Housing Studies (part-time)

Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, MSc


Housing is fundamental to wellbeing, yet only a small proportion of staff have a professional qualification. Our housing courses contribute to improving housing services and systems. Our experienced team is committed to professional education in housing.

The part-time Diploma is geared to the specific strengths and study needs of those already working in housing, who are seeking a professional qualification in Housing Studies. Students are usually sponsored by their employers.


CIH logoThe postgraduate diploma in Housing Studies (part-time) is a qualification recognised and validated by the Chartered Institute of Housing. Students completing the Stirling Diploma gain full exemption from the CIH’s academic requirements for Corporate Membership.


Key information

  • Degree type: Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, MSc
  • Study methods: Part-time, Discontinuous, Online
  • Start date: September
  • Course Director: Dr Madhu Satsangi

Senior Administrator (Postgraduate)
Applied Social Science
01786 467719 www.stir.ac.uk/social-science/

View fees and finance

Course objectives

In this current climate, a professional qualification is exactly the advantage you need, to stay ahead of the game. The University of Stirling offers people working in practice the opportunity to achieve housing qualifications in ways which meet their needs and fit in with the demands of their lives.

With a staff group specialising in a wide range of professional competencies ranging from; housing management, project management, policy and strategy, homelessness, social theory, housing finance and housing law, the University is in an excellent position to provide you with the skill sets required to make good a career in a highly competitive age.

Students are introduced to the most up-to-date ideas and debates in housing. We offer students the opportunity to learn about the cutting edge of housing practice. This route uses blended learning, with a significant element of online study giving the student the ideal learning experience in a format which is accessible and engaging.

You can opt to undertake one year of study for the Certificate in Housing Studies or embark on the two-year Diploma course. Either way you have options:

  • If you opt for the Certificate you can decide to stay on and do the Diploma at the end of the year. You can also graduate with the Certificate and come back at some point in the future to do the Diploma year
  • You can embark on the two year Diploma and decide to stop at the end of first year, take a break and complete later

On successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma you will have satisfied all academic and most of the practical requirements for corporate membership of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus.

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Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject.  Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

Students are required to be working in housing or a related area.


English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (6.0 in all bands).

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Students register for one or two years of study on a part-time basis. The structure of the course consists of four academic modules per year and one practice module.

The modules are coordinated by staff of the School of Applied Social Science, building on contributions from various academic disciplines and specialists from practice. Most learning materials are available electronically, supported by textbooks, with tutorials and classroom learning for some elements. Staff actively seek the views of students and employers on the quality of modules throughout the course. Their comments and suggestions are used to continually adapt and improve course content and delivery.

Year 1 - Certificate awarded after successful completion

Tuesdays (over 30 weeks)

Semester 1 modules

  • Providing Housing Services
  • Sustainability and Housing Development

Semester 2 modules

  • Housing Renewal and Community Regeneration
  • Organisational Behaviour

Summer (over 12 weeks) Self-directed HOUPP5 reflective practice, consolidating work experience

Year 2 - Diploma awarded after successful completion

Thursdays (over 30 weeks)

Semester 1 modules

  • Policy and Law
  • Strategic Use of Information

Semester 2 modules

  • Paying for Housing
  • Housing, Health and Wellbeing

Anyone who completes the Diploma requirements may register for a further nine months and, depending on progress, study towards a Master’s of Science degree (MSc).


Tutors on the course have wide ranging research interests in housing policy, homelessness and community development.

Delivery and assessment

Most of the learning takes place in a virtual learning environment (Succeed) and students are expected to participate in online learning one day each week September - December; and January - May inc.

An induction block introduces students to the course learning environment (Succeed), to course materials, to tutors and each other. All students are expected to attend induction on campus over three days during the first week of September (Year 1). Students are also expected to be on campus for the start of other semesters and attend the end of the course. Taken together, this amounts to approximately 10 days over two years.

