Postgraduate study

Cardiovascular Science PhD, MScR

Awards: PhD, MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Cardiovascular Science

The Centre for Cardiovascular Science aims to foster and deliver research into the causes, consequences and therapy of the cardiovascular diseases.

We offer postgraduates the opportunity to work within internationally leading research programmes addressing fundamental development and control of the cardiovascular system and the origins and consequences of cardiovascular disease. The work extends from basic laboratory research through to clinical studies.

Six PhD studentships are available in September 2020. Four of these are funded by the British Heart Foundation; two by the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. These studentships are aimed at highly motivated candidates with research experience and a strong interest in the cardiovascular research performed within out Centre.

The Centre will also consider self-funded candidates for the PhD in Cardiovascular Science. Such candidates will be expected to have an agreement with one of our Centre’s Principal Investigators to supervise a PhD project before application and will be interviewed by the Postgraduate Director and members of the Postgraduate Committee.

In 2019, the Centre was designated as one of four British Heart Foundation Research Excellence Award (REA) and was awarded £3M over a four-year period, building upon 3 successive major REA investments since 2008.

Major research efforts are directed at:

  • the metabolic syndrome and risk factors for cardiovascular disease
  • mechanisms of atheromatous plaque formation and systemic and brain vascular dysfunction
  • renal dysfunction and hypertension
  • development and application of imaging in heart, systemic - and neurovascular diseases
  • exploitation of "Big Data" and e-health science in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases

The Centre has an excellent track record for training provision to basic scientists and clinicians. Trainees on our programmes receive direct support from at least two academic advisors during their studies and a dedicated thesis committee provides guidance throughout the programme of research. In addition to research training, the Centre hosts an active seminar series for distinguished external speakers and a them-based forum for presentation of internal research at all levels (PhD, post-doctoral, principal investigators).

The Centre offers training to clinicians and basic scientists from biomedical and non-biomedical backgrounds. Several training schemes are offered, covering full- and part-time study.

In addition, there are three distinct 4-year PhD programmes, applications for which should be made directly to the Centre.

The CVS is situated in the £50 million, purpose-built Queen's Medical Research Institute adjacent to the new Medical School and Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Little France. Trainees can access the BHF Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Imaging and the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facilities. In addition, the Centre supports a high quality suite for in vivo physiological studies.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

The Centre will consider self-funded candidates for the PhD in Cardiovascular Science.

As a self-funding student you will be responsible for securing funding to cover your tuition fees and living costs for the duration of your studies. You would also be expected to cover the project research costs. These are defined by the project supervisor and are typically in excess of £10,000 per year.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhDCardiovascular Science3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhDCardiovascular Science6 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScRCardiovascular Science1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScRCardiovascular Science2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

Six PhD studentships are available in September 2020. Four of these are funded by the British Heart Foundation; two by the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Studentships include a tax-free stipend, tuition fees (at UK/EU rates) and contribution towards research costs for the project. These studentships are aimed at highly motivated candidates with research experience and a strong interest in the cardiovascular research performed within our Centre.

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • CVS Postgraduate Administrator, Lynn Meikle
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 242 6724
  • Contact: lynn.meikle@ed.ac.uk
  • CVS Postgraduate Director, Professor Nicholas Morton
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 242 6693
  • Contact: nik.morton@ed.ac.uk
  • Centre for Cardiovascular Science
  • Queen's Medical Research Institute
  • 47 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

Before making your application, you must make contact with a potential supervisor to discuss your research proposal. Further information on making a research degree application can be found on the College website:

You will be formally interviewed (in person, by video-conferencing or Skype).

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • CVS Postgraduate Administrator, Lynn Meikle
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 242 6724
  • Contact: lynn.meikle@ed.ac.uk
  • CVS Postgraduate Director, Professor Nicholas Morton
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 242 6693
  • Contact: nik.morton@ed.ac.uk
  • Centre for Cardiovascular Science
  • Queen's Medical Research Institute
  • 47 Little France Crescent
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB