Postgraduate study

South Asian Studies PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: South Asian Studies

Centre for South Asian Studies

The Centre for South Asian Studies is the central academic unit in Scotland dedicated to the study of South Asia.

With 25 full-time associated staff in Edinburgh, honorary fellows, and more staff affiliated across Scotland and northern Britain, the Centre is also one of the four leading Centres for South Asian Studies in the UK.

We host a vibrant series of seminars, a cohort of PhD scholars and a range of researchers meaning that there is a culture of academic discussion and exchange.

The Centre brings together South Asian expertise from across the University, to create a lively environment supporting the interdisciplinary study of the subcontinent as a whole.

It has an established reputation for research excellence.

Who this programme is for

We welcome applications from scholars wishing to study any aspect of society, culture or politics in South Asia. 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

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
PhD3 YearsFull-timeProgramme structure 2020/21
PhD6 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2020/21

The PhD programme combines work on an individual thesis project with systematic training in research skills offered by the School of Social and Political Science.

The Centre 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

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • 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 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
PhD3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhD6 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
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD
Programme start date Application deadline
13 September 2021 5 July 2021

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

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