Doctorate of Applied Social Research (Family Therapy)

Join the first doctorate in family therapy in Scotland to advance your knowledge, skills and expertise in evidence based practice.

Doctorate of Applied Social Research (Family Therapy)

Key facts

  • Award Doctorate
  • Start date September 2021, January 2022, September 2022, January 2023
  • Duration Doctorate full-time: 36 to 48 months, Doctorate part-time: 48 to 96 months
  • Mode of study Online, Part-time, Full-time, Mixture of online and classroom delivery

The Doctorate of Applied Social Research (Family Therapy) is for family therapists and systemic practitioners who want to develop as a researcher, complementing existing clinical skills and knowledge.

You will undertake robust research methods training and have the opportunity to complete an advanced piece of research on a topic of most relevance to you and your work.

The course stands apart from other doctorates in family therapy in the depth and breadth of research knowledge, skills and confidence you’ll develop. You will also benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to supervision, support to publish and extensive networks with others undertaking professional doctorates.

Research helps make changes at a structural and systemic level and your doctorate can help transform our social worlds and contribute to better policy, practice and care.

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

This course is designed to enhance the way you think as a professional and give you the research skills you need to make a genuine impact on your working environment.

We’ll bring you up-to-date with the latest ideas, findings and methods in your field, challenging assumptions and changing how you think about the relationship between research, scholarship and expertise.

You’ll be encouraged to look at new ideas about systems, how decisions are made and how to design the professional environment so that you can see, understand, evaluate, plan and take action with maximum speed and efficiency.

Study abroad

You can choose to take part in the Turing Scheme – which offers placements abroad. Course staff will support your application process.

Faculty staff have many international collaborations and contacts. We welcome students who are interested in developing or using their own international networks.

Flexible learning

The Doctorate of Applied Social Research (Family Therapy) has access to training provided by the University’s Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), as well as the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences (SGSSS).

IAS offer a broad programme of training which will enable you to develop across a range of areas including knowledge and intellectual abilities, personal effectiveness, research governance and engagement, influence and impact.

SGSSS is a national organisation providing high level of social science input – no other Family Therapy doctorate has access to this sophisticated, diverse and useful suite of trainings. Stirling has an outstanding campus, extensive library and international reputation for high quality research and teaching.

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

Research overview

When you study your Doctorate of Applied Social Research (Family Therapy) at the University of Stirling, you’ll be introduced to leading-edge empirical and theoretical research in a vibrant, multi-disciplinary environment.

Underpinning the expertise of our staff, the University of Stirling scored highly in the most recent Research Excellent Framework (REF 2014) – a UK-wide assessment of universities’ research output. In the Social Work and Social Policy unit of assessment, highlights included:

  • 78% of our overall research activity was assessed to be internationally excellent or world-leading
  • 100% of research environment factors assessed as internationally excellent or world leading
  • 100% of our research impact was assessed as world leading or internationally excellent
  • we were judged to have the 2nd highest research power in Scotland and 13th highest in the UK

We routinely conduct research in a number of areas, and you’ll be co-supervised for your thesis by staff with specialist expertise in both family therapy as well as subjects such as substance use, child wellbeing and protection, physical health, criminology, social networks, and social work.

Changes at Stirling

Find out about important changes including how you'll be taught, start dates and how we're making campus safer.

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