Learning consists mainly of reading, reflection and writing. Reading covers course materials, notes, textbooks, research reports and academic journals. Reflection involves thinking about and connecting with course materials. This is consolidated through weekly interactions - by participating in discussions online, using a secure virtual learning environment (Succeed). Interaction comes from communication between students and tutors around activities which are a core part of the course.

The course is ideally suited to students at a distance, off campus. Online interaction keeps you motivated as you progress through your studies, maximising the benefit of study to you and your organisation.

To access the learning materials electronically, you will need access to a computer meeting a series of minimum requirements in terms of memory, operating system, internet connection, CD reader and sound card, anti-virus software.

Please ensure that your IT specification meets the requirements for the course - see technical checklist available here:

Students are expected to be competent in use of email and the Internet, in word processing (Word), and, by Year 2, in using spreadsheets (Excel). The induction covers the specific requirements of the virtual learning environment (Succeed) but students are assumed to have basic computer literacy.

Masters of Science degree (MSc)
Students who successfully complete the Diploma are eligible for progress to the MSc in Housing Studies. This requires a further nine months of study, satisfactory completion of a research methods module, and satisfactory completion of a 15,000-word dissertation.

Recommended reading

Contact the School for information.

Modes of study

Part-time: one year Certificate, two years Diploma

Study method


Why Stirling?


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 95 percent of the research in Applied Social Science at Stirling was ‘Internationally Excellent’ with the top 10 percent of that judged to be ‘World-leading’.


In this current climate, a professional qualification is exactly the advantage you need, to stay ahead of the game. The University of Stirling offers people working in practice the opportunity to achieve housing qualifications in ways which meet their needs and fit in with the demands of their lives.

Our students

Here are some comments from our students who graduated last year: 

Why did you choose to study at Stirling?

  • I had previously completed my undergraduate at the university so felt familiar/comfortable with the surroundings. It was also one of the only universities running the course.
  • The University of Stirling Diploma in Housing Studies was recommended by my employer, Aberdeenshire Council.
  • Right course, right course entry criteria for me as a mature student without a degree.  Right system for distance learning that fitted alongside working full-time as well.
  • Stirling delivered the qualification and course within the timescale that suited my situation.
  • I wanted to learn more about housing and when I found out I could do the course through my work, Stirling offered the best choice for me.
  • When I completed my Level 4 Diploma in Housing at Telford College, Stirling was recommended for the Postgraduate Diploma. My employer also recommended Stirling for this course.

Can you tell me what the highlights were for you as a student at the University of Stirling?

  • The regular visits at the beginning of the course (every Wednesday) with the rest of the full-time students. Also, fantastic support from Fiona Russell and Joe Crawford.
  • Weekly online sessions enabled me to develop my knowledge of housing in relation to legislation, policies, mechanisms, concepts and processes through online tutorials and group discussions.
  • I enjoyed being part of the university for the past two years, especially the days when I visited the campus, meeting in person other students and staff.
  • Attending the University on ‘days in’ given that the majority of the course was distance learning.
  • I found the whole course really enjoyable but I found the module on renewal and regeneration fascinating. I really enjoyed and it has changed my perspective on many topics.
  • I enjoyed the first day of each subject, as we were able to attend the University and meet the tutors and other students face to face which made it easier to discuss any issues, etc. When the results for each subject were posted, this gave me a real sense of achievement.

How did your course of study help you improve in your chosen subject?

  • I had no previous knowledge of housing and the course allowed me to grasp content and knowledge in a year to assist me in increasing career opportunities.
  • The course of study provided teaching materials, comprehensive learning resources and a forum for discussion between group members and the tutors. Each tutor being available during the online sessions for queries.
  • The course enabled me to look at my work in different ways and see 'the bigger picture' and to understand current issues in the sector from a more academic point of view.
  • The course increased my knowledge, skills and experience greatly within housing.
  • I have learned so much more about housing which was always my key aim as I work on the strategic side of housing. It has helped me look at things differently which has enhanced the work I do in strategy.
  • The course of study helped me achieve an all-round understanding of the housing services function and how all departments work together in providing services to help achieve a quality service to the tenants.

