Postgraduate study

Social and Political Science MScR

Awards: MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Social and Political Science

For students looking to undertake doctoral-level research in Social and Political Science subject area, this Masters by Research degree will give you the necessary skills through a structured programme of research training.

The MSc by Research (MScR) is different from our other programmes in that, typically, taught masters have more focus on subject-relevant substantive topics rather than acquiring the skills to undertake advanced research, which is the focus of this degree. You will have the opportunity to undertake research training alongside an independent research project, supported by a supervisor.

Our expertise and interests range across the following subject areas:

  • African Studies
  • Global Health Policy
  • International Development
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Social and Public Policy
  • Social Anthropology
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Socio-cultural Studies
  • South Asian Studies

Your application must clearly state the subject area you are interested in and/or the potential supervisor you have contacted.

The MScR includes compulsory courses that cover core research training skills around data collection, data analysis and research design. It also offers the opportunity to develop your own interests within the framework of workshops and courses offered by subject areas, as well as the professional skills workshops offered by our Student Development Office. These also cover the dissertation that forms a key part of the degree.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScRSocial and Political Sciences1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScRSocial and Political Sciences2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

You will join the lively research community and participate in regular seminars and workshops. Frequent seminars and lectures by visiting scholars provide opportunities for contacts beyond the University

By the end of this year, you will have completed a full research proposal.

Research library and archive facilities in Edinburgh are outstanding. All research students are members of the Graduate School of Social & Political Science, with full access to the Graduate School’s facilities in the Chrystal Macmillan Building.

Other library and archive facilities include the University’s Main Library, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish Records Office. Proximity to the Scottish Parliament and other institutions of national government provides further research opportunities.

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: 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
MScRSocial and Political Sciences1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScRSocial and Political Sciences2 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 tuition fee status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal McMillan 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.

Your application must clearly state the subject area you are interested in and/or the potential supervisor you have contacted.

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

Further information

  • School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal McMillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD