Celtic & Scottish Studies

Research degrees

Research degrees are available in the fields of Celtic Studies (MScR), Scottish Ethnology (MScR), Celtic and Scottish Studies (PhD).

MSc by Research

The one-year MSc by Research allows students to study at master's level, but to work on a topic tailored to their own interests.

Students for this research degree follow a programme of research training and work individually with their thesis supervisors over the course of the year. Students may also benefit from attending taught courses relevant to their areas of research. Normally students work on preparatory research topics for the first half of the programme, and proceed to write a 20,000 word thesis in the second half of the year.

Note that many students progress from the MSc by Research to do a PhD, and in most cases we strongly recommend that students planning to do a PhD enrol on the MSc by Research in the first instance rather than apply directly for the PhD programme. (Some funding bodies, such as the Arts & Humanities Research Council, require that PhD applicants first undertake masters-level study as preparation for postgraduate research, except in extraordinary circumstances).


Candidates for the degree of PhD design and complete a specialised research project over the course of not less that 36 months if studying full-time, or 48 to 72 months if studying part-time. The outcome of the research is embodied in a thesis not exceeding 100,000 words, based on original research, which is then examined by two specially appointed examiners.