Entry and Eligibility Criteria

Please carefully read this section to find out about our entry and eligibility criteria.

UKRI Funding Eligibility

The E4 DTP studentships are regulated by the UKRI Training Grant Terms and Conditions. This is to be read in combination with the UKRI Training Grant Guidance document.

All applicants are eligible to apply for a fully-funded UKRI studentship, regardless of their citizenship or fees status, as long as they comply with the Higher Education Institution's entry requirements for a PhD (see second section on this page for the University of Edinburgh's PhD entry requirements).

However, there are some specificities for international students, please read on.

International Applicants and UKRI-funded studentships

International students are eligible to apply for a UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships. The studentships include stipend to support UK living costs, UK-rate Home tuition fees and research costs to support the project as relevant. The UKRI-funded studentships do NOT include visa's costs, the IHS (Immigration Health Surcharge)​​​​​, flights and other costs incurred by moving to the UK.

The University of Edinburgh will cover the difference between Home fees and International fees meaning that it will not be necessary for E4 DTP International applicants who will be offered an E4 DTP project at the end of our recruitment process to find additional funding to cover the home/international fees gap.

However, it is important to note that UKRI restricts the number of international students that DTPs can take on board to a maximum of 30% of their overall students’ number. For E4, this represents a maximum of 7 international students per annual recruitment round (based on a total cohort of about 24 students). 

Part-time study

Part-time study is possible but only available for students who do NOT need a Visa to come study in the UK. Students who would like to consider part-time studies are encouraged to discuss with the supervisor of the project(s) they are applying for as this will require their full approval.

Fees status category

For an indication of the different fees status categories applicants can fall in, please refer to the below table.

Please note that this as 
an indicative table only as fees statuses can vary and depend on a number of parameters and personal circumstances. The fees status will be pre-assessed at application stage and the E4 DTP Admission team might have to get in touch with you to clarify your situation after having screened your application. The final fees status will be confirmed by the University of Edinburgh at the time of your administrative application (if/when appointed). You may be requested to complete a fees status questionnaire so the University admission service can confirm your fees status then.

If you are unsure of which fees status you are likely to get after looking at the below table, please get in touch.

You are…

Indicative fees status

a UK national, AND will have been ordinarily living in the UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland for at least the last 3 years before 1 August 2024.

Home Fees status

an Irish national, AND will have been ordinarily living in the UK or in the Republic of Ireland for at least the last 3 years before 1 August 2024.

Home Fees status

an EU (except Irish), EEA or Swiss citizen living in the UK who has obtained settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme, AND will have been living in the UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland for at least the last 3 years before 1 August 2024. 

Home Fees status

a non-EU citizen living in the UK, who has obtained Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or Indefinite leave to enter (ILE), AND will have been living in the UK for at least the last 3 years before 1 August 2024. 

Home Fees status

in none of the above categories.

All other situations include but are not limited to:

  • UK nationals living outside the UK/EEA/Switzerland/Gibraltar, not meeting the above UK/EEA 3-year residency requirement;
  • Irish citizen living in the EU, outside the Republic of Ireland, not meeting the above UK/Ireland 3-year residency requirement;
  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizen with pre-settled or settled status, not meeting the above UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland 3-year residency requirement;
  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens without pre-settled or settled status and/or currently living outside the UK, in a EU/EEA or in a non-EU country;
  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens living in the UK under a Visa;
  • Non-EU citizens living outside the UK;
  • Non-EU citizens currently living in the UK under a Visa.  



International Fees status

There are exceptions for migrant workers, family of UK nationals, dual UK/EU nationals, asylum seekers and refugees and further guidance on the definition of a UK absence for UK nationals. See Annex B of the UKRI Training Grant Guidance document

Entry Requirements

Academic Eligibility Criteria

We would normally require applicants to have a minimum of 2.1 undergraduate degree or equivalent. However, we may take relevant work experience and/or a Master's degree into account.

The E4 DTP aims to recruit PhD students from a diverse range of backgrounds. Our selection process looks at both academic and professional experience, and we do not consider a Master's degree a requirement for application to an E4 studentship.

International applicants should refer to our Postgraduate Entry Requirement by Region directory to find out about international/UK degree equivalences.

English Language Requirements

Fieldwork in Mexico (photo G. Wells)
Fieldwork in Mexico (photo G. Wells)

All PhD applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

Degrees taught and assessed in English:

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than 3.5 years old at the beginning of the degree programme.

English language tests:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 92 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than 3.5 years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than 2 years old.

We don't need to see English Language Tests results at the time of the application but if we don't have it by the interview stage, we will only be able to issue a conditional funding offer. You will then be given a maximum of about two months (or by July at the latest) to provide a suitable English Language Test certificate. 

Applicants who already have an English Language Test fitting the above requirements can add it to their application when they submit but we recommend those who don't have a test yet to wait until the outcome of their written application is known (early February) before booking a test.

Please note that some of the organisations listed above offer online tests.

Postgraduate Studies English language requirements

UKVI list of majority English speaking countries

Approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries

International Applicants

Selection Process