Most of our postgraduate research degrees may be studied by distance learning, either full-time (36 months) or part-time (60 months): PhD in Museum Studies, PhD in Politics & International Relations, and PhD in Sociology.  Those interested in studying for the MRes or our PhD in Anthropology (via Distance Learning) should contact the Anthropology Postgraduate Admissions Officer Dr Maggie Bolton.


Distance Learning students receive the same level of supervision as on-campus students, with supervision meetings normally conducted online or by telephone. Distance learning students have access to the University Library and resources, and are welcome to visit the campus (a student visitor visa may be required). 

You can view a list of our research degrees and also the research interests of individual members of staff

Before You Apply

Before you apply, you should contact a potential supervisor to discuss your research proposal and the feasibility of conducting your project at a distance. You and your potential supervisor should discuss whether your research can be undertaken completely at a distance or whether some campus trips will be necessary, especially with regards to acquiring necessary research skills.

You are welcome to visit Aberdeen before the start of your research to become acquainted with your supervisor and the university. If you are interested in undertaking a PhD via distance learning but are uncertain who to approach, please contact

Application Instructions

You can submit your application for a PhD online. Please read these application guidelines before completing your application form.

We require the following supporting documents alongside your application:

  • Degree Certificates for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees
  • Academic transcripts (if you have not completed your studies yet, please upload a copy of your transcript of studies to date). If the original language is not in English, please provide an official English translation.
  • Two confidential academic references; you can upload these to your applicant portal or your referees can send then by email to Please ask your referee to include your full name, date of birth and Applicant Personal ID.
  • Your research proposal.
  • If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate your proficiency in English by taking an IELTS, TOEFL or PTE academic test.

If you have any questions about the application process or programme you are interested in, please contact us at


Full fees apply.

Application Queries

If you have any queries, please email