School of Social and Political Science

How to Apply

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The application deadline for this programme is 6 July 2020.

Please note that full applications must be received by the deadline in order to be considered for entry in September 2020.

See the Graduate School's website for guidance on how to apply

Students who will need to apply for a visa to study in the UK should plan to apply at least three to four months prior to the start of semester.

We are delighted that you are considering PhD Research in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies here at Edinburgh. The first step towards enrolling on a PhD is to write a research proposal detailing the areas/issues that you are interested in and the research you propose to carry out.

The research proposal should not exceed 3-4 pages in 12 point Times New Roman (not including references). Please organise your proposal under the following headings:
  • Overview – a general introduction to your research topic, which should include the research question/s to be addressed and the overall aim of the project.
  • Context – situate the research in the relevant literature/s. This should include a brief summary of research already undertaken in the field, addressing key works and scholars. Specific attention should be paid to problems in the existing literature and the ways in which your proposed research challenges/addresses these problems. 
  • Methodology – provide a detailed account of the methodology and/or methods that will be used. Specific attention should be paid, where relevant, to any innovative aspects of the proposed methodology. 
  • Impact – a brief discussion of the implications of the proposed research for the broader discipline, any practical applications, and/or policy relevance.
  • References
More detailed information on preparing a research proposal can be found here (pdf).
It makes sense to send a draft proposal to the Postgraduate Admissions Advisor ( and/or to prospective supervisors for comments before applying to the University more formally. At that stage we will be able to offer advice and guidance and comment on our suitability in terms of supervision.
For details on the formal process of applying see here.
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