Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Research degrees

Postgraduate research degrees involve an extended period of intensive, independent research, resulting in a significant contribution of original knowledge to your field.

There are many different routes in to academic research, but the path you take will depend on your own objectives and personal circumstances.

Whichever route you take, you will have the opportunity to meet eminent researchers and become part of a vibrant research community. You will develop research skills as well as invaluable transferable skills, which you can apply to your academic life, your current employment or a variety of professions outside of academia.


Depending on the field of study you are interested in, you may be able to apply for a pre-defined PhD project, or you may need to develop your own research idea.

Masters by Research (MScR)

Our Masters by Research (MScR) degrees provide a particularly strong preparation for PhD study. They are sometimes offered as part of a doctoral training programme.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Our MPhil (Master of Philosophy) award is an advanced research qualification that is often awarded to students who have completed the first two years of a PhD programme, but ultimately decide not to finish the full doctorate.

How to find funding

Applying for research funding is always a competitive process and your likelihood of success will depend on your qualifications, experience and research aspirations.

How to find a research supervisor

Check that the University can provide a suitable supervisor to support you while you undertake your research.