Postgraduate research in the School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art is internationally renowned, interdisciplinary and publically engaged. Our research creates, embodies and responds to new registers of contemporary art and culture, whilst rearticulating processes and practices associated with established artistic media.

We are an intellectually vibrant, ambitious and supportive community where research produced by staff and students – both individually and collectively – is disseminated nationally and internationally. Collaboration, experimentation and outward facing distributive actions are central to this; we understand our research to constitute cultural impact within and beyond the University. We lead scholarly inquiry into artistic practice in relation to the full range of academic disciplines and professional contexts available within one of the world’s leading research universities.

Our MPhil and PhD candidates are supported by bespoke supervisory arrangements made across the University of Edinburgh and our membership of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities allows us to arrange cross-institutional supervision with our partners in the consortium, ensuring expert supervision and guidance for interdisciplinary projects.


Graduates with a MPhil or PhD in Art have career opportunities as academics concentrating on teaching and research, or just research roles. They are also equipped for research and other roles within the industry, depending on the focus of their research, and how effectively they have taken advantage of the several non-academic links offered by the University with non-academic institutions, such as galleries, museums, and private companies.

How to apply and entrance requirements

We operate a gathered field approach to PhD/MPhil applications, followed by an interview process for shortlisted applications.

If you'd like to study on a postgraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through EUCLID, the University's online application system. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh website, where you'll also be able to:

  • see detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder
  • get information on what to expect after you apply
  • find out about study modes, start dates and fees
  • find out if, and how, you need to submit a portfolio, showreel or research proposal
  • find out where to go for further advice and guidance

Take me to the University of Edinburgh website on how to apply for postgraduate study

Preparing your application

Common to all research programmes are a set of research aims, a research context, a research process and a research product/outcome. The research proposal should include reference to all of these elements. All applicants for postgraduate research programmes must submit a research proposal.

Portfolios or writing samples are also required for some research degrees.

View the Art guidelines (PDF)


Dr Deborah Jackson

Programme Director, Art - PhD/MPhil

Co-Director of Visual Culture; Co-Director of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Email: deborah.jackson@ed.ac.uk

Facilities and resources

The extensive University of Edinburgh Collections are here to facilitate teaching and research around the University. The collections, which stretch over 60 kilometres of materials, relate to the history of the University, Scotland, and the wider world.

Students at the University of Edinburgh have access to a range of library resources across the campus and online.

Overlooking Edinburgh Castle, our painting studios provide a bright and airy space for working in.

The neo-classical heart of our Main Building. Home to the Edinburgh Cast Collection and a spectacular environment for student exhibitions.

Scholarships and bursaries

AHRC PhD Doctoral Studentships

  • Deadline: 12 noon on 2 December 2019
  • Value: Stipend of around £15,000 p/a & fees (fees only for EU students)
  • Eligibility: For research interests aligning with, or cutting across, ECA's Schools.

ECA PhD Scholarship

  • Deadline:
  • Value: £16,000 per year for three years
  • Eligibility: Applications are invited for PhD research projects that take advantage of the leading research expertise across ECA.

College Research Awards

  • Deadline:
  • Value: £16,000 per year for three years
  • Eligibility: Applications are invited for PhD research projects that take advantage of the leading research expertise across ECA.

Edinburgh Global Research Scholarships

  • Deadline:
  • Value: Covers the difference between the tuition fee for a UK/EU postgraduate student and that chargeable to an overseas postgraduate student
  • Eligibility: Open to overseas students commencing a PhD in any field of study.

Carnegie / Caledonian PhD Scholarships

  • Deadline: 28 January 2020
  • Value: Covers tuition fees, a maintenance allowance and a research expenses allowance.
  • Eligibility: For graduates of a Scottish university with a first-class honours degree, or final year students of an undergraduate degree in Scotland expected to obtain a first-class honours (withdrawing if they fail to do so).


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Email: ecaresearchdegrees@ed.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 4086