Postgraduate study

Integrated Study in Advanced Care PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities


Advanced Care Research Centre (ACRC)

The Advanced Care Research Centre (ACRC) is a new, multi-disciplinary, £20M research centre at the University of Edinburgh.

The ACRC will lead society’s response to the grand challenge of an ageing population that is growing in size, longevity and needs.

We will do this through the pursuit of research intended to deliver 'high‐quality data‐driven, personalised and affordable care to support the independence, dignity and quality‐of‐life of people living in their own homes and in supported care environments'.

ACRC Academy

The ACRC Academy is a dedicated Centre for Doctoral Training, co-located with the ACRC, whose students will deliver key aspects of the ACRC research agenda through a new doctoral-level research and training programme.

The programme will also equip them for careers across a wide range of pioneering and influential leadership roles in the public, private and third sectors.

Our programme

The PhD with Integrated Study in Advanced Care is a novel, structured, thematic, cohort-based, programme of 48 months duration.

Each PhD research project within the Academy has been devised by a supervisory team comprising academic staff from at least two of the three colleges within the University of Edinburgh.

Each annual cohort of around 12 will include students with disciplinary backgrounds spanning from engineering and data science to humanities, social science, business and commerce, social work, medicine and related health and care professions. This unique level of diversity is a key attribute of our programme.

Candidate specification

We are specifically looking for applicants who:

  • will view their cutting-edge PhD research project in the context of the overall vision of the ACRC
  • are keen to contribute to tackling a societal grand challenge
  • can add unique value to – and derive great benefit from – training in a cohort comprising colleagues with a very diverse range of disciplines and backgrounds

We advise prospective candidates to engage in dialogue with the named project supervisor and/or the Director of the Academy prior to submitting an application.

Year 1

We will deliver an intensive 48-month cohort-based structured thematic programme that will provide structure and rigour to your research. Core PhD research is complemented with an innovative curriculum designed to create a future leader who is agile, engaging, influential and intellectually credible.

In your first two semesters of study you will attend the following courses:

  • Challenges of Ageing and Care
  • Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research and Innovation
  • Introduction to Systematic Reviews
  • Leading Technology & Innovation in Organisations
  • Research Methodologies in Ageing and Care
  • Interdisciplinary Group Challenge in Ageing and Care *2 Optional courses

In semester 3 you will undertake an individual project in ageing and care.

Years 2-4

At the start of year 2 you will progress to your PhD research, working with a cross-disciplinary supervisory team to address key issues in ageing and care.

Funding is available to enable each PhD student to complete a work placement or internship.

  • You will develop a foundation in advanced care with and its associated societal challenges, and become familiar with relevant topics outside your background

  • The training will balance your need (equipping you with methods and tools of relevance to your chosen research and innovation project) with the needs of society (using open-ended problem-solving exercises tackled in multi-disciplinary groups to develop team, planning and organisational skills).

  • You will explore and develop your leadership through network development, innovation, public engagement and advocacy, and the completion of at least one short project which may be external in the form of a cross-sectoral or international placement, or internship to work collaboratively on a shared problem.

  • We have secured substantial external (cross-sectoral) input into the design and delivery of the training as it is vital that you experience a breadth of perspectives, agendas and motivations as your prepare for the complexity of the sector and your future leadership roles.

  • We will recruit fully funded cohorts of at least 12 per annum from a wide range of backgrounds and experience. Inclusivity and diversity will be at the heart of the recruitment process.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme

For certain projects, successful applicants will be required to join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme during the course of their research.

In addition, all applicants who don't live in the UK, or who have spent more than a year abroad, will need to provide equivalent verification from the relevant national authority.

The ACRC Academy is associated within the Advanced Care Research Centre, a £20 million research centre aimed at delivering innovation and change to later life care. The ACRC team works at the forefront of the field, bringing cutting-edge knowledge and skills to teaching in the first year, and provides a rich resource for you to access during your PhD research.

For your first year you will be co-located with the ACRC at the BioQuarter in Edinburgh. The BioQuarter is a leading global destination for healthcare delivery, groundbreaking research and innovation which brings together academics from different disciplines, clinical practitions and innovators to drive life-enhancing advances to the world.

Your will also benefit from the world-class facilities in your supervisor’s home School or Deanery.

The primary purpose of the Academy is to support the mission of the ACRC by developing and equipping a new generation of doctoral-research-trained leaders as pioneers of creation, innovation and implementation who will enhance society’s response to the challenges of an ageing population.

The full list of PhD projects will be published on the ACRC Academy website.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject.

We may also consider your application if you have a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, and sufficient relevant work experience. Please contact us to check before you apply.

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 IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 23 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 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:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

The ACRC Academy Programme has funding for an intake of at least 12 students per year.

The funding is available to applicants from the UK and internationally.

A maximum of 4 funded places per year will be awarded to international students.

The funding package includes:

  • fees
  • enhanced stipend
  • modest consumables and travel budget

All students will receive a starting stipend of £16,500 per year in academic year 2021-2022, with an automatic annual increment.

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • ACRC Academy Project Manager, Kate Morris
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 7828
  • Contact:
  • ACRC Academy
  • BioCube 1
  • 9a Little France Road
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4UX

This programme is now closed for new applications for 2021 entry. Applications will open in October for entry in September 2022.

You are required to apply for a specific project. Please include details of the project you are applying to in Section 4 of the application.

Please also upload an up-to-date CV (maximum 4 pages) with your application. As you are applying to a specific project, you are not required to submit a research proposal as part of your application.


Referees can be academic or professional, whichever is most appropriate. The supervisor of the project you apply for cannot be your referee.

Please supply contact information for your referees when you apply. When you submit the application, the University will email each of your referees and advise them how to upload your references.

English language evidence

Please upload evidence of your English language to when you apply.

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

Further information

  • ACRC Academy Project Manager, Kate Morris
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 7828
  • Contact:
  • ACRC Academy
  • BioCube 1
  • 9a Little France Road
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4UX