Faculty of Natural Sciences postgraduate welcome information

We love welcoming new students into our postgraduate community in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

If you're considering coming to the University of Stirling, or already know you'll be joining us, we look forward to showing you why the University has been award five stars in the QS Stars University Ratings 2021 for teaching, employability, research, internationalisation, facilities and inclusiveness.

student and lecturer in library

Welcoming you to Stirling

We understand that arriving at a new University, perhaps in a new country, can be daunting. As well as running a series of welcome events to help you settle in quickly, the University has a dedicated Student Support team which can assist you with everything from exam preparation to personal or financial challenges. Your course staff and personal tutor will also be on hand to support you throughout your studies. Our welcome events will help you meet staff, other students and learn a little about how things work at Stirling.

Course specific welcome and induction events

You will be invited to attend the Faculty's induction activities as part of your week-one teaching schedule.

Each course and module has introductory meetings and activities so you can meet the staff, other students and learn how things work at Stirling. You'll get essential information to help you settle in and find your feet. Details of these sessions can be found on your personalised timetable on the University of Stirling app.

What to expect from postgraduate study

As you move from undergraduate to postgraduate study, you'll find a much stronger emphasis on self-directed learning, and an expectation that your own intellectual curiosity will drive your studies to a far greater extent. You'll need to be able to deal with a greater level of abstraction and theoretical complexity. You'll also be expected to engage with and in the most up-to-date research, and develop your own innovative ways of thinking about topics.

You'll need to develop your critical research and enquiry skills, as well as relevant technical and practical skills, and you'll become a much more autonomous learner, developing the skills of self-organisation and self-motivation. You'll also need to learn to deal with the unpredictable nature of research, and how to cope with both negative and positive results from your data and/or research. Lastly, you'll learn about appropriate professional attitudes, behaviour and values in your discipline, including learning ethical behaviours, developing academic integrity, recognising the need to reflect on methodology, and becoming part of a research community.

All of these challenges will ultimately push you forward in your area of specialism, empowering you to enhance your future opportunities.

Whilst studying at Stirling, I found the close relationship with lecturers and staff to be incredibly beneficial. Lecturers were always available to discuss the work they had covered in class and give as much guidance for completing coursework and exams. Having access to a lab dedicated to Masters students meant that there was a place for students to discuss and collaborate when having difficulties. The course featured many opportunities to present to the other students which has improved my confidence in public speaking situations and developing my ability to present to an audience of people from a range of backgrounds.

Beth Watson, Scotland, MSc Big Data

Postgraduate student at loch with degree certificate

Preparing for study at University - Stirling Essentials

Our Stirling Essentials module provides a summary of the key information you need to be a successful student and it links into more in-depth help and advice, as and when you need it. There are separate versions for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Before you arrive, please do take some time to familiarise yourself with this module and work through its sections. This module will remain available to you throughout your studies, through a link on each Canvas module (log on with your University username and password, if requested).

Your personal tutor

You'll be assigned a personal tutor during the first week of your studies in Stirling. The role of a personal tutor is to help you feel part of the University community and to act as a specific and consistent source of guidance, information and support throughout your studies. Your tutor should always be available as a formal point of contact for general academic guidance or pastoral support.

Key contacts

If you have any questions about your course or module choices, you can contact your Faculty Adviser:

Student voice – make a difference to the student experience

We have a system of Student Faculty Officers and module representatives who represent students, making sure the student voice is part of all decisions which affect student learning. Get involved and make a difference, while developing leadership skills and credit on your degree transcript for the work you do. More details will be available at induction.


We offer a comprehensive employability and skills services to help you maximise your time at university and develop the graduate attributes required by employers.