College of Humanities and Social Science  
The University of Edinburgh Humanities and Social Science

Postgraduate Study

Postgraduate Applications - Frequently Asked Questions

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences welcomes all postgraduate applications for study. We hope you find that the pages below help to answer your questions and make it easy for you to apply. For further details of what the University of Edinburgh has to offer postgraduate students please refer to our web pages for current students.

Please also see our PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR STAFF AND STUDENTS arranged alphabetically by topic

Our contact details are:

The College Postgraduate Office
College of Humanities & Social Science
The University of Edinburgh
David Hume Tower, George Square

Telephone: (+44) (0)131 650 4086
Fax: (+44) (0)131 650 6536

Prospective PG
quick links

Research opportunities
Taught programmes
How to apply

Please click on the topics shown below to see more details:

Postgraduate Admissions

I am an overseas applicant needing a visa to study at Edinburgh University. What help can you give me?

The UK government introduced new rules in March 2009 — check the following links to see what help and guidance the university can provide.

What masters or research topics can I study in the College?

The College offers a wide range of taught masters, masters by research and research topics. These are shown in the university's postgraduate prospectus.

More about research topics

How do I apply for postgraduate admission?

Firstly, consult the prospectus to find information about taught programmes and research topics. Each prospectus entry has an "Apply for This Degree" button to enable you to apply on line. This is the preferred method of applying, as applying on line means that you get replies quicker and you will be able to track the progress of your application.

If you do not have routine web access please contact us at or +44(0)131 650 4086 and we will send you a postgraduate admission application form. We will email you the Rich Text File (rtf) version of the form for you to complete (typed please) and email back to us. If this is not possible we can also post you a form, but applying by this method is the slowest of all the options.

More about Postgraduate Admissions


What happens after I have applied?

The link below shows you what happens after you have applied for postgraduate study.
What happens once you have made an application


What do I need to provide with my postgraduate application form?

You will need to attach to your application copies of certain documents as described in the link below. Some programmes require additional information, so please see the prospectus for these details.

More about Documents to Support Your Postgraduate Application

What can I do If I think I should not be charged the full (Overseas) tuition fee?

If you think that when you join the university you should not be charged the full "Overseas" fee,  then you can ask the university to consider your particular situation.  The university will then respond and let you know whether you would be classed as an "overseas" student (and eligible to pay the higher fee) or as an "EU/UK" student (and eligible to pay the smaller fee).

Fee Status Enquiry Form

Information about Documents to Support Your Postgraduate Application

I am an international applicant — how can you help me?

We welcome international students, and the University has an International Office dedicated to supporting international students. The International Office can give information to International students regarding immigration and visas as well as more general information for International students planning to study at Edinburgh.

International applications

What English language requirements do I have to meet?

The link below shows what our requirements are for admission to study within the College of Humanities and Social Science.

English language requirements

Can I develop my English language skills still further if I am admitted?

Yes, provided that you have already met the basic English language requirements needed for admission. Further English language study can be undertaken within the University of Edinburgh at the Institute of Applied Language Studies (IALS).

Developing English language skills

Postgraduate Study and Research at IALS.

Are there any pre-sessional English courses that I can enroll on to improve my English?

Yes, the university runs English courses designed for international students applying for a place at the University of Edinburgh. However, please note that international students must meet the English language test standards (see above) before entry, and so no guarantee can be made by the university that attendance at these pre-sessional English courses will automatically result in entry acceptance.

Pre-Sessional English language courses


What do I do if my programme or research does not start in September/October?

The link below explains that to register with the University you will have to attend the Registry when you arrive.

Programmes with start dates outwith September/October


I am a disabled applicant — what additional information would be helpful to me?

The University of Edinburgh warmly encourages enquiries from disabled applicants. Our aim is to create an environment which enables disabled students to participate fully in the mainstream of university life. We try to achieve this through flexible methods of teaching and assessment, and by progressively improving access to buildings and technology. This is the web link to the Disability Office; this PDF file also contains information for prospective students who are disabled.

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Postgraduate Costs and Funding

What will it cost?

The University charges tuition fees, and the amount charged depends on whether you are from the European Community or from outside the European Community. This link shows the tuition fees and other costs.

Information on tuition fees and other costs

If you are unsure of your fee status, or disagree with our classification, please complete a fee status enquiry form so that Registry can consider your case fully and make a final decision.

What funding or scholarships can I apply for?

You may be eligible to apply for funding from sources administered by the University Scholarships Office.

The College also provides a number of research awards annually for those about to start PhD study (see the College Postgraduate Office home page for more details about College Awards).

Schools within the College also may have funding available and you should contact the school direct for this information.

What Are the estimated living costs for students?

You should allow yourself a budget for room and board, personal expenses and other costs. Some useful guidance is provided by the International Office.

Living costs in Edinburgh

I am a Visiting Postgraduate Student — am I liable to pay Council Tax?

Yes. The university generally does not provide accommodation to visiting students who are at the university for less than a full academic year. Consequently, such visiting students have to find private accommodation. As they are not regarded as being full-time students they are liable for council tax.

Information on Council Tax

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After You Have Applied

How do I arrange accommodation?

The University has its own Accommodation Services department, and all enquiries should be made to them. The department has an on-line accommodation guide that provides information about types of accommodation, how to apply, costs, and other useful topics.

Although university accommodation cannot be guaranteed for everyone, the university does guarantee accommodation for certain categories of student.

CLICK HERE to see which categories of student are guaranteed university accommodation

Can you help me find a job while I am studying?

Yes, the University's Student Employment Service is happy to help. If you are a full time student looking for work please remember the University recommends that you do not work more than 15 hours a week during term time.

Student and Graduate Employment

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Requirements of Specific Programmes

How can I find out more about the MSc/Dip in Community Education?

The programme offers 20 places annually. Students successfully completing Postgraduate Diploma in Community Education will be awarded the professional qualification in Community Education.

Information on the MSc/Dip in Community Education

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University Regulations

What general guidance is there on postgraduate regulations?

The university website provides useful information on the Postgraduate Prospectus, Codes of Practice and general regulations that you might find helpful.

Academic Administrative Information

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Residence Requirements

Must I stay in Edinburgh for the duration of my studies?

All candidates, with the exception of candidates registered for the Master of Chinese Studies or for recognised distance learning programmes, must remain in residence in Edinburgh throughout the period of study prescribed unless authorised leave of absence has been granted. PhD and MPhil candidates, with the written approval of the Head of School, may be absent in order to carry out fieldwork and necessary academic research.

Information on Residency Requirements (see DRPS Section 4)

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