Postgraduate study

Is a PhD for me?

Studying a PhD can be the start of an academic career, or can help you develop invaluable skills for a professional career.

Browse our research programmes to find specific information on research areas, supervisors, entry requirements, fees and funding.

A-Z of research programmes


To be accepted on to a PhD programme, you may need to have completed a postgraduate masters degree. Check the eligibility requirements for your chosen programme.

Students undertaking our masters by research programmes often decide to continue on to a PhD. Others use the programme as a stand-alone goal to expand their knowledge and improve career prospects.

Masters by research

Some PhD programmes may accept students who do not have a masters degree. Contact a postgraduate advisor in your chosen research area for more information on eligibility.

Programme content

An Edinburgh PhD is mainly based on a period of independent research. You will manage a project in collaboration with one or more supervisors. A PhD is unstructured and requires dedication, resilience and motivation. You will be asked to submit progress reports at regular intervals.

You will have access to a strong technical, methodological, educational and social support structures.

More information on what you should expect from PhD study is available from a range of advisory sites, such as