Edinburgh Napier offer the following research degree awards with various lengths to suit you. You may also be able to study part-time or at distance.


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
If you are looking to take your first steps in research, then a Masters of Research (MRes) could be ideal for you. It is a short course bridging the gap between undergraduate and PhD level research. It is particularly suitable if you are moving into a new subject area and want to explore different career or academic research options.


2 years full-time, 3.5 years part-time
An MPhil is a shorter research degree, similar in nature to a PhD, but suitable if you want to complete in a shorter time period. You will gain a significant grounding in research methods and skills that will equip you to enter a successful career as a professional in your field of study. This is a Masters qualification.


3 years full-time, 5 years part-time
A PhD is awarded on the successful completion of a long programme of supervised research that will contribute new knowledge to your field. You will disseminate your findings by means of peer reviewed output and thesis. Final assessment consists of your thesis (of up to 100,000 words) and viva voce (an oral examination). Throughout your PhD journey, you will be supported with a programme of research training enabling you to develop transferable skills for your future. This is a Doctorate qualification.

PhD (Graduate Training Assistant)

4 years full-time
We also periodically recruit graduate training assistant studentships. If you take this route, you will complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, and perform teaching in your subject area whilst studying for a PhD.

PhD By Published Works

1 year
If you already have a substantive body of original published work, which makes a significant contribution to knowledge in your area of expertise, you can submit for a PhD by Published Works. You will produce a synoptic review that links your works. This review together with the existing published work form a thesis, which you will defend in a viva voce (an oral examination).


3 years part-time
Aimed at business managers and leaders, consultants and other professionals including academics, the Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) offers an opportunity to gain a professional doctorate, the highest level of professional qualification available in business and management.

Drawing on the work of international experts in our Business School you will learn about the latest management techniques and research methods while using applied research to solve a management or business problem. The skills and knowledge you gain will equip you to improve the effectiveness of your professional performance and of your organisation.

To apply for a DBA, you'll normally need to have an MBA or equivalent, and have at least five years' business experience.

How long will it take?

How long it takes to complete a research degree depends on the award you're aiming for, and whether you're studying full-time or part-time.

You must submit your final thesis within the following minimum and maximum periods of study:

  • MResGraduation July 2015, School of Marketing, Tourism & Languages, School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Care, School of Life, Sport & Social Sciences. Audience photographed form the stage.
    • full-time: 12-24 months
    • part-time: 20-32 months
  • MPhil
    • full-time: 24-36 months
    • part-time: 40-52 months
  • PhD (except for graduate training assistants)
    • full-time: 36-48 months
    • part-time: 60-72 months
  • PhD (graduate training assistants)
    • full-time: 48-60 months
  • PhD by published works
    • 12 months
  • DBA:
    • part-time: 36-48 months
Supporting researchers

At Edinburgh Napier University, you're part of a research community that supports and encourages you through your career.