Social Anthropology, PhD

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
  • Tuition
  • English (take IELTS)
The University of Edinburgh ,
This PhD programme combines work on an individual thesis project, usually based on long-term fieldwork, with systematic training in anthropological and social research skills. Research training is also available in the form of a free-standing MSc by Research.
  • Overview
  • Programme outline
  • Key facts
  • Admission requirements
  • Fees and funding


Social Anthropology at Edinburgh is an international centre of excellence for postgraduate training, recognised as one of the premier research departments in the UK.

Programme details

The degree is based on three to four years of full-time research. In the first year, students acquire a wide range of research skills and formulate their research question and related design, under the guidance of their supervisors. At the end of their course of study students submit a thesis of no more than 100,000 words and are examined in an oral examination (viva voce) by two examiners.

Areas of research interest

  • law and justice;
  • politics, governance and the state;
  • nationalism and citizenship;
  • war, violence and displacement;
  • medicine and health;
  • science and technology studies;
  • history and theory of anthropology;
  • development and environment;
  • kinship and relatedness;
  • death and the limits of the body;
  • material culture, identity and memory;
  • contemporary hunter-gatherers;
  • linguistic anthropology;
  • urban anthropology;
  • anthropology of landscape.


  • This programme (as a stand-alone or combined with the MSc by research) has ESRC-recognition.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Study intensity Part-time, Full-time
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • Project Type Open
  • Educational Form Academic

Programme Structure

The Graduate School provides a suite of ESRC recognised research training courses for social-science students across the University. We have begun to develop an exciting package of flexible web-based training courses in line with the increased emphasis on ongoing advanced training throughout the course of doctoral studies.

Test Scores

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  • Degree certificate(s) – for all previous degrees. Please note that this can be provided after assessment in most cases.
  • Final/interim transcript(s) – for all previous and current degrees. Interim transcripts with current cumulative averages are acceptable for those still studying, though the final average is required if the degree has been completed.
  • Grading scale(s) – for each university transcript is submitted.
  • Research proposal – Proposals should be no more than two to three A4 pages for MScR and three to four A4 pages for PhD applications in 12pt Times New Roman font (this does not include references). See the University's Research Proposal information page for help with this.
  • Academic references – Referee email address must be institutional (i.e not a public email account). Uploaded references must be dated within one year of submission, on institutional letterhead, signed in pen (not a signature image) and in a non–editable format.

Tuition Fee


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