MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
The Diploma in Housing Studies, with internship offers a unique combination of academic study and professional work experience for those seeking to enter a career in housing. The course covers all aspects of housing services, sustaining communities, governance and law, housing organisations and health and well-being.
Many Scottish students are eligible for a SASS postgraduate loan which covers the fee for the postgraduate Diploma elements. The course fully integrates all of the academic and practice components of the professional qualification of the Chartered Institute of Housing. This includes a structured, assessed work experience internship, which sets up graduates for a ‘fast track’ into a career with housing organisations in the social, voluntary and private sectors.
Our courses make a substantial contribution to supplying the housing sector with new, qualified staff, who are known to be ready to ‘hit the ground running’. Our graduates usually find relevant work very quickly after completing their studies. The sections below include comments on career prospects from previous students.
The Chartered Institute of Housing is the professional body for housing and validates the Stirling Housing Studies course. On successful completion of the Diploma, you will have satisfied the requirements for corporate membership of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Housing Studies attracts people from a variety of disciplines who are committed to achieving better housing for all.
With a staff group which comprehensively covers the multi-disciplinary nature of housing, research, policy and practice, the University of Stirling is in an excellent position to provide you with the skill sets required to make good a career in a highly competitive age.
Our research-led teaching draws on our specialist expertise in policy analysis, homelessness and housing rights, social theory, housing and land market analysis.
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 blends occasional sessions on campus, with a significant element of online study giving the ideal learning experience in a format which is accessible and engaging.
This course is aimed at graduates wishing to pursue a career in housing. The Diploma course combines academic study and professional practice over a 12-month period for full-time students (21 months for part-time students). It equips you with the tools to become a competent and effective practitioner and increases your chances of gaining rewarding work in housing and developing your long-term career.
Anyone who completes the Diploma requirements may register for further study towards a Master’s of Science degree (MSc). This would require completion of either a research-based dissertation or the demonstration of advanced level reflective skills.
The Chartered Institute of Housing is the professional body for housing and validates the Stirling housing studies course. On successful completion of the Diploma, you will have satisfied the requirements for corporate membership of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Housing studies attracts people from a variety of disciplines across the social sciences, humanities and built environment.
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.
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. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.
Usually a minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with relevant work or voluntary experience, an understanding of the importance of housing in society, and a commitment to improved housing for all are encouraged to apply.
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as:
We consider the following as equivalent test scores:
For more information go to English language requirements
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.
If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your course of study.
Potential applicants who are already working can apply for the Housing Studies course on a part-time basis over two years, without internship.
From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.
Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information
Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling
Find information on paying fees by instalments
This course is currently approved for PTFL (Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan) funding from SAAS. Find out more about PTFL »
Individual Learning Accounts can offer help with fee payment.
Find out more about funding your studies and meeting your living costs while working towards another degree.
(Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) Postgraduate Loans offers postgraduate students repayable support towards the cost of tuition fees and is available to eligible Scotland & EU domiciled students undertaking full and part-time postgraduate study on specific courses. From 2016-2017, eligible full-time postgraduate students can also apply for a living-cost loan.)
The Postgraduate Diploma is taught over 12 months full-time or alternatively over 21 months part-time, with the professional practice element – internship – running June to September.
You will study six academic modules:
The course also includes a module on reflective practice, preparation for professional practice and attachment to a social landlord to facilitate workplace learning. These precede an internship of at least 10 weeks, full-time work experience, linked to the practical requirements of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Workplace attachments and internships are arranged by tutors, taking account of student preferences and interests.
Students may build up to the full Masters (MSc) of 180 credits in stages, or exit at any stage and receive an award.
You attend induction in Stirling over three days at the beginning of September to commence the course. Academic learning is then undertaken through a combination of private study and interactive online sessions. There is a day on campus at the beginning of each academic module and a programme of required visits for the practice module, to build experience for your internship. The course requires full-time participation. Classes are held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - with the rest of the week for private study. (Studying full-time equates to approximately 35 hours on average which includes all structured learning, personal study and assessments).
Most of the time you have flexibility about where you can study and you do not need to travel to Stirling for online classes. Please ensure that your IT specification meets the requirements for the course - see technical checklist available here:
You can, however, access IT facilities on campus.
Assessment on the Diploma course takes a variety of forms including essays, reports, group work and a seminar presentation. Each module has one or two assessments (rather than end of semester examinations).
During the period June – September, your internship will consist of full-time attendance at an agreed workplace. Students need to complete 400 hours work which amounts to approximately 10 weeks or 50 days full-time. Internships are assessed through a series of practice reports and a reflective practice diary.
Students who do not complete the Diploma course may be eligible for the award of the Postgraduate Certificate.
Masters of Science degree (MSc)
Anyone who completes the Diploma requirements may register for a further period of study towards a Master's of Science degree (MSc). This would require completion of either a research-based dissertation of advanced level reflexive skills.
Postgraduate Diploma modules:
|Providing Housing Services (HOUP001)||20 credits (SCQF Level 11)|
|This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the context for the provision and consumption of housing of services in the UK. It also explores concepts and values of service and the role and boundaries of the management of social housing. The module also aims to consolidate previous work experience and to develop student’s ability to reflect on practice and to assess self-development.|
|Sustainable Communities (HOUP002)||20 credits (SCQF Level 11)|
|The course aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the processes for housing development, design and construction in relation to the physical and social environments.|
|Housing Finance and Strategy (HOUP004)||20 credits (SCQF Level 11)|
|This module aims to develop students’ understanding of how housing is paid for in the social, private rented and home ownership sectors and of the mechanisms for the strategic planning and provision of affordable housing in Scotland.|
|Housing Governance (HOUP005)||20 credits (SCQF Level 11)|
|This module aims to develop students’ understanding of the governance of housing in its broadest sense: including structures and mechanisms for the governance of housing; the theory and practice of the housing policy process; the development and implementation of housing law; and the inter-relationships between governance, policy and law. The module also builds students’ understanding of reflective practice by incorporating critical reflection on the power relationships which are manifested in the governance of housing.|
|Contemporary Housing Practice (HOUP007)||No credits given|
This module aims to provide students with learning opportunities to support the critical understanding of academic modules, to provide the reflective tools necessary to achieve this learning and to support the summer internship.
Your module on contemporary practice is separate, but integrated into the other key academic modules. The aim is for you to link your learning to housing practice through this module.
|Organisational Behaviour (HOUP003)||20 credits (SCQF Level 11)|
|On completion of this module, you will be able to assess the roles of the range of stakeholders involved in housing governance, including understanding the concept of housing policy networks and the operation of the housing policy community. Plus Analyse and relate the Scottish, UK and EU mechanisms and structures for housing governance.|
|Housing Health and Wellbeing (HOUP006)||20 credits (SCQF Level 11)|
|This module aims to develop your understanding of the elements which contribute to healthy housing for people with a diverse range of health and care circumstances. It considers the links between housing, health and well-being, with particular emphasis on the importance of inter-professional working and service user involvement, including the perspectives of client groups with particular housing and social needs.|
Optional modules to complete the Masters (MSc) degree:
|Housing Research (HOUP008)||60 credits (SCQF Level 11)|
|The module aims to develop students’ critical analytical skills through developing and completing a research-based dissertation.|
|Housing Reflection (HOUP009)||60 credits (SCQF Level 11)|
The aims of this module are to consolidate previous work experience, to develop student’s ability to reflect on practice and to assess self-development. The Housing Diploma programme aims to encourage students to actively participate in their own learning. This Masters module aims to consolidate this learning and take it to the next level, where the student takes the next steps in reflecting not only on what is learned, but how they learn.
Is provided on enrolment.
Full-time (with internship): 12 months
Part-time (with internship): 21 months
Full-time blended learning Part-time blended learning
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.
All core teaching staff on the Housing Studies course are active in housing research. In the REF2014, 75 percent of the research in Applied Social Science at Stirling was assessed as ‘Internationally Excellent' with the top 24 percent of that judged as ‘World-leading'.
The University of Stirling Housing Studies course is one of the longest established in the United Kingdom and is consistently highly rated by the Chartered Institute of Housing in successive programme validations. The course is also highly rated across the housing sector.
The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .
Field visits and internships are typically organised in Scotland. Specific requests for internships outside of Scotland can be considered but have to be met within the course funding arrangements.
The course provides a comprehensive academic and professional qualification, with structured work experience, which offers a direct route into employment in the housing sector.
We have an excellent track record in the employability of our graduates, with many progressing to senior and influential roles in the housing sector.
A unique strength of the Stirling course is the combined delivery to students who are new to housing alongside those already working in housing – facilitating strong networks for mutual learning across student groups and on into professional life.
e.g. University of Stirling, Housing Studies Student wins Malcolm Smith Award
Here are some comments from our students:
Why did you choose to study at Stirling?
Can you tell me what the highlights were for you as a student at the University of Stirling?
How did your course of study help you improve in your chosen subject?
If you had to summarise your experience of the Faculty of Social Sciences in a few words what would you say?
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?
Dr Madhu Satsangi has researched extensively on housing provision in the countryside. He is co-author of the research-based book, The Rural Housing Question. Madhu is active in research and policy networks and has been an adviser to the Scottish Government on land reform and on rural housing and planning.
Professor Isobel Anderson has researched extensively on housing policy and homelessness. She is co-editor of a core text on Housing and Inequality, and active in international housing research and practice networks.
Dr Vikki McCall - has a research focus on the role of front-line workers and governance and is a Board member of Parkhead Housing Association. Vikki also has interests in housing, ageing and dementia care and is a leader in evaluating online learning and practice
At Stirling, staff in Housing Studies aim to:
Stirling graduates have a strong track record of making rapid career progress on completion of the Masters or 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:
Stirling housing graduates normally move immediately into employment, e.g. in housing associations, local authorities, trade organisations, government agencies and research and consultancy.
Our students learn great transferable skills such as: academic skills in analysis and writing; technical skills in the appraisal and evaluation of housing development, design and construction in the built environment; professional skills in housing: communication skills, in report writing and group presentations; self-management skills, in organising work, and meeting deadlines; interpersonal skills, in group discussion and listening.
A very substantial number of housing organisations across Scotland support student internships and sponsor their staff to undertake the Housing Studies course at Stirling.
Teaching staff also work with organisations across the country in their research activities. Through student membership of the Chartered Institute of Housing, you will have access to information and news about housing organisations across Scotland as well as being able to attend major conferences in the sector.