Information for current:

Scholarships for PhD study in the School of Informatics

Around fifty research scholarships are available for:

Many of these are full scholarships, paying your tuition fees and an annual stipend of £13590 to cover living expenses (2010/2011 figure, rising with inflation). The rest pay your fees and/or a contribution towards living expenses. Payment of fees for non-EU students is subject to successful competition for the Scottish Overseas Research Students Award Scheme. PhD students are encouraged to make contributions to teaching, for example by leading tutorial groups, and for this you can expect to earn an additional £500-1000 per year.


Informatics is the study of information and computation, in both natural and engineered systems. It comprises a vast range of scientific and engineering endeavour and has enormous economic and social impact.

Edinburgh University's School of Informatics possesses a combination of breadth and strength of research, teaching and innovation that is unparallelled elsewhere in the UK and competitive world-wide; as an intellectual endeavour it is strikingly original. It is the biggest and best research group in its area in the UK: according to the results of the UK government's 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, it is 44% larger and has 69% more world-leading (4* rated) staff than its nearest rival. We currently have around 270 students studying for PhD, and around 200 for MSc.

PhD study

Each PhD student is hosted within one of our seven research Institutes:

ANC fosters the study of adaptive processes in both artificial and biological systems; two themes are the study of artificial learning systems and the analysis and modelling of brain processes. CISA undertakes basic and applied research and development in knowledge representation and reasoning. Through its applications institute AIAI, it works with others to deploy the technologies associated with this research. ICSA seeks development of a better understanding of systems components, both hardware and software, and their integration and interaction; this involves not only improving their raw performance and cost-effectiveness, but also making them more connectable and interoperable, more reliable, more usable and more applicable.

ILCC pursues basic research into the nature of communication among humans and between humans and machines, using text, speech and graphics, and the design of interactive dialogue systems, using computational and algorithmic approaches. ILSI draws together work at the informatics/life sciences interface including neuroinformatics, biological modelling, sensori-motor control and bio-mimetic robotics. The interests of IPAB are how to link computational perception, representation, transformation and generation processes to external worlds---whether real or virtual. The mission of LFCS is to achieve a foundational understanding of problems and issues arising in computation and communication through the development of appropriate and applicable formal models and mathematical theories.

The Neuroinformatics and Computational Neuroscience Doctoral Training Centre, hosted by ANC, is a MSC+PhD programme for interdisciplinary research which trains students with strong computational and analytical skills to conduct original research in neuroinformatics.


Below is a list of some current topics of research in the School of Informatics; follow the links for some information on each of them. This is not a complete list, and you are very welcome to propose a topic that is not on this list. Please consult our research directory and individual staff members' web pages to learn more about their research interests.

Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications Institute for Computing Systems Architecture Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation Informatics Life-Sciences Institute Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science

Further information

You can email queries about admissions our Graduate Secretary, while queries about the research topics above can be sent to individual members of teaching staff.

Our admissions process is organised into two rounds that are aligned with the main funding decision points. Apply to the first round (deadline 15th January) in order to be considered for all sources of financial aid; this is particularly important for overseas (non-EU) applicants. There is still considerable funding available in the second round (deadline 31st March), and this is when the majority of decisions for UK applicants will be made.

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