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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I study part-time?

Yes, for students who do not require a Tier 4 Visa. Part-time students follow the same sequence of teaching as full-time students but over a longer period of time.

Unfortunately, students requiring a Tier 4 Visa are only able to attend full-time based on current UK restrictions.

Do I apply for the PhD or the Research Masters Degree?

If you already have a Master's Degree by Research, that includes research skills training appropriate for your proposed doctoral research, you should apply directly to the PhD. If you do not have a Master's degree, you should apply for the MSc by Research programme, although you can also apply for the PhD you might be admitted to both (the 1+3 route) with your continuation to the PhD contingent on a successful MSc completion. If you have a Master's degree that is more substantive or taught in its focus, your application will be evaluated in terms of how well your supervisors believe your Master's education prepared you to the PhD. You may be asked to reapply to the MSc. For further information on the MSc by Research in Politics & International Relations, see here.

How will my application be evaluated?

Once the Graduate School has determined eligibility according to university regulations, Politics & International Relations carefully evaluates all components of the application, including previous postgraduate work, reference letters, personal statements, and the research proposal (for important elements of the proposal, see our How to Apply page). Students are only admitted if we have the capacity to offer supervision - strong applications that are outside our academic staff areas of expertise are unlikely to be offered admission.

What are the fees?

The fees for undertaking a PhD in Politics & International Relations are as set out on the University website.

University of Edinburgh graduates receive a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees. The scheme applies to both home and overseas students.

How difficult is it to get funding?

Inevitably there are more applicants than scholarships, so regardless of the basic criteria, scholarships will be awarded on a competitive basis with those most able to provide evidence of a high level of academically relevant achievement. You can find information on our Funding Opportunities page.