PhD by research
A PhD by research offers the most usual route to a doctorate. Study can be full-time (typically 3 years) or part-time (typically 6 years). You will join a cohort along with other new students usually on 1st of January, April, July or October.
The programme is designed to enable you to research a topic in depth with the support of an expert supervisor, leading to a thesis. Your thesis is expected to be a substantial original contribution to knowledge in the field, with the potential to generate peer-reviewed publications. You will undertake your research under the supervision of a supervisory team, comprising a principal supervisor and a second supervisor (who may be from a different discipline if appropriate). We currently offer PhD supervision across a range of disciplines, including Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology, Social Work, Housing Studies, Dementia Studies, Education and related disciplines. We also offer students the opportunity to conduct research in a world-class and interdisciplinary school with strong links to theoretical, empirical, policy and practice developments.
We will assist you in identifying your training needs, which may include participation in existing research methods modules or short courses. Stirling is part of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science, and you are eligible to attend their events, as well as those organised throughout the Stirling Graduate School and within the Faculty of Social Sciences. We actively encourage PhD students to be fully involved in the research culture of the school with PhD students being active participants in our research groups, leading research seminars and taking part in research group activities. As your research develops, we will also encourage you to take part in appropriate international and national research conferences.
Entry to the PhD programme is contingent upon possession of a recognised Master’s research degree in a specific social science (e.g. MRes), or substantial equivalent experience in undertaking research. We also ask you to submit a proposal for your intended research. We can provide feedback on proposals before the official application stage.
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PhD by publication
This route varies from the traditional PhD in that the final thesis comprises four to six published research papers interlinked by a contextualised narrative but within the standard word limit of 80,000 The papers may include papers, chapters, monographs and books, and the majority of these must be published or accepted for publication within the PhD registration period. All other aspects of the programme (supervision, involvement, length, cost and support) are the same as the thesis route.
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PhD in TESOL Research
The PhD in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Research is a unique programme, offered at the University of Stirling. This ground-breaking programme will develop your research skills to a professional level, which is characteristic of a PhD degree, and support your learning through seven modules, a feature of taught doctorates. During your time at Stirling, your learning will be facilitated by tutors who have extensive expertise in TESOL, research methods and/or educational theories. This is a novel PhD programme across the UK, which is entirely dedicated to TESOL Research. If you are interested in investigating language use, teaching and/or learning, this PhD programme will be of interest to you. The PhD will challenge the boundaries of your academic knowledge and will be a rewarding experience both personally and professionally.
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