Skip to main content

Scholarships and funding

The University and Edinburgh Law School offer a range of scholarships for our research degrees. There are also a selection of external funding opportunities that you may be eligible to apply to.

Details of the scholarship and funding opportunities for 2020-21 are listed below.

Edinburgh Law School offers two complete PhD studentships covering UK/EU fees and a stipend in line with UKRI rates.

Through a generous bequest from alumnus Ewan Cameron, the School is also able to offer one further studentship on the same basis and in his name.

Eligibility

The scholarship is open to anyone who has already submitted an application for PhD study (September 2020 or January 2021).

To be considered for a School Award, you must meet our standard minimum entry requirements. The successful candidates normally exceed these significantly, having obtained the highest classification in at least one of their degrees, and provide a very strong research proposal with a high degree of fit with supervisors and the School.

Successful applicants will be expected to firmly accept the offer when the results of the application process are announced. Candidates who already have an offer of financial sponsorship from elsewhere will not be eligible.

Applications are welcome across the full range of legal and law-related subjects. 

Application Process

The studentship application deadline is 3 February 2020. 

Applications are made through our EUCLID system after submitting an application to the PhD programme.

Find out more about how to apply

The College Research Student Awards scheme is designed to attract high quality students applying for PhD research.

In Edinburgh Law School, we are offering one PhD studentship, supported by the College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, that will pay UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,000.

The stipend will be paid in equal monthly instalments for a maximum of three years, subject to satisfactory performance. Awards will be paid pro-rata for part-time candidates.

Application deadline for entry in session 2020-21: 3 February 2020

Eligibility

Candidates for the College Research Award must be seeking to start their first year of full-time or part-time PhD study in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences within the academic year 2020-2021 (September 2020 or January 2021 entry). Eligible to UK/EU and International students.  Covers UK/EU fees plus an annual stipend of £15,000.

When making our decisions we will:

  • Consider the applicant’s academic achievements, research proposal, research potential, and the degree of support provided by references.
  • Not take into account factors such as financial status and nationality.

When applying for these awards candidates must:

  • Be seeking to start their first year of full-time or part-time PhD study in the 2020-21 academic year.
  • Be of outstanding academic merit and research potential.
  • Include in their personal statements reference to achievements made and their own assessment of their future potential.
  • Be strongly supported by the references given in support of their PhD application.
  • Send us their completed award applications no later than the deadline date. Any part-completed applications received will be discounted and become ineligible at that time. We cannot accept any additional supporting information after the deadline date.
  • Note that if College Award candidates are applying to study topics eligible for UK Research Council Awards then you must also apply to the relevant Research Council.

Find out more about the College Research Awards

Applying

Applications are made through our EUCLID system after submitting an application to the PhD programme.

Find out how to apply for PhD study

The University of Edinburgh is part of a consortium of 10 Universities which have been awarded funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to support postgraduate studentships and training in the Arts and Humanities in Scotland.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) offer fully-funded studentships covering fees and stipend for September 2020 entry. 

As a member of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, the successful applicants will also have access to a range of exciting training and developing opportunities.

How to apply

If you intend to apply for an AHRC Scholarship, please email us in the first instance phd.law@ed.ac.uk to register your interest. To be considered, you must submit both an application for PhD study and an SGSAH Scholarship Application form.

  1. Check that you are eligible to apply
    Find out more about the studentships and eligibility criteria 
  2. Applications for PhD study: Your completed PhD application must be submitted through the University’s online application system by Monday 25 November 2019 in order to ensure that your application is processed in time for consideration within a very tight selection timescale. Please note you do not need to have received an offer by this date, you must simply have submitted your application.
    Find out how to apply for a PhD
  3. Applications for AHRC Scholarship: You may apply for the AHRC scholarship before receiving a decision on your application for a PhD place. Eligible candidates should complete the SGSAH Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship nomination application form and submit this by email to phd.law@ed.ac.uk by Monday 2nd December 2019.

Please note that you must complete steps 2 and 3 for your application to be considered.

Applications to the AHRC are submitted through their online portal. Prior to this, Universities hold an internal round of evaluations to decide which applications can proceed to the AHRC stage, as each university is given a limited number of application opportunities.

Further details of the AHRC award can be found on their website:

Arts and Humanities Doctoral Training

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) offers studentships for PhD study in the 2020/21 academic year.

A generous package is available for an applicant who wishes either to undertake a PhD in Criminology or Socio-legal studies. Suitably-qualified candidates (who already hold or are currently studying for a relevant Masters degree) may apply for a three year studentship; others apply on a '1+3' basis, starting with the one year MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice.

ESRC studentship details

Value: Fees at Home/EU rate and a generous stipend.

Applicants must be students from the UK or EU* countries, and satisfy the eligibility criteria of the ESRC.

Find out more about the eligibility criteria

*EU applicants from outside the UK and who have not been resident in the UK for the three years prior to the start of the studentship are only eligible for a fees-only award. 

These fully-funded studentships can be used to cover fees and a living allowance for:

  • three years of PhD study, if the student already meets ESRC research skills criteria (normally equivalent to 1/3 of an MSc dedicated to research training); or
  • a one year MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice, including research training, plus three years of PhD study. 

For alternative MSc options in research training, consult the pathway representative, Dr Andy Aydin-Aitchison, at Andy.Aydin-Aitchison@ed.ac.uk

Further queries on eligibility should be directed to the local Socio-Legal and Criminology pathway representative, Dr Andy Aydin-Aitchison, at Andy.Aydin-Aitchison@ed.ac.uk

Application process 

This is a two part application process and both stages must be completed in order to be considered for ESRC funding.

  • Applicants must apply for admission with us by 10th December 2019.
    Find out more about applying for a PhD
    Find out more about applying to the MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice (ESRC track)
  • Applicants must also make a funding application to GradHub before noon 10th January 2020. SGSSS will launch the application space form on 2 November. Students will be asked to register on GradHub, make an application with them, upload existing transcripts, a CV and one reference which is not to be from their proposed supervisor.
    Visit the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science website
  • SGSSS will launch this open studentship application form in November. Students will be asked to register on GradHub, make an application with them, upload existing transcripts, a CV and one reference which is not to be from their proposed supervisor.
  • Any queries about registering or logging into GradHub can be directed to the SGSSS.
    Contact SGSS
  • Please contact the pathway representative Dr Andy Aydin-Aitchison in the first instance. All candidates must have the support of a recognised supervisor before applying.

To be considered, please apply to either the MSc programme or PhD programme and e-mail the pathway representative (as above) stating your wish to be included in the competition.

For full details and guidance notes please visit the SGSSS website

The scholarship is available for postgraduate research in Scots private law at the University of Edinburgh leading to the degree of PhD. The scholarship is offered by the Edinburgh Legal Education Trust, which was formed in 1996 for the advancement of legal education. The Trustees wish to award a scholarship for study beginning in September 2020.

Choice of topic

Applicants are free, indeed expected, to choose their own topic. The emphasis, however, should be on legal doctrine rather than on, for example, legal theory or socio-legal issues. Historical or comparative perspectives are welcome. A list of possible topics is given in the Appendix but there are many others. Professor Kenneth Reid (Kenneth.reid@ed.ac.uk), the Scholarship Administrator, would be happy to give informal advice. Examples of the type of work that the Trustees are willing to fund may be found in six PhD theses now published as books: Ross Gilbert Anderson, Assignation; Andrew J M Steven, Pledge and Lien; Craig Anderson, Possession of Corporeal Moveables; Jill Robbie, Private Water Rights; Daniel J Carr, Ideas of Equity; and Chathuni Jayathilaka, Sale and the Implied Warranty of Soundness.

View details of current PhD students at Edinburgh, and their topics

Eligibility

The scholarship is open to anyone who, by the start of the PhD programme, holds an honours or a masters degree in law (or equivalent), and who is accepted by the University of Edinburgh for postgraduate study. Preference will be given to those holding a masters degree.

A common route into the PhD is to enrol in the first instance for the one-year degree of LLM by Research (for which the Edinburgh Legal Education Trust also provides a scholarship) and then, if things go well, to switch to the PhD in the course of the year; after switching the student is deemed always to have been registered for the PhD.

Find out more about postgraduate study at Edinburgh Law School

An application to the Trust may be made in advance of being accepted by the University of Edinburgh.

Duration

The scholarship is awarded for one year in the first instance, but will be renewed annually for a further two years, subject to satisfactory progress.

Value 

The scholarship has the same value as a Studentship awarded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). This means that the scholarship comprises (i) fees at home students’ rate and (ii) a maintenance award (currently £15,009). In addition, a limited amount of assistance may be given by the Trust in respect of research expenses, but this will not normally exceed £400 in a year. Fees will be paid by the Trust directly to the University of Edinburgh. The maintenance allowance will be paid in four equal instalments on:

  • 15 September
  • 15 December
  • 15 March
  • 15 June.

Scholars past and present

Four Scholars are currently funded for PhD study by the Edinburgh Legal Education Trust: Andrew Sweeney (Landlord’s Hypothec); Shona Warwick (The nature of a lease); Patrick Follan (The beneficiary’s right in a Scottish trust); and Colin Lilburn (The duties of trustees in Scots law). There have been eleven previous such Scholars all of whom have completed their PhDs: Ross Gilbert Anderson (Assignation); Dot Reid (Fraud in Scots private law); Peter Webster (Leasehold conditions); Adelyn Wilson (Viscount Stair’s sources and citations in a humanist and natural law context); Johnnie MacLeod (Voidable title: Scots law in a European context); Jill Robbie (Water law in Scotland); Bonnie Holligan (Protection of ownership in Scots law); Stephen Bogle (The emergence of the will theory in Scots contract law); Alasdair Peterson (Prescriptive acquisition of servitudes); Alisdair MacPherson (The attachment and ranking of the floating charge in Scots law); Lorna MacFarlane (An analysis of the jus quaesitum tertio doctrine). Dr Anderson is a practising advocate, Dr Webster is a practising barrister, and Dr MacFarlane works for a leading Scottish law firm; all of the others hold lecturing positions at UK universities.

Part-time employment

Scholars are expected to devote their whole time to the study of their subject. Part-time teaching and other work relevant to the Scholar’s research may be undertaken but must not exceed three hours per week. For any other paid employment, the permission of the Trustees is required.

Scholars must inform the Scholarship Administrator of any other awards which they receive during the year. The Trustees reserve the right to review the level of the scholarship in the light of the availability of other funding.

Application information and closing date

Once you have applied for admission to the Programme, complete the Edinburgh Law School Scholarship Application Form and send it to phd.law@ed.ac.uk

Download the Edinburgh Law School Postgraduate Scholarship Application Form

Applications should normally be received by 4 May 2020.

The Trustees reserve full discretion to offer, or not to offer, a scholarship.

Appendix: possible subjects for PhD study in private law

The following are merely suggestions. Obviously, there are many other subjects which could be fruitfully pursued. 

  • Delict: e.g. public authority liability; defamation; intentional delicts; privacy; causation.
  • Trusts: e.g. constitution and nature; administration; trusts arising by operation of law, especially constructive trusts; history.
  • Succession: e.g. legacies; special destinations; legal rights; executors and administration of the estate.
  • Leases: e.g. constitution, transfer and extinction; rights and duties of the parties; commercial leases.
  • Aspects of the law of rights in security.
  • Good faith.
  • Neighbour law: e.g. trespass; encroachment; nuisance; aemulatio vicini.
  • Public rights over water.
  • Negative prescription.
  • Law of persons and personality.
  • Unincorporated associations.
  • Liferents.
  • The influence of Roman law or English law on Scots private law.
  • One or more institutional writers.
  • Minerals (perhaps extending to look at separate tenements generally).
  • Sale.
  • Unjustified enrichment.
  • Negotiorum gestio.
  • Contract: e.g. formation; defects of consent; implied terms; jus quaesitum tertio; breach.
  • Set-off.
  • Remedies.

Details to be confirmed.

The scholarship is available for postgraduate research in Family Law at the University of Edinburgh Law School for a period of either (i) one year leading to the degree of LLM by research (ie by a thesis of up to 30,000 words) or (ii) for a period of three years leading to the degree of PhD (“the Degree Programme”).  The scholarship is offered by the University of Edinburgh Development Trust in conjunction with SKO Family Law Specialists.  A single scholarship is available for study beginning in September 2020.  

Choice of topic
Applicants are free, indeed expected, to choose their own topic.  The topic must be in a family law related subject.  Emphasis may be on legal doctrine, legal theory or socio-legal issues.  Comparative perspectives are welcome.   

Award amount and duration
The scholarship is an annual stipend of £2000 per annum. Please note it does not cover tuition fees.

The scholarship is awarded for one year in the first instance, and in the case of a PhD scholarship, will be renewed annually for a further two years, subject to satisfactory progress.  Where a student is admitted to the LLM by research programme and successfully converts to the PhD programme (in accordance with the University requirements), the scholarship will be awarded for a further two years, subject to satisfactory progress.

Eligibility
The scholarship is open to anyone who, by the start of the Degree Programme, holds an Honours or Masters Degree in law (or equivalent) and who has already been offered and accepted a place for LLM by Research or PhD study by the University of Edinburgh. 

Application information

All applicants should already be in possession of an offer for study from the University of Edinburgh before applying.

To apply please complete the application form and return it to PhD.Law@ed.ac.uk

Download the application form

Deadline: All applications should be received no later than 5pm (GMT) on 29 May 2020.

The Law School will have full discretion to offer or not to offer the scholarship.  

