Postgraduate study
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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.

The MPhil is a qualification in its own right. It resembles a PhD but generally takes two years (full time) and does not carry the same requirement for original contribution to knowledge.

You will be expected to submit a thesis at the end of your project, this will be shorter than a PhD due to the timeframe it is completed.

Some UK universities require PhD students to start their studies by registering for the degree of MPhil initially; however, this is not the case at the University of Edinburgh. You may be able to register for an MPhil from the outset, but not all our research programmes offer an MPhil option. You should check the programme listing in our degree finder to find out, or contact your potential supervisor.

As with our PhDs, you normally need to have an existing postgraduate degree (such as an MSc) to be accepted on to an MPhil.

Find an MPhil programme

Do I need to write a research proposal?

As part of your application for a Master of Philosophy programme, you will usually need to submit a research proposal demonstrating your knowledge of your field and outlining your project’s aims and expected outcomes.

You should contact a prospective supervisor for further information on what to include in your proposal.

Our guide to writing a research proposal will take you through the process step-by-step:

How to write a research proposal

Do I need to find a supervisor?

We recommend you identify a suitable supervisor to discuss your research idea before you apply to ensure that we have the right specialist area you are interested in

How to find a supervisor