Postgraduate study

South Asian Studies PhD, MPhil, MScR

Awards: PhD, MPhil, MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: South Asian Studies

Edinburgh has one of the largest concentrations of South Asianists in the UK, constituting a wide range of expertise.

Examples of our recent research include the study of:

  • social, historical and anthropological aspects of Joint Forest Management Agreements in India
  • socio-historical research on the Indian Uprising of 1857
  • sociological and human geographical aspects of secondary schooling in north India
  • sociological and anthropological aspects of pharmaceuticals in India and Nepal
  • federalism and ethnic conflict management in South Asia

Other cross-disciplinary areas where students are particularly welcome include:

  • the historical and contemporary study of religion (Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Hinduism) and South Asian societies
  • gender, family and population
  • nationalism and caste
  • the media
  • the South Asian diaspora
  • contemporary politics and identity
  • territorial politics (federalism, regionalism)
  • India as a global emerging power

MScR option

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

The MSc by Research in South Asian Studies offers core research skills and conceptual grounding for a research career or further study.

The PhD and MPhil programmes combine work on an individual thesis project with systematic training in research skills.

The Centre for South Asian Studies hosts a weekly research seminar as well as regular workshops and conferences.

The University’s Main Library has many manuscripts in oriental languages originating from the countries of the Middle East and South Asia.

You will also have access to rich library and archive resources across the University including divinity and Celtic and Scottish studies, as well as the National Library of Scotland (holding the papers of several Viceroys of India) and the Scottish National Record Office.

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.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

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 Wilfried Swenden
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4255
  • Contact: w.swenden@ed.ac.uk
  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD

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 Wilfried Swenden
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4255
  • Contact: w.swenden@ed.ac.uk
  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD