PhD in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Edinburgh Centre for Robotics

Visit the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics Website for more information.

Please note: Full CV and mark transcripts from all relevant degrees is essential for full applications.

Key Information

  1. Closing date for ALL International applications is Monday 16th January 2023.

  2. Closing date for EPSRC Eligible applications is Tuesday 28th February 2023.

  3. All complete applications received up until this closing date will be considered by the academic panel during February/March 2023. Although we will acknowledge receipt of applications as we receive them, we will not be in a position to advise applicants of the outcome of their application until the panel has completed the review process.

  4. We are unable to submit incomplete applications to the academic panel for review, so please refer to the Documents Required to Support Your Application section.

  5. All students are required to be based in Edinburgh to optimise the cohort benefits.

  6. Studentships, although limited, are available for all nationalities. All, with the exception of one, cover maintenance at the research council rate (stipend for 2022/23 is £16,062) and home tuition fees (home fees for 2022/23 are £4596). The exception is the one studentship offered by the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at Heriot-Watt University, which covers maintenance, and Home or International tuition fees.

Entry Requirements

Applicants with a passion for robotics and who have or expect to obtain a 2.1 or higher degree in Engineering, Computer Science or related subjects such as Maths, Physics, HRI and NLP. Applicants from other disciplines with an interest in robotics will be considered, such as Psychology, Social Sciences and the creative disciplines.

Non-native English speakers need to provide evidence of a SELT (Secure English Language Test) at CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) Level B2 taken within 2 years of the programme start date. The minimum requirement is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent, no individual component can be less than 6.0 in a single sitting. A degree from an English speaking university may also be accepted in some circumstances.

Documents required

Here we list some documents you probably need for applying this PhD, please click this link for more details.

1. Project proposal

Please refer to the project themes tab for details of the themes for 2023.

Applicants should write a research proposal on one of the listed themes but also state two or three other themes that are of interest to them at the end of their research proposal.

The project proposal should outline a clear scientific idea and should include the following:

  • Theme from project themes tab and title of your proposed project

  • Describe why your research idea is worth pursuing

  • Outline how it has been approached previously

  • Describe what worked in that approach

  • Detail how you would approach your research topic

  • Demonstrate how this is different/better than any previous approach

We do not have any particular requirements with regard to font or style, but we would recommend that students use the above bullet points to help structure their proposal. Two to three A4 pages (including references) of single-spaced type should allow most candidates to submit a quality proposal.

2. Other documents

In addition to the project proposal detailed above, please submit the following:

  • An up-to-date CV
  • Previous degree certificates and transcripts. If submitting certificates and transcripts which are not in English, please submit a certified English translation for all documents
  • Two references. Please ask both referees to send their reference to with the name of the applicant clearly marked
  • Passport - front cover and page with your details
  • Personal statement of no more than 250 words stating reasons for applying to the programme


Applications are submitted via the Heriot-Watt application portal at

Please select “Robotics and Autonomous Systems, PhD” with programme code F229-RAS.

Once you have completed the application form, the option to upload supporting documents will be made available.

Although the application portal might confirm that your application is complete, the CDT has some additional requirements, and we would ask that you please ensure that you upload ALL of the documents listed above to minimise delays in your application being reviewed. Please do not include documents other than those requested with your application as these will not be forwarded to the review panel.


Please check this link for more details.