At Edinburgh Napier University we offer a number of research degree awards: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Philosophy (MPhil), Masters by Research (MRes), Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) and PhD by Published Works. There is a wide range of subject areas and expertise available across the University’s three faculties and their Institutes for Research & Innovation, where staff are happy to discuss potential research proposals. Typically, a research degree focuses on an in-depth investigation or project, with an emphasis on independent study of a topic chosen by the student.
To support students’ specific research interests, we provide a range of development opportunities, including training in qualitative and quantitative research methods, literature reviewing, professional communication and presentation skills and career development.
PhD, MPhil & MRes
For these awards, you will initially register for an unspecified research degree; the target award is normally decided within the first year of study, based on your progress.
Applicants should normally hold a first or second class honours degree from a UK institution, or equivalent. Sometimes we accept students who do not meet these requirements if they have extensive relevant experience. Each case is considered individually by the relevant school - please email the Postgraduate Admissions Team for details.
We occasionally advertise Graduate Training Assistantships. At the same time as studying for a PhD, you will complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching & Learning in Higher Education and undertake teaching in your subject area.
The DBA is a Professional Doctorate, equivalent in its requirements to that of a PhD, but with an emphasis on a focused business or management problem.
Applicants for DBA must hold an MBA or equivalent, and have at least 5 years managerial experience.
PhD by Published Works
This degree is based on a substantial body of previously published work, normally academic publications. The award is intended for those with extensive research experience and publication, and is only available to current or former members of Edinburgh Napier staff, and Edinburgh Napier graduates.
To find out more about the PhD by Published Works, please email Professor Chris Atton, the University’s Research Degrees Coordinator.
Length of study
The time it takes to complete a research degree depends on the target award and the mode of study (full-time or part-time).
You must submit your final thesis for examination within the minimum and maximum periods of study given in the table below.
|MRes (MSc / MA by research)
||38 months |
|PhD (except Graduate Training Assistants)
||54 months |
|PhD (Graduate Training Assistants)
|PhD by Published Works
||12 months |