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Study History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh - funding opportunities available

  School of History, Classics and Archaeology

About the Programme

Our School

The School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh is one of the great world centres for the study of the human past. By studying with us, you will be joining one of the most successful and respected institutions of its kind in the world, with an international reputation for high-calibre teaching and research.

The University of Edinburgh is consistently ranked one of the best 50 universities in the world. We’re 11th in the 2021 QS World University Rankings for Arts and Humanities.

Our Programmes

The PhD is an advanced research degree which is a 3 year (full time) or 6 year (part time) programme, leading to a dissertation of 80-100,000 words on an original topic, researched and written under the expert supervision of academic staff.

We offer PhDs in:

  • History
  • Economic and Social History
  • Scottish History
  • Classics
  • Archaeology


The size of Edinburgh’s history department, and the breadth of expertise available from our staff, means that we can offer supervision for research projects in a wide array of fields, spanning two millennia and five continents. 

We have particularly strong research concentrations in Scottish history, history of the Americas, African history, Second World War Studies, British and Irish history, social and economic history and medieval history.

We are also keen to encourage applications from prospective doctoral students in the following research areas: 

  • Global and Transnational History
  • Intellectual history of early modern Europe (including Britain and Ireland)
  • History of Gender and Sexuality
  • Material Culture and History


Edinburgh’s Classics department is one of the largest in the UK, and we can offer supervision and welcome applications across most of the major areas of Classical studies: Greek and Latin literature and thought, Greek, Roman and Byzantine history, and Classical art and archaeology. Among areas of particular strength are Greek literature and the emotions, Greek political history, slavery in the Greek and Roman world, Roman and Late Antique archaeology, Late Antique literature, and Byzantine history.

We are also keen to encourage applications from prospective doctoral students in the following research areas: 

  • Ancient Law
  • The Classical Tradition in Byzantium/the Medieval West


Our research interests range from human osteoarchaeology to Roman archaeology, early civilisations and urban societies in the Mediterranean and Europe, the Byzantine world and late antiquity, late hunter-gatherers and the spread of farming in Europe, megalithic monuments, later European prehistory and the archaeology of Scotland. 

We are also keen to encourage applications from prospective doctoral students in the following research areas: 

  • Cultural Heritage and Community Engagement
  • Western and Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology
  • Conflict Archaeology


PhD students participate actively in our lively research culture through our research groups and centres and through staff and student-led workshops and seminars. We have a number of cross-School research groups, including Digital Humanities; Intellectual History; Late Antique and Byzantine Studies; Histories of Gender and Sexuality; Global and Transnational; the History of Science, Medicine and Technology. We also have two Research Centres: The Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History; and the Edinburgh Centre for Global History.

The School provides training in research and professional skills, and PhD students also benefit from the training and professional development offered by the Institute of Academic Development at the University of Edinburgh as well as the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities and the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science. PhD students have access to dedicated study space in the School.


The School has access to a number of sources of PhD funding, including School Doctoral Scholarships, AHRC Scholarships within the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, ESRC Scholarships within the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science and funding competitions within the University of Edinburgh.


How to apply

To find out more about the research interests of our staff and to identify a potential supervisor, please consult our website

Applicants should contact the Graduate School for further guidance, then submit an online application.


Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3772

Apply now

Funding Notes

Some or all of the PhD opportunities in this programme have funding attached. Applications for this programme are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full programme details for further information.

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