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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school




Alice Brown Scholarships - Deadline 15 March, 2018

The Alice Brown Scholarship  is a new 6-year PhD scholarship based within the School of Social and Political Science here at The University of Edinburgh, offering a programme of advanced study, ongoing research, professional training and development. Find out more.


Financial support is available from a variety of sources: the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for UK and EU students, the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, the School of Social and Political Science, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and University awards. A comprehensive page can be found here.

Please note that, if you wish to apply for some awards (including ESRC, AHRC, and School and University of Edinburgh scholarships), you must first apply to the University for a place on the PhD in Politics. Note that deadlines for the University of Edinburgh scholarship/studentship funding is 1st February preceding the start of the academic year for which it is available. Students who wish to apply are invited to check whether they are eligible for funding before making full inquiries about the suitability of their project and academic background. Students seeking advice on their funding applications should contact potential supervisors well in advance of deadlines.

More information about internal funding available within the School of Social and Political Science is here.

ESRC Awards

The ESRC is the main British funding body for research in the social sciences, offering studentships for research students. These studentships are offered through the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences, the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership (SGS-DTP) for Scotland. 

The SGS-DTP, based in the University of Edinburgh, offers studentships in the pathway for Politics and International Relations, which is governed by representatives from the Universities of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, University of St Andrews, and the University of Strathclyde. Although awards will be shared among the four universities, interested applicants should apply directly to the university where they believe their research interests are best represented in staff research activity.

Students are not permitted to apply to more than one of these four universities within this pathway. The numbers of studentships are likely to vary each year. In view of the limited number of awards and the very high standard of applications received, ESRC studentship funding is highly competitive.

Candidates may apply for two types of studentships in Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh:

  1. 1+3 awards: Students will be funded for a one year MSc by Research in Politics, with an emphasis on research methods, followed by three years of research for a PhD on a topic matching the research interests and expertise of staff in the subject area.
  2. +3 awards: Students demonstrating sufficient training in research methods will be funded for three years of research for a PhD on a topic matching research interests and expertise in the subject area. Note that students in any field of politics (including political theory), who have completed an ESRC-recognised MSc elsewhere in all fields of politics, would be more than welcome to apply to us for a +3 ESRC studentship.


ESRC Studentships are only available to UK and EU nationals who have been recently resident in the EU. UK and EU nationals resident in the UK for the last 3 years (including for the purposes of education) are eligible for full studentships that cover both fees and maintenance. Fees-only awards are available for EU applicants without UK residency. Fuller details of eligibility can be found in the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide.

Application Process
The application process for ESRC awards has a number of stages and deadlines, as detailed here.

School, College and University Funding

The University offers a range of funding opportunities and scholarships and applicants are encouraged to apply for those most appropriate. A comprehensive page can be found here. Some of the most relevant funding opportunities at University, School, and College level are detailed here.


PhD students in Politics & International Relations have the opportunity to tutor on undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Such opportunities are dependent on availability and appropriate knowledge/expertise. The range of courses on which tutoring opportunities are typically available is broad and ranges from first year introductory courses through to specialised taught MSc courses.

A 'Call for Tutors' is issued annually by the Undergraduate School of Social and Political Science and applications are assessed on merit.

Edinburgh Students