Scholarships and Student Funding

Edinburgh Legal Education Trust Scholarships for PhD

One scholarships will be available for postgraduate research in Scots Private Law at the University of Edinburgh for the 2021-2022 academic year.

The scholarship is available for postgraduate research in Scots private law at the University of Edinburgh leading to the degree of PhD. The scholarship is offered by the Edinburgh Legal Education Trust, which was formed in 1996 for the advancement of legal education. The Trustees wish to award a scholarship for study beginning in September 2021.


The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the UK level and provide a stipend with the same value as a studentship awarded by UKRI, approximately £15,590 per year. In addition, a limited amount of assistance may be given by the Trust in respect of research expenses, but this will not normally exceed £400 in a year

Choice of Topic

Applicants are free, indeed expected, to choose their own topic. The emphasis, however, should be on legal doctrine rather than on, for example, legal theory or socio-legal issues. Historical or comparative perspectives are welcome. A list of possible topics is given in the Appendix but there are many others. Professor Kenneth Reid  or Professor Andrew Steven, the Scholarship Administrators, would be happy to give informal advice. Examples of the type of work that the Trustees are willing to fund may be found in nine PhD theses now published by the Trust as books:

  • Ross Gilbert Anderson, Assignation (2008) 
  • Andrew J M Steven, Pledge and Lien (2008)
  • Craig Anderson, Possession of Corporeal Moveables (2015)
  • Jill Robbie, Private Water Rights (2015)
  • Daniel J Carr, Ideas of Equity (2016)
  • Chathuni Jayathilaka, Sale and the Implied Warranty of Soundness (2019)
  • Alasdair Peterson, Prescriptive Servitudes (2020)
  • Alisdair D J MacPherson, The Floating Charge (2020)
  • John MacLeod, Fraud and Voidable Transfer (2020)

The first six of these are available to download free of charge at the Edinburgh Law Seminars website.


The scholarship is open to anyone who, by the start of the PhD programme, holds an honours or a masters degree in law (or equivalent), and who is accepted by the University of Edinburgh for postgraduate study. Preference will be given to those holding a masters degree. A possible route into the PhD is to enrol in the first instance for the one-year degree of LLM by Research (for which the Edinburgh Legal Education Trust also provides a scholarship) and then, if things go well, to switch to the PhD in the course of the year; after switching the student is deemed always to have been registered for the PhD.

Postgraduate Study


Applications for the 2021-2022 academic session are no longer being accepted for this scholarship as the 3rd of May deadline has now passed. 

Any enquiries please contact the School of Law

The Trustees reserve full discretion to offer, or not to offer, a scholarship.