MRes, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
This innovative course prepares you for doctoral studies and a career in Educational Research through a series of taught modules and a dissertation. Under the expert guidance of a team of leading academics you will learn the skills of research, from conception through to design, methodology and data collection, to analysis, interpretation and dissemination. As part of the course you will engage closely with cutting edge research projects currently being undertaken by the School of Education.
The course has been recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council as meeting its requirements for postgraduate research training, and it now forms part of the recognised pathway in educational research for the Scottish Graduate School in the Social Sciences.
The MRes is designed to equip you for a career in educational research or as preparation for doctoral study (as a 1 + 3 route to PhD). You will develop a range of research skills and will engage closely with current research projects in Education.
The course will offer you:
The School of Education is committed to developing capable educational researchers as well as enabling you to improve your career prospects. We aim to:
Employability is important focus of this course, with the opportunity for a research placement offered to all MRes students.
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.
To be considered for admission to the degree, a candidate will normally have a good honours degree in Education or cognate subject from a Higher Education institution in the United Kingdom, or a degree of equivalent standard from an institution outside the United Kingdom. Exceptionally, a candidate with learning gained through extensive relevant professional experience may be considered for admission. Candidates are expected to have good numeracy skills and a willingness to engage in depth and breadth with statistical analysis
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
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.
The course is designed to meet the Economic and Social Research Council’s requirements for broad knowledge, practical skills and both generic and specific competencies in educational research.
It comprises taught modules and a dissertation. The taught modules are delivered by a number of subject areas, including Education. They include a short research placement in an educational setting. Further details of the modules and their content are available on our website:
Students will be required to conduct a small piece of educational research and write this up as a 15,000-word dissertation to be completed during May to September (May to December for part-time students).
MRes: one year
Diploma: two semesters
Certificate: one semester
MRes: five semesters
Diploma: four semesters
Certificate: three semesters
Full-time and part-time
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 Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, the School of Education had the highest quality of research outputs of any Scottish University, with 100% of research impact activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.
In The Guardian University Guide, the School of Education is ranked first in Scotland and eighth in the UK. Criteria include; Satisfaction with Course, Satisfaction with teaching, Satisfaction with Assessment Feedback, Student/ Staff Ratio, Value Added, Career after 6 months.
The Independent Complete University Guide for 2015 has rated the School of Education, as fourth in the UK as a provider of Education programmes and for its research in Education.
The Times Good University Guide recently rated the School of Education as fourth in the UK, in its 2015 update.
Educational Research graduate
When I finished my first Masters degree (Management Learning and Leadership) I was very keen on exploring workplace and professional learning further. I was particularly interested in Actor-Network Theory and had attended a conference at Stirling University where this was discussed widely.
The conference content was dynamic and aligned with my interests, which indicated that Stirling University would be the best place for me to study. The other important reason was that Professor Tara Fenwick works here and she was my first choice of supervisor.
For my Masters in Research Methods, I enjoyed the placement most. It was an excellent opportunity to go into the workplace specifically to conduct research. I presented my work at the Doctoral Conference and displayed and presented a poster at the ProPEL conference. It was a valuable and rewarding experience that I will draw on for my research degree.
I enjoyed the workshops that were provided for the PhD students. These were a great combination of theory and discussion, and got us reading (and talking) about key theories in education research that we might otherwise not have come across.
My Masters in Research Methods will help me if I seek work as a researcher. It also gave me a good grounding for the PhD; even though I already had a Masters degree, the MRes developed specific skills and knowledge. For example, the course covered NVivo (computer software for qualitative research), quantitative methods (STATA), and qualitative methods such as interviews, discourse analysis and analysing data. Not all of these are directly relevant to my PhD, but it is very useful to know and I may draw on these in the future. I would encourage students who are thinking of going into research to undertake this course.
Come and enjoy studying in a beautiful place! When you need to study there’s a great library, and when you need to think, there are lots of lovely walks.
Hard work but rewarding, and I still have lots of hard work to come with the PhD. At least I can do this in lovely surroundings with the support of brilliant staff.
PhD in Education Research at Stirling
This masters in research is ideal for those looking to develop their understanding of the role of research in educational settings of all kinds and provides an excellent precursor to the EdD pathway. This programme is designed to assist those working in education and training in all kinds of professional settings who wish to learn how to understand, design, enact and employ cutting edge educational research to create desired impacts.
Dr Greg Mannion, Programme Director
The MRes is designed to enhance the career prospects of researchers in education, training and related areas of work, and professionals requiring the capacity to understand and commission research in these fields. It is essential preparation for doctoral research in education and is recognised by Economic and Social Research Council as meeting its criteria for postgraduate research training that helps students improve their employability while acquiring core research skills. Employability is an important focus of this course, with the opportunity for a research placement offered to all MRes students.
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).
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.
For information on possible sources of funding, visit: