Application process

Joining our postgraduate research community means joining a vibrant hub of researchers focusing on finding great solutions to today's problems. If that sounds like it's for you, there are two ways you can apply: via an advertised position, or by presenting your own research topic.

Whichever application path you choose, we normally look for applicants to have a first- or second-class honours degree from a UK institution, or a qualification of an equivalent level. We sometimes accept applicants who don't meet these requirements if they have extensive relevant experience.

You'll also need excellent English written and oral communication skills to make a successful application. We may ask you to provide evidence of your ability to read, speak, write and listen in English. Your English ability can be demonstrated in a number of ways, as outlined in our English language requirements summary document. You can also view our full English language entry requirements policy which explains what qualifications we accept for entry to the University.

Option 1: Apply for an advertised vacancy

We advertise all studentship vacancies on our vacancies page and on

Option 2: Present your own research topic

If you are interested in studying a particular research topic, and there is not a current vacancy in this area, you can also apply by presenting your idea for consideration by the University. 

The first step is to discuss your proposed topic with a member of staff in the relevant school at Edinburgh Napier. They'll give you advice on shaping your topic, and help guide you through the process. If you aren't sure who to contact initially, the postgraduate admissions team can help you identify the best contact in the school.

Once you've discussed your area of interest with one of our academic staff, you need to develop a proposal for how you will approach your research topic and what you hope to achieve. Academic staff will use this to judge whether they are able to support your project. Your proposal should be around 1,000 words or four pages of A4.

In addition to your proposal, you will also need to provide two academic references. These should be gathered using the Research Academic References Form. You can then submit your application online, using one of the links below, depending on your area of interest:

If you're not sure which area to submit your application in, just pick the one you think is most suitable and the admissions team will check it for you.

Most studentships start in September or February, but you can submit your application at any time.

Documents to include

What's next?

After you've submitted your application, the postgraduate admissions team will send it to the appropriate school. Once they've made their decision, the admissions team will email you to let you know.

Contact us

Email the postgraduate admissions team 

The postgraduate admissions team will be able to give you general advice on the application process and help you get in touch with the right school.

University Terms & Conditions

The University’s Terms & conditions aim to provide applicants and students with key information they need to know before starting their studies. The Terms & Conditions are updated annually each year.