Information for Prospective Students - FAQs

I am an overseas student - can I apply for the Engineering Doctorate Programme ?

The EngD programme is not available to non-EU nationals, as the structure of the programme (with work placements outwith the university) does not comply with the regulations set by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for obtaining the necessary visa.  

Would I be able to work/study from home?

You would be expected to undertake some self-study outwith normal hours in order to complete some of the taught work, but you would be required to be based at the sponsoring company and to attend the University as necessary to meet with your academic supervisors and to take some taught postgraduate modules.

What is the procedure and criteria for candidate selection?

Candidates must meet the educational requirements for the programme as stated in the literature. An application for Postgraduate Research must be completed online at The Centre shortlist potential applicants and invite them to an interview at either Heriot-Watt or the host University (where the Academic Supervisor is based), or at both. If successful, these are matched to suitable projects submitted by sponsoring companies. Application documents are then sent to the sponsor companies, who then decide if they want to interview the candidate.  Chosen candidates are then invited to a second interview at the company.


Will employment be offered after the Research Engineer has completed the EngD?

It is hoped that the Sponsor Company would consider the Research Engineer for a position within the company, should a suitable post be available. However, there is no obligation on either side, nor are the REs under any expectation that this will be the case.

Is the Research Engineer bound to work with the sponsoring company on completion of the EngD?

The sponsoring company may offer a permanent position to the RE on successful completion of the EngD. However, this is not guaranteed.

I already hold a Masters, do I still need to take the taught element?

Yes, all EngD candidates need to take the taught element but those who already hold an appropriate MSc may be eligible for Approved Prior Credit Exemptions.

How long is the programme?

There is a 9 months residential taught course component followed by 39 months embedded in the partner company.  Research Engineers should aim to submit their theses by the end of year 4.

Do the Research Engineers work the same hours as other University students?

No. The Research Engineer will be expected to work the same hours as other employees of the sponsoring companies. Leave entitlement is harmonised across the CDT, with Research Engineers who are not company employees being entitled to six weeks leave per year.  Research Engineers are responsible for agreeing their proposed leave arrangements with their industrial and academic supervisors, and providing their supervisors with sufficient advance notice of planned absences.

Who employs the Research Engineer – the University or the Company?

The Research Engineer is classed as a full-time research student of the university who is based in industry.

Can the Engineering Doctorate be undertaken on a part-time basis?

Yes, a number of company employees do study on a part-time basis, but at the moment all 'standard' students study full-time.