School of Social and Political Science

Visiting students


If you are interested in becoming a visiting or exchange student (i.e. taking courses for credit) at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, please see the Visiting Student Office for further information.

Visiting Research Students

A visiting research student is someone who is currently enrolled in a research programme at another institution, but who is conducting research at the University of Edinburgh for a period of between one month and one year. They will not graduate from the University of Edinburgh, and will return to their home institution following the defined period of research.

Research students interested in conducting research at the School of Social and Political Science must first have support from a supervisor within the School.  Please see our Staff Pages to help identify an academic with research interests related to your own and contact them ahead of submitting an application. 

Visiting research student application forms should be requested from and returned to, along with the following required supporting documents:

  • Official certification of your current programme
  • Final official degree certificate(s) for all completed degrees
  • Personal statement of no more than 1,000 characters
  • Evidence of English language proficiency (details below)
  • A reference from a current supervisor at your current institution
  • An email from your potential supporting supervisor at the School of Social and Political Science

Once your application has been assessed by our Admissions Team, it will then be sent to the University of Edinburgh’s Visiting Students Office.

Visiting Taught Students

Please note that we are not able to offer a visiting student option for current taught master’s students unless there is a pre-arranged agreement between your home institution and the University of Edinburgh to this effect. It is not possible to attend the Graduate School of Social and Political Science as a study abroad option.


Information about fees for postgraduate visiting students can be found on the Scholarships and Student Funding website.

For further information about tuition fees, please contact the University’s fees team:

Evidence of English

As all students must be able to read textbooks, understand lectures, take part in classroom discussions and undertake written work in English, proof of academic-level English is required of all applicants.  


The following are the approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT) for our programmes with the minimum results required.  SELTs must not be more than 2 years old from the start of the programme

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components
Other Accepted Tests

While no longer considered by the UK Visa and Immigration office to be Secure English Language Tests, the following evidence is considered by the University in support of your application:

  • TOEFL iBT 100 with at least 20 in each section will be accepted as evidence of English
  • Pearson Test of English: 67 total with at least 56 in each "Communicative Skills" section
Approved Universities

Please also see the following link for a list of approved universities from Non- majority English speaking countries that the University of Edinburgh accepts degrees from, as meeting English language entry requirements for 2021/22 English requirements.