If you had to summarise your experience of the School of Applied Social Science in a few words what would you say?

  • Supportive and informative.
  • An excellent experience providing me with a wealth of knowledge through weekly online computer learning sessions. Will definitely recommend it to others.
  • Friendly and supportive at all times but stretched me to attain the educational level that I wished to achieve. Helped me get a qualification which I thought might be beyond me.
  • Interesting, hard work but extremely valuable and worthwhile.
  • I really enjoyed the course, the variety of assignments was great as it was challenging. The modules were well structured. I would recommend the course to anyone working in housing or who is interested in working in the housing profession.
  • All the tutors were very helpful and understanding and the course was structured in a way which helped me learn the subject.

Can you tell me how your acquired skills and knowledge will help you in your career or has helped you in your professional role or secured employment?

  • I am now working on a six-month contract with Port of Leith Housing Association, without the course I would not have the knowledge and practical housing management experience achieved from my work place link and placement.
  • My acquired skills have helped in my career and in my personal life. For example in my career an increase in knowledge has helped me to understand key housing issues and management and organisation behaviour. Whilst in my personal life my home is now more energy efficient and I am generating electricity through a solar photovoltaic system.
  • So far nothing has changed at work – there have been no opportunities to move up the ladder but my confidence levels have risen and I feel I have more respect from my colleagues and superiors now.
  • I am currently working as a Consultant with a Registered Social Landlord. Without the skills and knowledge gained through the course I would not be in this position.
  • I have learned so much about housing some of which I have already put into use in my work. It’s made me more aware of housing as a whole rather than the area I knew about. I have been working with the Homelessness Service a lot more recently so the knowledge I have learned from the course has been valuable.
  • My acquired skills and knowledge will help me if a Housing Officer’s post was to become available within the Association which may allow me to be promoted in the future. I am now a Chartered Member of the CIH too since completing this course.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Stirling graduates have a strong track record of making rapid career progress on completion of the Diploma. Potential career opportunities include management in housing organisations, specialist research and policy and strategy work. Increasingly, there are opportunities linked to key government initiatives and policy areas.

Our students come from all parts of Scotland, in different roles at different levels. Studying online at Stirling enables you to:

  • carry out your current job with greater confidence and effectiveness
  • have a comprehensive knowledge of how your job links to the rest of your organisation and the work of other agencies in Scotland
  • be well prepared to take advantage of opportunities for promotion or new directions in your work
  • gain a professional qualification in a crucial policy area
  • build a network
  • minimise time spent travelling

Online application process

Please choose a start date and study method from the drop-down list below, and click the Apply Now button below to begin the online application process. (Please make sure you have consulted the Postgraduate Study pages on the University website and the Online Application Guidance Notes before continuing).



PG Certificate / PG Diploma Fees 2014/5

 Home / EUOverseas
PG Certificate £2,000 N/A
PG Diploma £2,000* N/A

* Fees are correct for year 2014/5. Fees may change for year 2.

MSc Fees 2014/5

 Home / EU
  Stirling Graduate Non Stirling Graduate
HOUP19 £400 £840
HOUP20 £600 £1,260

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Scholarships & funding

This course is currently approved for Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan (PTFL) funding from SAAS, full details of how to apply for PTFL can be found here: http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/financial-information/scholarships/#PTFL

Full details of the PTFL fund and how to apply online can be found here: www.saas.gov.uk

Tuition fees and other associated expenses are normally met by sponsoring employers. Students and employers may wish to take into account other costs in budgeting for the course such as: book purchase and travelling expenses and costs of accommodation for visits to campus.

Students who pay their own fees may be entitled to claim tax relief on fees or receive support with fee payment from ILA  http://www.myworldofwork.co.uk/section/funding

For further information on possible sources of funding, visit:  http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/financial-information/

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