Bringing your family

If you have a spouse or partner and dependant children, you may want them to join you in the UK. You should carefully consider the practical arrangements you'll need to make so your family will have a fulfilling and productive stay in the UK.

Visas for international families

For courses starting on or after 1 January 2024, a limited group of postgraduate students can bring their partner and children (‘dependants’) with them to the UK.

You will be able to apply for visas for your dependents if you are:

  • a student on a PhD or other doctorate (RQF level 8);
  • a student on a research-based higher degree - this does not include our MRes programmes.

See more details on how to apply for visa for your dependents on the UK Government website.

For information on other visa types, please visit the UKVI website.

If you are a single parent and you are planning for your child/children to join you in the UK, you will need to provide evidence that you have sole responsibility for them when they apply for their visas. This could be a custody order from a court or other legal documents confirming that you are the parent who has responsibility for looking after the children.

If you are still married or in a partnership with the other parent of your children, UKVI will expect that parent to also join you in the UK as a dependant and may refuse a visa for the children if this is not the case.

If you would like more information about this issue please contact the Student Immigration Team.


Finding a place for you and your family to call home is important. That’s why as soon as you have received an unconditional offer to study at the University of Stirling, you can apply for our family accommodation. Our on-campus accommodation gives you easy access to all our on-campus facilities – you’ll find a supermarket, laundry facilities, pharmacy, medical and dental centre, gym and swimming pool, all a few minutes’ walk away.

As finding somewhere to live is understandably a top priority, we would encourage you to apply for our family accommodation as soon as possible. We only have a limited amount of accommodation designed for families.

As a university city, Stirling has plenty of private rental accommodation to offer if you decide to settle off-campus. Our Student Services Hub team can help with advice on house hunting and where to find private rentals. Our campus is just a short 10 minute bus ride away from the city centre.

Childcare and schooling

You may need help in caring for your children, especially if both parents are studying. Many families in the UK use professional childcare services and there is a wide range of provision. If your children are of school age, they will usually be able to study at a local school in Stirling, but you should consider how this will fit in to their longer term education.

Kindergarten on campus

We also have a kindergarten on campus offering childcare for children aged between 2 years 9 months and 5 years old. They welcome all children, including those of staff and students at the University and from the wider community. Find out more information about our kindergarten.

Schools in the Stirling area

All children of five years and older are entitled to free schooling and the local schools are accustomed to welcoming international pupils. Before you apply for a school place for your child, you’ll need to know when you’ll be arriving in Stirling and the address you’ll be living in. You can apply for a school place six weeks before your child arrives.

Local Authority schools near the University campus are provided by Stirling Council. Children normally attend their “catchment” school – the local school. Children staying on the University campus usually go to Bridge of Allan Primary School and to Wallace High School. Full details on Stirling Council Schools, including contact telephone numbers and school brochures, are on the Stirling Council website.

Family support

Student Support Services can help you and your family settle into life at Stirling. They offer a range of support services to help you make the most of your time studying with us.

Staff can offer help and advice on many things including English classes, nurseries, schooling and health care entitlement, and will continue to support your family during your study in Stirling.