Edinburgh PhD

Applying for a PhD at Edinburgh University

PhD in the UK

A PhD in the UK is set for 3 years and requires a Master or equivalent. This system is similar to the German and French one, but slightly different from the US and Canadian one. A PhD in the UK is research-only with no need to take classes. Research proposals and 1st supervisor are required at the time of application. If you wish, you can get extra pay for getting involved in teaching as a teaching assistant.

A PhD comes with a salary for 3 years and tuition fees apply, depending on your nationality (see below). You can apply and start a PhD all around the year, though there are stricter deadlines for scholarships (usually between Oct-Feb).

The academic year in the UK is dived into 3 trimesters; Oct-Dec (semester 1), Jan-April (semester 2), May-Sept (summer). There is teaching only in semester 1 + 2. I am supervising master and undergraduate students all around the year.

How to apply (for a PhD supervised by me)

There are several options:

  1. ILCC: You should apply through the School of Informatics and the Institute for Language, Cognition, and Computation (ILCC), which I am part of. https://www.ed.ac.uk/informatics/postgraduate/fees/research-scholarships/informatics-global-phd-scholarships, Dec 8, again under ILCC.
  2. Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence: http://datascience.inf.ed.ac.uk
  3. contact me.

You can set the starting date as you wish. There are little contrails from my side. However, there are notification deadlines for the tuition funding.

Tuition fees and scholarships

If you are UK/EU citizen, you are not required to pay any tuition fees.

If you are not UK/EU citizen, we need to cover your tuition fee through a scholarship. Usually, to apply for a scholarship you need the unconditional offer from the University (which will pay your salary). Hence, once you know if you will be granted a scholarship, you can still decide whether to take the post or not. From what I have seen, this sort of happens in spring. Hence, unless you have your own scholarship for covering your tuition (e.g. from the US or your home country, etc..) you want to put a starting date later than Spring.

PhD scholarships

Check here for a list of possible PhD scholarships.

Space for Personal development

Institute for Academic Development

  • Courses on
    • Scientific writing
    • Presentation skills
  • Vitae > research development
  • 3 minute thesis competition (3MT)
  • Welcome day (~January)
  • VOX communication skills

Points of contact

  • me
  • PG tutor (for phd students)
  • Disability service
  • graduate school
  • Advice place (Student association)


PhD Scholarships

There are three types of scholarships. Those who cover your salary, those who cover your tuition, if you are not an EU/UK citizen, and those covering both (if you are an EU/UK citizen, you don’t pay any tuition, thanks to the Scottish Government).

There is a range of options for either and I encourage you to check your own sources. The list below certainly is incomplete.

A search interface is provided here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-funding/search-scholarships

Covering salary only

ECA PhD Scholarship

ECA interdisciplinary PhD Scholarship

College postgraduate studentships

CDT Data Science

Covering salary plus EU/UK tuition

Principal’s PhD Scholarship (https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-funding/postgraduate/uk-eu/university-scholarships/development%20)

  • 45 University scholarships
  • UK, EU, overseas
  • PhD and MRes?
  • Not eligible for consecutive registration
  • Outstanding academic merit: UK first class or 2:1 honours degree (~upper 15%)
  • open to oversea students
  • Students must have already applied at UoE

Perfect Storm: Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships

MSR European PhD Scholarship

Covering salary and oversea tuition

Principal’s Career Development PhD Scholarships:

Edinburgh Enlightment scholarships:

Global Education Scholarship for Russian Students

Covering Tuition only

Edinburgh Global Research Scholarships:

Informatics Overseas Research Scholarship

Carnegie PhD Scholarships

Amendmends (2nd year students)

IBM Scholarship

Google European Doctoral Fellowship

Rabin Ezra Scholarship


Commonwealth Scholarships

Scotland’s Saltire Scholarship

  • up to 8k for 1 year, deduced from tuition fees
  • deadline: ~March

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Awards

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans (England, Wales, NI)

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