programmes in History provide core training in the research skills necessary to prosper at doctoral level through two core courses: Writing History: Theory and Practice (Semester One) and History PhD Dissertation Workshop (Semester Two). All PhD students in the School also benefit from School and University-wide training in research and professional skills.
PhD students are encouraged to share their research with other postgraduate students through workshops and seminars, and to take an active part in the research life of the history subject area, the School and the University through our research groups and centres and through student-led workshops and seminars. Research centres housed in the School include the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies, established in 2008 to advance historical enquiry into this vital subject.
You are encouraged to contact a potential supervisor to discuss your research project before making a formal application.
If you have any questions about the programme, please contact the Programme Director.
You will need a UK 2:1 honours degree in a relevant discipline and a relevant masters degree with an overall mark of at least 65%, or the international equivalent.
We may also consider your application if you have relevant professional experience; please check with your potential supervisor before you apply.
Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:
All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:
an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
- IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
- TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
- PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
- CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
- Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components
Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.
Find out more about our language requirements:
If your language skills only meet the lower end of the requirements, the English Language Teaching Centre at the University run several courses in English for Academic Purposes.
Apply for this programme