The scholarship is available for postgraduate research in Scots private law at the University of Edinburgh for a period of one year leading to the degree of LLM by Research (i.e. by a thesis of up to 30,000 words). The scholarship is offered by the Edinburgh Legal Education Trust, which was formed in 1996 for the advancement of legal education. The Trustees wish to award a single scholarship for study beginning in September 2020.

Choice of topic

Applicants are free, indeed expected, to choose their own topic. The emphasis, however, should be on legal doctrine rather than on, for example, legal theory or socio-legal issues. Historical or comparative perspectives are welcome. A list of possible topics is given in the Appendix but there are many others. Professor Kenneth Reid (Kenneth.Reid@ed.ac.uk), the Scholarship Administrator, would be happy to give informal advice. Examples of the type of work that the Trustees are willing to fund may be found in five PhD theses now published as books: Ross Gilbert Anderson, Assignation; Andrew J M Steven, Pledge and Lien; Craig Anderson, Possession of Corporeal Moveables; Jill Robbie, Private Water Rights; Daniel J Carr, Ideas of Equity; and Chathuni Jayathilaka, Sale and the Implied Warranty of Soundness.

Find out more about our current PhD students and their topics

Eligibility

The scholarship is open to anyone who, by the start of the LLM by Research programme, holds an honours degree in law, or an ordinary degree in law plus an honours degree in a different discipline, and who is accepted by the University of Edinburgh for the degree of LLM by Research.

Find out more about postgraduate study

An application to the Trust may be made in advance of being accepted by the University of Edinburgh.

Value

The scholarship has the same value as a Studentship awarded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). This means that the scholarship comprises (i) fees at home students’ rate and (ii) a maintenance award (currently £15,009). In addition, a limited amount of assistance may be given by the Trust in respect of research expenses, but this will not normally exceed £400 in a year.

Fees will be paid by the Trust directly to the University of Edinburgh.  The maintenance allowance will be paid in four equal instalments on:

  • 15 September
  • 15 December
  • 15 March
  • 15 June

Part-time employment

Scholars are expected to devote their whole time to the study of their subject. Part-time teaching and other work relevant to the Scholar’s research may be undertaken but must not exceed three hours per week. For any other paid employment, the permission of the Trustees is required.

Scholars must inform the Scholarship Administrator of any other awards which they receive during the year. The Trustees reserve the right to review the level of the scholarship in the light of the availability of other funding.

Application information and closing date

Once you have applied for admission to the Programme, complete the Edinburgh Law School Scholarship Application Form and send it to phd.law@ed.ac.uk

Download the Edinburgh Law School Postgraduate Scholarship Application Form

Applications should normally be received by 4 May 2020.

The Trustees reserve full discretion to offer, or not to offer, a scholarship.

Progression to the PhD

A student who successfully completes the LLM may wish to consider further study for the degree of PhD. The Edinburgh Legal Trust also offers a scholarship for PhD study in Scots private law. It is often possible to treat the LLM as the first year of study for a PhD by switching to the PhD degree during the year spent on the LLM.

APPENDIX: Possible subjects for LLM by Research in private law

The following are merely suggestions. Obviously, there are many other subjects which could be fruitfully pursued. 

  • Delict: e.g. public authority liability; defamation; intentional delicts; privacy; causation.
  • Trusts: e.g. constitution and nature; administration; powers and liabilities of trustees; trusts arising by operation of law, especially constructive trusts; history.
  • Succession: e.g. legacies; special destinations; legal rights; executors and administration of the estate.
  • Leases: e.g. constitution, transfer and extinction; rights and duties of the parties; commercial leases.
  • Aspects of the law of rights in security.
  • Good faith.
  • Neighbour law: eg trespass; encroachment; nuisance; aemulatio vicini.
  • Public rights over water.
  • Negative prescription.
  • Law of persons and personality.
  • Unincorporated associations.
  • Liferents.
  • The influence of Roman law or English law on Scots private law.
  • One or more institutional writers.
  • Minerals (perhaps extending to look at separate tenements generally).
  • Sale.
  • Unjustified enrichment.
  • Negotiorum gestio.
  • Contract: e.g. formation; defects of consent; implied terms; jus quaesitum tertio; breach.
  • Set-off.
  • Remedies.

The University of Edinburgh offers many scholarships for postgraduate study. You should consult the University Scholarship pages for further information on these and other sources of funding that may be available.

Find out more about the range of scholarships offered by the University of Edinburgh

There are a range of additional sources of financial support that you may be eligible to apply to.

Find out more about additional sources of funding for UK and EU students

Contact us

If you have any questions about our scholarships please don't hesitate to contact us.

phd.law@ed.ac.uk