The research topics of our PhD students cover a wide range of issues relating to energy and natural resources, and often require multi-disciplinary methodologies

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The PhD programme at CEPMLP

With well over 50 PhD students at any one time, we have established ourselves as the leading institution in the field for this type of high-level research.

We take a multidisciplinary approach to research and scholarship so as to prepare you for the wide-ranging challenges of the energy and natural resources industries.

We provide two supervisors for each PhD student, who could be specialists from different disciplines, and also organise fortnightly PhD seminars for you to present your research work. This means that you will be able to enhance your skills in presentation and communication, and also benefit from the comments on your research by academics and fellow students.

You will also be encouraged to present your research work at academic and professional workshops nationally or internationally, to expand the impact of your research and also to obtain insights from leading specialists in the field.

Destination of our graduates

PhD students must complete their studies within a maximum of four years.

Our PhD graduates usually join academia, energy and mining companies, law firms, consultancies, governments, and international organisations (e.g. the OPEC Secretariat, the World Bank, and the UN agencies).

Research outputs

You will be encouraged to engage with your peers and the wider academic and professional community throughout your time in Dundee.

A large number of PhD theses completed at the Centre are subsequently published as monographs and/or articles in academic and professional journals. Some PhD researchers even publish articles in peer-reviewed journals while they are still in Dundee, either alone or jointly with their supervisors, and thereby contribute to the development of a vibrant research and academic culture at the Centre.

Dr Janet Xuanli Liao is the director of the PhD programme in Social Sciences.

How to apply

To apply applicants should normally have a good taught Masters degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline from a recognised university. 

Applicants should apply via our Direct Application Service

As part of their application package, candidates should supply a 5-10 page outline of their proposed research topic (general area of interest). This will enable the Director of the Programme to confirm that the proposed topic lies within the field of interest of the Centre and that adequate supervisory arrangements are in place from the outset. The main priority for the Centre is that the student is adequately supervised and is able to progress at a satisfactory rate throughout the duration of the PhD.


Sophie Harris and Vikki Watson

Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy

School of Social Sciences

University of Dundee

Dundee DD1 4HN

Tel +44 (0)1382 384459 or +44 (0)1382 386100