Postgraduate study

Finding a PhD supervisor

If you are interested in starting a PhD, you need to find a research topic, contact a potential supervisor, then apply online.

Finding a research topic

A PhD can be awarded for work undertaken within any school at the University. We welcome enquiries and applications from prospective research students with interdisciplinary research interest

The first place to look for research opportunities is the postgraduate programmes in the degree finder.

Degree finder: a-z of research programmes

Finding a supervisor

Research supervisors are either staff members of the University, or based in one of the research units or institutions associated with the University.

To find a potential supervisor or the name of postgraduate advisor or director:

  1. Find the school or department most relevant to your area of interest. If your proposed research is interdisciplinary, you may need to look at more than one school.
  2. Browse through the staff profiles (this may also be called ‘People’).
  3. Get in touch with potential supervisors to discuss your proposed research

Schools and departments

List of academic Colleges and Schools

List of all academic units, research centres and institutes

Multidisciplinary research

We also welcome applications from students with interdisciplinary research interests.

Contact supervisors in the related areas you would like to research. You can discuss the possibility of being supervised collaboratively by people in different academic units.

Edinburgh Global, the University’s strategy for internationalisation, hosts Global Academies, who facilitate interdisciplinary research.

Global Academies

Applying

When you have discussed your project with a potential supervisor or advisor, you can then apply online. If you are unsure, ask your supervisor what is the best subject area to apply under.

Find your programme in the degree finder and follow the link to the application form.

Degree finder: a-z of research programmes

You will probably have to write a research proposal to apply for your PhD. Talk to your supervisor about whether you need to do this.

How to write a research proposal