Housing Studies (with Internship)

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. 


CIH logoThe 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.


Key information

  • Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Study methods: Full-time, Part-time, Discontinuous, Campus based
  • Duration: Full-time (with internship): 12 months or part-time (with internship): 21 months
  • Start date: September
  • Course Director: Dr Madhu Satsangi
View fees and finance

Course objectives

With a staff group which comprehensively covers the multi-disciplinary nature of housing, research, policy and practice, Stirling University 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.

What makes us different?

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

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.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as:

  • IELTS score of 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill.

We consider the following as equivalent test scores:

  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C or above
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B or above
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE): 60 with 56 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

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.

Application procedure

Alternative Routes

Potential applicants who are already working can apply for the Housing Studies course on a part-time basis over two years, without internship.

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

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: 

  • Providing Housing Services
  • Sustainable Communities
  • Housing Governance
  • Housing Finance and Strategy
  • Healthy Housing
  • Organisational Behaviour

Professional Practice

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.


Delivery and assessment

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. 

Recommended reading

Contact the School for information.

Modes of study

Full-time (with internship): 12 months
Part-time (with internship): 21 months

Study method

Full-time Part-time

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.

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.


Study abroad opportunities

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

Our students

Here are some comments from our students: 

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.
  • 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.

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

  • 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 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 increased my knowledge, skills and experience greatly within housing.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Our staff

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

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

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.

Industry connections

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.

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/MSc Fees 2016/17

 Home / EUOverseas
PG Certificate £2,034 N/A N/A N/A
PG Diploma £2,034 £4,068 N/A £8,300
MSC £1,535 £1,535 N/A £4,150



PG Certificate / PG Diploma/MSc Fees 2015/16

 Home / EUOverseas
PG Certificate £2,000 N/A N/A N/A
PG Diploma £2,000 £4,000 N/A £7,933
MSc £1,500 £1,500 N/A £3,967


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.

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

Scholarships & funding

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan

This course is currently approved for PTFL (Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan) funding from SAAS.  More information

Individual Learning Accounts can offer help with fee payment. For further information visit 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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