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Research Degrees Funding

There are three routes to finance postgraduate research study (MbR, MPhil, PhD) at Abertay University. Please click on the appropriate link for further information and details on how to apply through that route:

Funded Studentships

Scholarships and funded studentships may be open for application. See below for further details and availability:

Abertay R-LINCS PhD Studentships

Abertay offers a number of fully funded studentships to exceptional graduates from around the world. These studentships offer an RCUK-equivalent stipend (approx. £14,195 for studies starting in September 2017 or Februuary 2018) and registration fees.

Successful candidates will contribute to R-LINCS (Research-Led Innovation Nodes for Contemporary Society); Abertay’s single university-wide research and knowledge exchange initiative. R-LINCS is designed to capitalise on Abertay’s experience and strengths in developing multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary solutions to address societal challenges (Research Strategy).

Funded studentship titles

The following studentships are available, and details of open calls will be advertised on Abertay’s job pages and candidates must apply via this route. Shortlisted candidates for a funded studentship will typically be asked for interview at Abertay University, and will receive a decision shortly after these have been conducted

  •  CLOSED: 3 PhD Studentships: A 4D virtual tumour for cancer ecology, including full fees and stipend. 3 fully-funded PhD studentships have  been awarded to Abertay University in the following areas of cancer research: 
    1. Modelling: To design and develop our agent-based model, including refining an existing complex systems model of the cell and its responses to anti-cancer drugs, to other cells and to the environment. Candidates should have a background in Computer Science, Mathematics or a related discipline, and a degree with a strong element of computer programming and mathematical or computational modelling is desirable. 
    2. Simulation: To implement our agent-based model using cloud-based software frameworks to scale up simulations from hundreds of cells to hundreds of thousands of cells. Candidates should have a background in Computer Science or a related discipline, and have substantial experience of concurrent, parallel and/or distributed programming and preferably be familiar with a functional language. 
    3. Visualisation: To devise and implement effective user interfaces to reveal the dynamics of the virtual tumour at different spatial and temporal scales, and to allow users to interact with the model. Candidates should have a background in Computer Science or a related discipline, and a degree with a strong element of visualisation, games technology and/ or Human Computer Interaction is desirable. 


  • CLOSED: 3 PhD Studentships: Interactive storytelling to support cancer patients, including full fees and stipend. 3 fully-funded PhD studentships have been awarded to Abertay University in the following areas : 
    1. Narrative Designer: To design and develop narratives for the project. This role will encompass not only narrative design, but also Game Design more generally, and candidates should be able to demonstrate some knowledge of other aspects of Game Design (e.g. user experience design, user interface design, gameplay/systems design, and level design). Candidates should have a background in Game Design or related disciplines, with an emphasis on storytelling and developing interactive narratives. Technical Game Design knowledge (working with engines, developing visual scripting, knowledge of scripting languages such as C#) is preferred but not essential. 
    2. Computer Artist: To design, develop, and implement graphics for the interactive stories. Candidates will have a background in Computer Arts or related disciplines. Skills in digital art production are essential, including knowledge and experience of 2D/3D production methods. Knowledge and experience of game art pipelines are preferable, including experience of working with game engines. Candidates should also demonstrate visual literacy and an appreciation for visual storytelling. 
    3. Games Technologist: To lead development of interactive narratives making use of game development tools and game engines. Candidates should have a background in Computer Games Technology, Computer Games Development, or related disciplines that focus on software engineering. Candidates should be able to demonstrate proficiency in C++ as a core programming language. Knowledge of other programming languages (such as C#), visual scripting tools, game engines, and source control is desirable, as is experience of developing and finalising at least one game project. 

Previously funded studentships are listed at Studentship Archive.

DUE TO OPEN = Studentships will be advertised shortly.
OPEN = Abertay invites candidates to apply for the studentship advertised on the Jobs page.

Scholarships and Bursaries

Chevening Scholarships

Chevening Scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The programme makes awards to outstanding scholars with leadership potential, from around the world, to study postgraduate courses at universities in the UK.

The Chevening programme was established in 1983 and has developed into a prestigious international scheme. Chevening Scholars come from 118 countries worldwide (excluding the USA and the EU), and this year the Scholarships will support more than 600 individuals. There are over 42,000 Chevening alumni around the world who together comprise an influential and highly regarded global network.

