PhD Programme

Thank you for your interest in studying for a PhD in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews. We are a world-class department with expertise in various geoscience topics and research spanning a wide range of temporal scales from Deep Time to modern processes. We have excellent laboratory facilities supporting this breadth of research and we maintain an engaging intellectual environment. We invite you to learn more about our academic staff and the projects we are advertising for PhD study via the links below (typically posted in November of each year with an early February deadline). If you are interested in PhD study at St Andrews, we request that you contact directly the academic member of staff responsible for supervising your target project to discuss your suitability, qualifications, and funding potential. Below you will find information and links to the application procedure (including relevant deadlines).

Funding for PhD study in our School is usually sourced from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) through the IAPETUS Doctoral Training Programme. Unfortunately international students (outside Europe) are not eligible and non-UK students are not eligible for the stipend associated with these awards. However, there are sometimes other sources of PhD funding allocated to particular projects, so you can inquire when you contact a member of our academic staff. If advised by a potential supervisor, please apply to the degree PhD in Earth & Environmental Sciences, indicating your project title(s) and supervisor(s) on the Postgraduate Reserach Applicaton form. We look forward to hearing from you and receiving your application for PhD study in our School at the University of St Andrews.

How to apply

Applicants who wish to apply for an advertised project are stongly advised to contact the named principal supervisor before submitting an application.  Further information on the University’s Postgraduate Research Application process can be found on our How to apply web pages.

PhD opportunities for September 2019 entry
Projects currently open for applications
The following projects are now closed for applications:


September 2018 PhD projects currently active within the School include:
  • Ocean acidification and mass extinction
    Principal Supervisor: Dr James Rae

  • The evolution of Earth’s atmosphere as recorded by continental crust
    Principal Supervisor: Dr Eva Stüeken

  • Alternative Anions: Exploring the negative side of geochemistry
    Principal Supervisors: Dr Sami Mikhail (SEES) & Prof Sharon Ashbrook (Chemistry)

  • Cu-Mo-Au Porphyry Paragenesis and Granitoid Architecture
    Principal Supervisor: Dr William McCarthy (SEES)