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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


How to Apply

We are delighted that you are considering PhD Research in Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh.

For details on the full process of applying see here. though note that Politics & International Relations attaches considerable importance to:

  • Applicant's postgraduate work at Masters level. We will expect a good overall performance, with particular focus on the dissertation.
  • Applicant's research proposal. The proposal (no more than three to four A4 typed pages, not including references) should: (a) indicate clearly the question/issue/topic which the applicant wishes to pursue; (b) provide a general background for the proposal (Why is that question important? What is the existing literature on the topic? What is the gap which your research aims to fill?); (c) set out the methodology to be used for the research in relation to data creation and data analysis (Will the research need statistical modelling? Will it require interviews and surveys? Will it require specific historiographic and archival skills?); (d) indicate why you are particularly well suited to carry out this particular research (for example, show why your past studies and/or professional experience are particularly relevant to your project).

You are strongly advised to get in touch with prospective supervisors in our programme. You can identify them here. Prospective supervisors might ask you to provide them with written work from your Master's degree (for example, your MSc dissertation, or examples of long essays), in order to get a sense of your research potential - though please note this is not required for your application. You may also contact the Director of Postgraduate Admissions (Research) ( for advice on your application.

To be considered for most funding opportunities, applications should be received no later than mid-January; earlier applications are advised.

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