Available PhD student projects

Are you considering pursuing a PhD to help create a better world? Look no further than Edinburgh Napier University, the top modern university for research power in Scotland and among the first 600 universities in the world according to the prestigious Times World University Rankings 2024.  

The School of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment is the largest of the five schools at Edinburgh Napier University. With a practical focus on adding value to the social, cultural, and economic capital of the communities it serves, recently the School has invested heavily in research staff and facilities, making it an excellent environment for those seeking to embark on a PhD journey.  

Located in the heart of Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland and one of the most liveable cities in the world, the School offers not only world-class academic opportunities but also an exceptional quality of life. The medieval Old Town and the elegant Georgian New Town, the beauty of Arthur’s seat and the fascinating Calton Hill; the vibrancy of the life, and the large and international student population; cultural events like the Fringe festival make the city one of the best place to live in the world. In 2022, Edinburgh was the top city in the world according to the Time Out Index. 

The School is now advertising a large number of PhD projects, both fully funded and self-funded, in all its Subject Groups. The list of the projects can be found at  

We welcome also innovative proposals outside the listed topics but aligned with the research interests of the Subject Group. 

Fully-funded studentships  


The studentships will cover full UK or international tuition fees and will include a standard living allowance at the RCUK rate (currently £18,622 per annum). 

Students are expected to spend at least 36 hours a week on their research project, and to attend the University in person for most of their time. Normally, they will be based at the Merchiston Campus (10 Colinton Road, EH10 5DT).  

All applications must be received by 3 December. Applicants who have not been contacted by the 8th of March 2024 should assume that they have been unsuccessful. Projects are anticipated to start on 1 October 2024. 


Successful applicants will 

  • Be keen on advancing knowledge and developing applications to improve the world in which we live. 
  • Have, or expect to achieve by the time of start of the studentship, a first-class honours degree, or a distinction at master level, or equivalent achievements. Only degrees in a subject relevant to the PhD project will be considered. Practical experience in research or industry will be considered an advantage. 
  • If your first language is not English, comply with the University requirements for research degree programmes in terms of English language

The application process 

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact potential supervisors (the details can be found in the description of the projects) to discuss the content of the project and the fit with their qualifications and skills before preparing an application. 

The application must include 

  • Research project outline of 2 pages (list of references excluded). The outline may provide details about 
  • Background and motivation of the project. The motivation, explaining the importance of the project, should be supported also by relevant literature. You can also discuss the applications you expect for the project results. 
  • Research questions or objectives. 
  • Methodology: types of data to be used, approach to data collection, and data analysis methods. 
  • List of references. 

The outline must be created solely by the applicant. Supervisors can only offer general discussions about the project idea without providing any additional support. 

  • Statement no longer than 1 page describing your motivations and fit with the project. 
  • Recent and complete curriculum vitae. The curriculum must include a declaration regarding the English language qualifications of the candidate. Supporting documents will have to be submitted by successful candidates. 
  • Two academic references (but if you have been out of education for more than three years, you may submit one academic and one professional reference), on the form can be downloaded here

Applications for Applied Informatics, Computer Science and Cyber Security & System Engineering can be made here

Applications for Built Environment and Engineering and Mathematics can be made here

All applications must include:

  • “SCEBE1123” as project code
  • the advertised title as project title  

Self-funded projects 

Details on the application process are available at How to apply. Information on fees can be found at Fees Forms and Funding

Contact details 

Should you need more information, please email SCEBERDL@napier.ac.uk.