Application Deadline

Applications are now closed and will reopen in late 2022/early 2023.

Only project vacancies showing the 🌐 symbol are open to international applicants. Non-UK applicants with settled status in the UK may apply for all projects.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted via the Heriot-Watt website.

Under level of study, please select ‘Postgraduate Research’, then choose ‘Applied Photonics, EngD’ as your programme selection.

Please submit the following supporting documents. We cannot progress applications until they are complete.  A complete application should include the following:

  • An up-to-date CV.
  • Previous degree certificates and transcripts (if your transcript is in a language other than English, please submit an English version. you can obtain these from your university).
  • Two academic references – the CDT Applied Photonics programme requires two academic references and it is your responsibility to ensure that both references are received by the CDT.  These can be emailed directly to  It is also possible for you to request and upload one academic reference via the online recruitment system.   References should be on headed paper. Employer references are also accepted from applicants applying from a relevant industry background.
  • English language evidence (if applicable). 
  • Under the field ‘Research project information’ please list your projects of interest and your order of preference. Please note you are not required to submit a project proposal when applying to our CDT.
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Entry Requirements

Applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis based on their academic qualifications and any relevant work experience.  As a minimum we require candidates to have a First-Class or 2:1 MPhys or MEng degree or an MSc with merit (over 60%) in a relevant area, i.e. Electronic Engineering/Mechanical Engineering.  Applicants who have a First-Class BSc/BEng (Hons) and can demonstrate significant relevant industry/research experience may also be considered. 

International applicants can apply for projects displaying the 🌐 symbol. Any offers made to international students will be conditional on fees being waived at the host university for the project. As we only have a limited number of spaces for international students, international applicants should complete our short pre-application survey before applying.

Non-native English speakers must ensure they meet the English language requirements.

AILU Young UK Laser Engineer's Prize 2019
Jonathan Crabb

English Language Requirements

Non-native English speakers need to provide evidence of a SELT (Secure English Language Test) at CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) Level B2 taken within two years of the date of application. 

There are several types of SELT, but IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the most common. The minimum requirement is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent, no individual component can be less than 6.0 in a single sitting.  

A degree from an English speaking university can also be accepted.

Glasgow induction clean room


EngD and PhD students eligible for funding will have their fees paid for the duration of the programme. Students also receive additional funding of up to £4,000 to attend conferences and events. Travel to CDT skills courses will also be paid.

Who is eligible for funding?

UK Students
Full funding (fees and stipend) is available for UK students.

International Students
We have a limited number of funded spaces to offer to international students. To help us understand if you meet our requirements, please complete our short pre-application survey, so we can best advise you on your application. Any offers made to international students will be conditional on the approval of an international fee waiver by the university hosting the project.

If you have any questions about your fee status, please contact our International Student Advisors Office for advice at

Interview process

Applicants who meet our entry criteria and are recommended for interview by the CDT Executive and project supervisors will be invited to attend an online interview, which typically lasts one hour.  The interview panel usually consists of the CDT Centre Director (or Deputy Director), the CDT Training Manager, the Academic Supervisor, and the Industrial Supervisor.  Following the interview, the CDT will be in touch to advise you of the outcome.