Postgraduate research in the Faculty of Social Sciences

Join our dynamic and research-led Faculty of Social Sciences to address key challenges in society. We offer a diverse range of PhDs, research training Masters degrees (MRes) and doctorates. We achieved 90% overall student satisfaction for Social Sciences Research Masters (Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) 2022).

Our multidisciplinary research community encourages innovation and gives you the support you need to explore your interests. We help to develop your research skills and provide a collaborative research environment, so you can make a difference to wider society.

Find out more about PhD study in our recent webinar recording.

A world-leading research environment

You’ll discover a Faculty with a world-leading research environment. In the Research Excellence Framework 2021 – a UK-wide assessment of universities’ research output – we ranked 3rd in Scotland and top 25 in the UK in the Social Work and Social Policy unit of assessment, with 100% of our research environment and 88% of our research deemed world leading or internationally excellent.

Current PhD opportunities


We’re a member of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). The DTP offers studentships for UK students and will pay fees for students from the EU.

We are passionate about creating a workplace that promotes and values diversity. We strongly encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds including gender identity, race, age, class, and ethnicity.

Supporting you in your studies

Through our research courses, we’re well placed to support you if you want to make a difference in the world.

Your academic supervisors and tutor

We’ll ensure that you’re teamed with two academic supervisors who cover your research specialism and can offer expertise.

You’ll have the opportunity to join a supportive cohort group run by fellow doctoral researchers.

Find out more about the support you’ll receive and how to apply for a research degree.

Developing your skills

We offer you a wide range of opportunities to organise and attend seminars, workshops, reading and study groups. You can get involved with our weekly seminars and present your emerging work to peers and staff in an informal and friendly environment. This gives you the ideal space to prepare for conferences, obtain feedback and advice, and develop your presentation skills.

We also have annual events including our Postgraduate Training Week, Postgraduate Symposium and Doctoral conference. The Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences also delivers advanced training and summer school programmes.

Student stories

Jennifer Ferguson
Jennifer Ferguson
United Kingdom
PhD Sociology
Studying at Stirling not only taught me a lot about sociology and research design, but it also gave me opportunities elsewhere. It’s hard work, but if you put the effort in, opportunities will present themselves - even if they are not the opportunities you expected!
Read Jennifer's story