Clinical Doctorates



Study towards a:

  • Doctor of Midwifery
  • Doctor of Nursing
  • Doctor of Professional Health Studies (Dietetics; Genetic Counselling; Occupational Therapy; Paramedicine; Physiotherapy; Podiatry; Radiography, Speech & Language Therapy)

The clinical doctorate programme is designed for experienced clinicians determined to contribute to their field of practice. It is the ideal qualification for those who retain a clinical focus with commitment to the improvement and advancement of evidence-based care.

Key information

  • Degree type: Doctorate
  • Study methods: Full-time, Part-time
  • Start date: Students usually begin the programme at the start of a new academic year, in September.
  • Course Director: Dr Kathleen Stoddart

Nursing, Midwifery & Health University of Stirling
Tel: +44 (0) 1786 466337

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Candidates should normally hold a good Honours degree and/or a Master’s degree or equivalent of a university or college recognised by the University of Stirling; hold an appropriate nursing, midwifery or allied health professional registration; have at least five years’ post-registration experience. Selection follows consideration of written application and statement.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 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.


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

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information on possible sources of funding

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Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

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Structure and teaching

Structure and content

The programme is designed to challenge and change the way you think.  Throughout the programme, your endeavours focus on your own field of practice. You can expect to make a significant difference to your clinical environment right from the very start.

The programme can be studied over three years full-time or, more commonly, over four and eight years on a part-time basis. It consists of three taught modules, an expert practice module and an empirical thesis. Taught components are clustered into two three-day sessions over the first three semesters.

Each taught module is studied over one semester.

  • The first module brings you up to date with the latest ideas, findings and methods – taken from across the spectrum of academic research and harnessed imaginatively to your field of practice.
  • The second module builds on the first but looks at clinically-applied problem solving to design evidence into fields of practice and organisations. The potential of the research and its impact is part of that design process.
  • In the third module we work together to promote a generic knowledge of research methods whilst keeping the clinical relevance of your research in our sights at all times. You also start to more fully develop your research ideas.
  • The fourth module is about assessment of your expert practice including its currency and engagement with others. You are also supported to develop your research proposal further.

Following two years of taught modules, you progress to the empirical research stage and ultimately construct a thesis on a topic that will enhance the knowledge base in your field of practice.

Delivery and assessment

Assessment includes coursework, expert practice examination and the thesis itself. Two active researchers supervise your research project and the programme is supported by face-to-face contact, video-conferencing, email and internet facilities. On-campus attendance is kept to a minimum.

Postgraduate Diploma and Master’s exit points are available.


Academic Year 2015/16

In Semester 1 you will take:

  • Contemporary Nursing Theory and Research

In Semester 2 you will take:

  • Project Management in Health Care Organisations

In Semester 3 you will take:

  • Research Design for Clinical Practice

In Semester 4 you will take:

  • Expert Practice

In Semester 5 onwards you will take:

  • Practice-based Empirical Project & Thesis

Study method

Part-time and Full-time routes of study are available

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), 20 percent of Nursing, Midwifery and Health’s research was described as ‘World-leading’ and a further 65 percent as of ‘International Significance’, placing us firmly as the leading nursing and midwifery department in Scotland and one of the top ten in the UK.

Our staff

The core Doctorate team includes:

Dr Kathleen Stoddart; Dr Carol Bugge and Dr Annetta Smith.

Far-reaching clinical expertise feeds into the programme and into student supervision.

Keynote contributions are made to the clinical doctorate programme by UK and International academics.

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

94% of Stirling students are in employment or further study six months after graduation.

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).

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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