There are two paths to becoming a research student at Edinburgh Napier University:

  • Apply for an advertised studentship vacancy
  • Present your own research topic and apply as a speculative research degree student 


How to apply for advertised studentship vacancies

All our studentship vacancies are advertised on our vacancies page and on

Submit your application using thisWordapplication form. Any other type of application is not valid and will not be considered. You must also submit twoacademic references.

We carefully consider each application to ensure that we can provide you with a suitable supervisory team, and that your background and qualifications are suitable. We also always welcome enquiries for studentships on a self-funded, employer-funded or part-time basis.

How to apply as a speculative research student

You should discuss your research interests with the school or institute associated with your subject area before applying.

To apply, you should use the relevant link below and complete our online application. If you’re not sure which area your proposal would sit with, please select the one you consider most appropriate and it will be checked by the Admissions Team.
We accept applications at any time. However, most schools restrict their intake of new students to September and February. 
You should include your intended start date at the top of your personal statement section on your application form.
Once you have completed the application form you will be presented with a “Submit” option. Once you click this you will be given the option to upload documents to support your application - see below the table for more guidance.

Apply online


Please note that the online application system will be unavailable from the morning of Monday 2 March to Thursday 5 March, inclusive. During this period applicants can download an application form for submission by email.

​Course code ​Programme title

Accounting, Economics & Statistics: Full-time

​31321RS Accounting, Economics & Statistics: Part-time​
​31340RS Marketing, Tourism & Languages: Full-time​
​31341RS Marketing, Tourism & Languages: Part-time​
​31360RS Management & Law: Full-time 
​31361RS Management & Law: Part-time 
​51320RS Engineering & the Built Environment: Full-time 
​51321RS Engineering & the Built Environment: Part-time​ 
​51340RS Creative Industries: Full-time​
​51341RS Creative Industries: Part-time​ 
​51360RS Computing: Full-time​ 
​51361RS Computing: Part-time 
​71320RS Nursing, Midwifery & Social Care: Full-time
​71321RS Nursing, Midwifery & Social Care: Part-time
​71340RS Life Sciences: Full-time 
​71341RS Life Sciences: Part-time 

DBA (Doctorate of Business Administration)


Documents to include

References:  You will be asked for one referee on the application, however your application requires two references in order to be considered.  You can use this reference form to send to your referee for completion. WordReference form.

Research proposal: You will also need to submit a research proposal. This is an important part of the process as academic staff must be able to assess whether supervisory capacity and resources are available to support your research project. Your proposal should be approximately 1,000 words or four pages of A4. 

What next?


When we receive your application it will be sent for consideration to the appropriate faculty. Once the faculty have made their decision, the Postgraduate Admissions team will contact you by email to tell you the outcome.

Contact us 


Please email for information or advice about applying for a research degree, or to be put in touch with the relevant school or research institute for discussions about your area of interest.

English language

If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of an appropriate English language qualification, achieved no more than two years before the expected registration date, even if you've completed a degree level qualification in either the UK, or one that was taught and examined in English. 
The English language qualifications we accept are: 
  • IELTS score of at least 6.5 (7.0 for DBA applicants) with no component below 6.0
  • Pearsons Test of English score of at least 60
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English score of at least Grade B
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English score of at least C