Types of postgraduate research degrees

Traditional PhD

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

This is a programme of independent research which normally takes three years of full-time study or six years of part-time study (including the initial period of supervision and training outlined above).

Doctoral candidates undertake research on a topic in which the candidate is expected to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Conduct original investigation
  • Assess ideas critically
  • Relate that investigation to a wider field of knowledge

You will normally have two nominated supervisors. At the end of the three-year period you submit a thesis for examination. For full information and regulations on thesis submission, please see: www.calendar.stir.ac.uk

A 'traditional' PhD comprises an 80,000-word thesis on a research area, but we also offer other models of PhD:

PhD by Publication and Practice

In recent years there has been emerging interest in alternative modes of PhD other than the single large research project and written thesis model and we offer these across all our subject areas.

Professional doctorates

In some professional areas, the main research qualification is a doctorate in the specified profession. At Stirling we offer a number of these allied to the particular professional needs in the subject area.

  • Doctor of Applied Social Research
  • Doctor of Education
  • Doctor of Midwifery
  • Doctor of Nursing

These professional doctorates are research degrees, with a taught component, and can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

This programme is also pursued by independent research under nominated supervisors. Slightly less demanding than the PhD, it takes 1 - 2 years (full-time) or 2 - 4 years (part-time), depending on the topic, and results in the submission of a thesis.

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