Postgraduate study

Socio-cultural Studies PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Socio-cultural Studies

Socio-cultural studies attracts people with social science backgrounds who wish to work on interdisciplinary topics, and also those from an arts or humanities background who want to gain skills and experience in social research.

Our PhD students can apply to the Arts & Humanities Research Council and some have already been successful in applications for doctoral research funding to the AHRC.

The MSc by Research in Socio-Cultural Studies may be taken as a stand-alone, one-year course or as a stepping stone to the PhD. It offers training in a range of qualitative methods.

Indicative courses include:

  • Documents of Life
  • Research Design
  • Data Analysis
  • Sources & Approaches for Historical Research
  • Research Methods in Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Research Design in Geography
  • Explanation & Understanding in Social & Political Research
  • Contemporary Social Theory
  • Ethical & Political Issues in Social & Political Research

The dissertation element of the degree can take the form of either a small piece of independent research or a detailed proposal for a PhD.

MScR option

We’ve updated our portfolio of programmes. Individual MSc by Research programmes have been replaced with MSc by Research Social & Political Science.

You will work with a supervisor on an original research dissertation and participate in advanced sociology research-training workshops, work-in-progress seminars and a writing workshop.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent, and a UK masters degree with an overall mark of 65% 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: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass 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:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhDSocio-Cultural Studies3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhDSocio-Cultural Studies6 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

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:

  • Programme Advisor, Dr Liliana Riga
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 1853
  • Contact: l.riga@ed.ac.uk
  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 6 July 2020

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.

We encourage PhD applicants in particular to contact potential supervisors before applying to discuss their research proposal so we can ensure there is adequate supervision.

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

Further information

  • Programme Advisor, Dr Liliana Riga
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 1853
  • Contact: l.riga@ed.ac.uk
  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD