How to Apply for Doctoral Study

Entry Requirements 

To apply for a PhD or MPhil at the GSA, applicants should normally have obtained a minimum of an undergraduate degree with First or Upper Second Class Honours and (where required) an English Language IELTS score of 6.5 overall with no less than 6.5 in each component (or equivalent).

Further Information and Queries

For further information, please contact the PhD Coordinator in the School to which you wish to apply:

GSA PhD Co-ordinators

School of Fine Art - Dr. Nicky Bird:
School of Design - Dr. Thea Stevens:
School of Simulation and Visualisation: Prof. Steve Love:
The Innovation School - Dr. Marianne McAra (temporary cover for Prof. Lynn-Sayers McHattie)
Mackintosh School of Architecture – Dr. Thea Stevens:
Head of Doctoral Studies - Prof. Susannah Thompson:

Across the GSA community we are working in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read our latest updates at

How to Apply

Applicants should read the How to Apply for a Postgraduate Research Degree Guidelines before completing the required application and proposal forms.

After you have read the detailed guidelines, you will need to submit the following documents to apply for a PhD or MPhil degree at the GSA:

  • 1 x Completed Application Form

  • 1 x Completed Research Proposal Form

  • 2 x academic references (on institutional headed paper, signed and dated within 6 months of your application)

  • Transcripts of Previous Degrees

  • English Language Qualification (if applicable)

  • Portfolio of recent work (if your application is for a practice-led PhD)

  • A 1000 word writing sample – please see How to Apply Guidelines

The application can be sent by email or by post to the following: 

The Glasgow School of Art
167 Renfrew Street
G3 6RQ

Please note incomplete applications cannot be accepted.

We accept applications for MPhil and PhD programmes at any time, throughout the year – there are no fixed deadlines.

A panel of academic staff from across The Glasgow School of Art meet every four to six weeks to review applications. We aim inform applicants on the success of their application within six weeks of applying. If you have not received a response within eight weeks, please contact us.


For information on accessibility, including how to seek further support, please visit:  /information/accessibility/

Simplified, Microsoft Word versions of the postgraduate research degree application guidelines, proposal form and application form are also provided below for applicants who find them more accessible. These are intended to be more compatible with assistive technologies such as screen readers.
Simplified Word version of GSA PGR Application Guidelines (download from this link)
Simplified Word version of GSA PGR Application Form (download from this link)
Simplified Word version of GSA PGR Proposal Form (download from this link).

The Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) Funding

The Glasgow School of Art is a founding member of the SGSAH Doctoral Training Partnership. GSA selects a small number of applicants each year for submission for possible SGSAH funding.

Follow this link for information on how to apply to SGSAH AHRC DTP for funding.

Carnegie Trust PhD Scholarships

The Glasgow School of Art is pleased to announce that we are now eligible to nominate prospective PhD students for the prestigious Carnegie Trust PhD Scholarships for Sept 2021 entry. 

Follow this link for information on how to apply.

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans are available to those starting a full-time or part-time postgraduate Doctoral course on or after 1 August 2018. This loan is to help with course and living costs while studying and has to be paid back.

Follow this link for information on how to apply.

Studio Provision

While shared working areas and hotdesk spaces are available to PhD students across GSA, dedicated studio space is NOT provided by default for PhD students. Applicants can make a case in their initial proposal for a project or studio space at specific points in their research, and these requests will be considered in negotiation with the relevant departments. Successful applicants must ensure that they read their letter of offer carefully and discuss any resource or studio requirements at interview prior to accepting a place on the PhD programme.

English Language Requirements

International students required to evidence their English language proficiency by sitting a Secure English Language Test (SELT) will be asked to complete an IELTS for UKVI (Academic) test taken at a UKVI approved test. Our current requirement for doctoral study is IELTS for UKVI (Academic) with 6.5 overall and no less than 6.5 in each component. A full list of UKVI approved test centres can be found here.

UKVI Requirements 

Full information about Tier 4 Student Visa requirements is available here.