PhD Scholarships 2021

James Watt Statue

Scholarship application deadline passed. 

  • Name:             School of Social Sciences PhD Studentships
  • Amount:         £15,609 annual stipend for three years (increased each year in line with UKRI studentships), plus tuition fees waived and a research support allowance of £2,250
  • Level:             Postgraduate research
  • School:          Social Sciences
  • Entry date:    Monday 13 September 2021
  • Closing date:   Tuesday 13 April 2021 - Deadline passed, applications now closed. 

The School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University is home to Edinburgh Business School, the Department of Psychology, and the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies.  Our world-leading research in accountancy, business management, economics, finance, languages, intercultural studies and psychology is based around our seven research centres:

  • The Centre for Applied Behavioural Sciences
  • The Centre for Logistics and Sustainability
  • The Centre for Networks and Enterprise Excellence
  • The Centre for Research into Employment, Work and the Professions
  • The Centre for Social and Economic Data Analytics
  • The Centre for Translation and Interpreting Studies in Scotland
  • The Intercultural Research Centre

The School is offering a number of full-time PhD studentships to start in September 2021.  Studentships include a tuition fee waiver and an annual stipend currently set at £15,609 for the academic year 2021-22.  The duration of the studentships is three years.  The School of Social Sciences also offers a research support allowance of £2,250 over the registered period of study.  In addition, full-time scholarship holders are normally offered an opportunity to undertake paid teaching support each academic year.


Entry Criteria and Application

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree with a minimum classification of 2:1 in a field relevant to the project for which they are applying.  A Master’s degree is desirable for all projects, and essential for some (follow the links above for further details).  Any additional and specific entry criteria can be found by following the links above.  In addition, candidates for whom English is a second language should meet the University’s minimum English-language requirements.  If you have not already studied a degree programme that was taught and examined in the medium of English, the minimum overall IELTS score is 6.5 with no score lower than 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.  Applications for more than one project from the same candidate will be considered.

Please note that possession of the minimum qualifications does not guarantee shortlisting for interview.

Applicants should submit their application via

Applicants should supply:

  1. A full Curriculum Vitae.
  2. Copies of full academic transcripts from all previous academic degree courses and copies of degree certificates for degrees already awarded.  If you are currently pursuing a degree course please provide all available marks to date.  If your degree is from a non-UK institution, please provide evidence of the UK equivalency of your qualification.
  3. A brief covering letter outlining why you want to study for a PhD at Heriot-Watt University, and what makes you an excellent candidate.
  4. An outline research proposal (max. 1500 words). This should clearly identify how the proposed research question and modes of inquiry align with your chosen project area. The proposal should clearly identify which project area has been selected by referring to the project title and ref. no.

Interviews will take place between the 10th and 21st May 2021, and will be conducted via video conferencing (e.g. Zoom or similar). Interview support for those with disabilities will be available where required (e.g. a BSL interpreter).

If you have any general queries about the applications process, please contact

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment and welcome applications from underrepresented groups. Heriot-Watt is committed to giving access and opportunities to student carers, and received the Going Higher for Student Carers Recognition Award from Carers Trust Scotland in 2020.