Clinical Doctorates

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Study towards a doctorate degree in nursing, midwifery or professional health studies on the only course of its kind in Scotland.

Clinical Doctorates
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Key facts

  • Award Doctorate
  • Start date September 2024
  • Duration Doctorate full-time: 36 months, Doctorate part-time: 48 to 96 months
  • Mode of study full time, part time
  • Delivery on campus


Our Clinical Doctorate is the only one of its kind in Scotland, tailored to the needs of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals – UK wide and internationally. The course is practice-focused and has been designed to prepare you for leadership roles in the healthcare sector.

If you’re passionate about improving patient care, whilst retaining a clinical focus, this course is designed for you. You’ll join professionals from a range of disciplines for on-campus and online study, benefitting not only from the extensive knowledge of the Clinical Doctorate team, but also from each other’s experiences. As a qualified Doctor of Nursing, Midwifery or Professional Health Studies you’ll have the highest level of academic qualification available within your specialism – placing you at the forefront of your profession as a recognised, highly employable clinical academic expert.

Healthcare professionals on the course could include: nurses, midwives, dieticians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, paramedics, speech and language therapists, podiatrists, sport psychologists and genetic counsellors.

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

Our Clinical Doctorate course aims to develop you as a clinically focussed senior Nurse, Midwife or Allied Health Professional and put you at the cutting edge of clinical research and practice in your field. Working autonomously, you’ll be able to design and execute research that deals with problems and issues in practice, as well as applying integrated approaches to the evaluation of new and complex ideas and information.

The course is designed to help you:

  • tackle complex ideas and challenge established modes of thinking
  • develop research and scholarship skills harnessed imaginatively to the field of clinical practice
  • prepare to be at the cutting edge of clinical and research practice for your area of expertise
  • become familiar with leading-edge research and enhance your ability to redesign the clinical environment and understanding of the research process

Flexible learning

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

Our research is world-class and is recognised for its quality and innovation. Highlights from the most Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) analysis include:

  • 100% of our research environment, 80% of our research impact and 83% of our overall research in Allied Health Professions and Nursing is classed as world leading or internationally excellent.

This course is also closely affiliated with the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit – a highly regarded research body whose expertise feeds into our Clinical Doctorate course.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

  • Candidates should normally hold a Masters degree and/or a good Honours degree or equivalent from a university or college recognised by the University of Stirling.
  • UK candidates should hold an appropriate nursing, midwifery or allied health professional qualification and registration.
  • International candidates should hold an appropriate nursing, midwifery or allied health professional qualification and be able to provide evidence of the governance of their professional standards and professional registration (where it exists).
  • Candidates should normally have at least five years post-registration/qualification experience.
  • Selection follows consideration of written application and statement.

International entry requirements

View the entry requirements for your country.

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 Academic or UKVI 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 62 overall with 60 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Course details

Aim for the top of your profession with our unique Clinical Doctorate course.

The course 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, with each taught module studied over one semester.


The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the academic year that starts in September 2024. Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course Details


Throughout your studies, you can expect easy access to staff through regular face-to-face contact, video conferencing, email and phone. You’ll benefit from tutorial time in preparation for each assignment, and detailed feedback afterward. Our online learning environment, Canvas, is also available to you via the University portal, and each taught module is supported by a bespoke set of web pages where information, teaching materials and learning resources are uploaded by the module coordinator. Keynote contributions are also made to the Clinical Doctorate course by UK and international academics.

You can study this course full-time over three years or, more commonly, over four to eight years on a part-time basis. The period of study will also vary depending on whether you study for a Doctorate, Masters Degree or Postgraduate Diploma:



4-6 years



2-3 years



1-2 years



4-8 years



3-6 years



1.5-4 years


The main method of assessment for each module is coursework, with one practice-based examination. You’ll have to successfully complete all taught modules before progressing to the research stage of the course.

Classroom hours

Each module consists of two three-day blocks and six weeks of independent study.

Key staff

The core Doctorate team includes:

Far-reaching clinical academic expertise feeds into the course and into student supervision. Keynote contributions are made to the clinical doctorate programme by UK and International academics.

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

2023/24 fees

UK students

International (including EU) students

Full course fee £18,200 £36,600
Full-time annual fee (charged years 1-3) £6,067 £12,200
Part-time annual fee (charged years 1-4) £4,550 £9,150


2024-25 fees

UK students

International (including EU) students

Full course fee £18,600 £37,300
Full-time annual fee (charged years 1-3) £6,200 £12,433
Part-time annual fee (charged years 1-4) £4,650 £9,325

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

This fee is charged as an annual course fee. For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Doctoral loans

If you're domiciled in England or Wales you may be eligible to apply for a doctoral loan from your regional body:

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Scholarships and funding


Eligible international students could receive a scholarship worth between £4,000-£7,000. See our range of generous scholarships for international postgraduate students.

University of Stirling alumni will automatically be awarded a fee waiver for the first year of Masters studies through our Stirling Alumni Scholarship.

Applicants from the UK or Republic of Ireland who hold a first-class honours degree or equivalent will automatically be awarded a £2,000 scholarship through our Postgraduate Merit Scholarship.

If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

International (including EU) students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

After you graduate

Professional Doctorates are recognised internationally as a qualification granted to those who have reached the peak of professional and academic achievement in their field of expertise.

‌Increasingly within the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and health services in other countries a Professional Doctorate in health is seen as an essential academic qualification for progressing to higher level posts.

Graduates have reported the benefits of studying a Clinical Doctorate as being:

  • gaining the confidence to see themselves as an expert in their field
  • the personal fulfilment of achieving the highest academic qualification
  • enhanced critical and analytical thinking
  • confidence within specialist areas
  • the opening of new and advanced career opportunities

Employability skills

As well as greatly enhancing your expertise in your field of healthcare, your studies at the University of Stirling will help you to sharpen transferrable skills in areas such as:

  • Leadership
  • Analytical thinking
  • Research
  • Communication and teamwork
  • Decision making

Companies we work with

Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit

The Faculty hosts the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP-RU), funded by the Scottish Government's Health Directorates, Chief Scientist Office. NMAHP-RU has two programmes of research: interventions and quality and delivery of care.

The Institute of Social Marketing

‌The Institute of Social Marketing and Health (ISMH) conducts research in three key areas: the development and evaluation of behaviour change interventions based on social marketing principles; the impact of public policy on health and social welfare and the impact of commercial marketing on the health and behaviour of individuals and of society more generally.

Staff from across the Faculty, NMAHP-RU and ISMH are committed to sharing their expertise with you every step of the way as you study for your Clinical Doctorate.

What our students said

Karn Cliffe
Karn Cliffe
Republic of Ireland
Doctor of Midwifery
I appreciated the relaxed and supportive atmosphere in class from lecturers and classmates.
Read Karn's story

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