The programme provides full or part funding for full-time courses at postgraduate level, normally a one-year Master’s degree, in any subject and at any UK university.  Guidance for applicants can be found in this Chevening Scholarship Leaflet or on the Chevening website.

Fulbright Awards

The Fulbright Awards Programme offers a wide range of study abroad opportunities to US citizens including Postgraduate Student Awards for those wishing to pursue a postgraduate degree in the UK in any subject.  Details of all Fulbright opportunities can be found on their website.

Global Study Awards - Get up to £10,000 to expand your horizons

The Global Study Awards are designed to support highly motivated, talented individuals who can actively demonstrate:

  • potential to contribute to society through their studies
  • a strong commitment to developing their career
  • a sincere interest in increasing intercultural understanding and exchange

Successful candidates will be willing to engage with the British Council IELTS, ISIC and Study Portals communities, and publicly share their experiences with other students. The Global Study Awards will be available to prospective students in all countries worldwide. The Global Study Awards will enable the successful candidate(s) to study abroad, on any chosen undergraduate or postgraduate programme at a higher education institution. The Global Study Awards cannot be used by a successful candidate to study domestically.  More information can be found on the Study Portals website.

Indonesia-UK DIKTI Scholarships

The Indonesia-UK DIKTI Scholarship Programme is open for lecturers at Indonesian universities and administrative staff at DIKTI and Indonesian state universities, to undertake postgraduate study at many leading universities and higher education institutions in the United Kingdom.  The programme will fund up to 750 academics to come and study in the UK over the next five years.  All academic subjects are eligible for funding under the DIKTI programme.  For more information please visit the Indonesia-UK DIKTI Scholarship programme homepage.

Scottish Saltire Scholarships

The University is participating in the Scottish Saltire Scholarships programme. Scotland's Saltire Scholarships (SSS) is a substantial programme of scholarships, offered on a matched funding basis between the Government and Scottish Higher Education Institutions.  The scheme offers up to 200 awards, each worth £2,000 towards the cost of tuition fees for one year of study.  These Scholarships are towards the tuition fees, for any one year of study, on a full-time undergraduate, taught postgraduate Masters and PhD course. The closing date for these scholarships is Tuesday 31st March 2015. More information on the scholarships, along with application details can be found on the Study in Scotland website.

Takahashi & Howat Memorial Overseas Scholarship

Established in 2009 by the Japan-Scotland Society (JSS) to commemorate the founder, Mr Takahashi Yoshiteru, and the long-time donor and supporter of the society, Mr James T Howat, these scholarships aim to assist Japanese students at Masters level of any speciality studying at Scottish universities to flourish in an international society.  Two scholarship awards are offered per year to the value of 300,000JPY.  Applicants must be Japanese nationals planning to enter a postgraduate course at Masters level in a Scottish university, and expect to be active in the Japan-Scotland Society after completion of their studies.  More information can be found on the Japan-Scotland Society website.

TOEFL Scholarships

Applicants to the University may apply to be considered for the TOEFL Scholarship Programme.  Details can be found on the TOEFL website.   

Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme

The University is recognised as a participating institution in the Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme, which aims to build capacity in areas where Tullow's host countries experience significant skills gaps, especially, but not exclusively, around these countries oil and gas industries.  Full details, eligibility requirements and how to apply can be found on the Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme website.

Other scholarships and financial support

Students looking for further financial support or scholarships should contact their local British Council Office. Applicants are encouraged to apply for support from the following schemes:

  • British Chevening Scholarship 
  • Commonwealth Scholarships
  • British Marshall Scholarship
  • Fulbright 

For a brief overview of these schemes, please contact the Student Recruitment Office.

Self-Funded/Sponsored Studentships


We are OPEN to accept applications for Sponsored or Self-funded Study

In most cases, a research degree applicant is expected to source their own funding to cover tuition fees and living expenses.  Overseas applicants may wish to contact their local British Council Office who may have a list of scholarships available in their country.

Areas of Research

Abertay welcomes applications for Research Degrees in a range of subject areas and on topics across each of the four Schools (Faculties) of the University. We particularly welcome applications in the following priority areas of expertise:-

School of Arts, Media and Computer Games (AMCG)

  • Computer Games Technology
  • Game Design
  • Game studies
  • History of games and digital media
  • Interactive Data Systems
  • Interactive/Locative & Game Art
  • Interaction & Sound Production
  • Play and Experience Design
  • Applied Mathematical Modelling
  • Astrophysical Plasma Modelling
  • Contemporary Composition, Improvisation and Performance
  • Interactive Music Systems
  • New Instruments for Musical Expression
  • Relationships between Instrument and Game Design
  • Computer Science
  • Cybersecurity and Hacking
  • Digital Forensics
  • Concurrency and Parallelism
  • Complex Systems
  • Anthropomorphic digital agents and the human experience
  • Human Computer Interaction & Interaction Design
  • Secure Software Engineering


Dundee Business School (DBS)

  • Business Strategy
  • Enterprise renewal
  • SME inception and growth
  • Environmental performance and disclosure
  • Regional innovation systems
  • Real estate economics
  • Venture capital and private equity
  • Innovation and intellectual property
  • Money laundering and transnational crime
  • Data security
  • Supply chains and human trafficking
  • EU internal security strategy
  • Work-family employment rights
  • Oil and Gas Accounting & Finance
  • Energy and Carbon Accounting
  • Social and Environmental Accounting
  • Human Asset Valuation
  • Organisational Performance Measurement
  • International Financial Accounting
  • International HRM
  • Human Resource Management and employer relations
  • Changing trends in the contemporary workplace: International business and managing change
  • Retail and branding
  • Entrepreneurship and business creation


School of Science, Engineering & Technology (SET)

  • Forensic Sciences – Finger Printing, Food Printing, Chemical Printing, Image and Data Visualisation
  • Microbiology – Fermentation, Antimicrobials, Adaptation, Biofilm, Spoilage, Biofuels, Biogas
  • Food Science – Nutraceuticals, Preservation, Processing, Quality, Value, and Safety
  • Applied Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Medical Biotechnology – Cancer, Disease Therapeutics, Fertility, Genetics Neural plasticity, Image and Data Visualisation, and Systems modelling.
  • Environmental Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering, Management and Sustainability
  • Water and Energy Resources and Management


School of Social & Health Sciences (SHS)

  • Applied psychology related to police and security issues
  • Language Processing and Language Learning
  • Evolutionary Psychology and Biological Basis of Behaviour
  • Vision Science and its applications
  • Sociology of sport
  • Exercise, Weight Loss and Nutritional interventions
  • Exercise, Diet role in preventing cardiovascular disease
  • Physical Activity and Health Outcomes across the lifespan
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Psychological Support for athletes
  • Workplace physical activity interventions
  • Sport Performance and Training Intensities
  • Sports and Exercise Biomechanics
  • Outdoor activity and coaching
  • Risk and protective factor assessment for violence and other adverse outcomes in forensic mental health
  • Attitudes to people with mental illness
  • Firesetting/ arson
  • Outcomes measurement in mental health and recovery
  • Psychological support for people with long term health conditions, particularly sight loss and diabetes
  • Media, Culture and Representation
  • Social Theory, Politics, Power and the State
  • Crime, Risk and Criminalisation
  • Social divisions, Identity, Immigration and Asylum
  • Digital Sociology, Education and Discourse Studies

Applicant Generated Proposals

We accept student generated proposals; however, we strongly advise you to research your topic individually and identify potential supervisors.  This is to ensure that the skills and expertise in your chosen area of research are present in Abertay’s research portfolio.  Please see below for advice on how to find a suitable supervisor.

How to find a potential supervisor

We strongly advise applicants to identify and research the track records of potential supervisors prior to making your application to study on a research degree.

This will ensure that there is appropriate expertise present within Abertay and you will gain an understanding of the prior work of the researcher. You should consider contacting the prospective supervisor to discuss your ideas and the possibility of undertaking a research degree under their supervision; discussion will also help you to tailor your application to Abertay expertise specifically.

You should avoid vague blanket emails to several potential supervisors (these are obvious and will be ignored).


Abertay offers a choice of two entry dates for research study – October and February of each year. Unless otherwise stated, deadlines for submitting a full application are:

Applications for October entry by 31 July (if you need a Tier 4 visa then the deadline is 3 June)

Applications for February entry by 30 November (if you need a Tier 4 visa then the deadline is 30 October) 

An applicant can apply to defer from one entry point to another on one occasion, however, subsequent requests must be supported by an additional full application.

Masters by Research February entry

MPhil February entry

PhD February entry

Masters by Research October entry

MPhil October entry

PhD October Entry

Contact us

For more information about how to apply, phone University Admissions on 01382 308476 or email

Abertay alumni 25% fees discount when progressing from postgraduate taught to postgraduate research study. See Postgraduate funding.