PhD subject areas

As a postgraduate researcher at the University of Stirling, you’ll be part of a vibrant and supportive research community that has a reputation for turning insight into impact.

Explore the subject areas below to see the wide range of disciplines you can conduct your research in, and learn more about the types of research degrees on offer to decide whether a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Professional Doctorate is right for you.

Postgraduate research subject areas A–Z

Can’t see your subject area?

The subject areas listed on this page represent broad topics we offer supervision in. If you don’t see a subject area that is an exact match for your interests – or if you want to conduct interdisciplinary research – you should apply for the area that seems most relevant to your research proposal. Our experts supervise PhD students in a huge range of topics, and we can reallocate applications to the most suitable subject area after you apply. 

If you’d like to ask as a question about PhD study at Stirling, please get in touch. To find out more about interdisciplinary research at Stirling, view our Research themes and programmes.

Accounting and Finance

Our Accounting and Finance research is recognised as being academically excellent, policy relevant, and of benefit to society. The Accounting and Finance Division at Stirling offers a stimulating environment in which to study towards a PhD. Students come onto this pathway from a variety of backgrounds, including disciplines allied with accounting and finance such as economics. There is a national shortage of researchers in this area and the need to increase the number of PhD students to address this shortage has been highlighted in independent reports. As such, students who complete the PhD Accounting and Finance programme have excellent career prospects and will be in high demand in both academia and industry. Students graduating from this programme have found faculty positions in top universities across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as in leading financial institutions. The PhD Accounting and Finance programme is accredited by the ESRC and affiliated by the Accounting and Finance pathway of the Scottish Graduate School, which is supported by the British Accounting Association (BAA) and its regional Scottish Accounting Group (SAG) (active for over 20 years) as well as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS). Whether your career aim involves a research or teaching lead academic career, or working in a leading financial institution, the PhD in Accounting and Finance can help you achieve your goals.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Accounting and Finance research

Aquaculture

The University of Stirling is a global leader in aquaculture research and teaching, supporting the development of aquaculture worldwide. Our expert staff, facilities and networks – including the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre hosted at Stirling – make us the first choice for research partners from across the globe. Our research looks at reproduction, genetics, aquatic animal health and welfare, nutrition, production systems, environments, markets, and social and economic impacts – with the overarching goal of providing insights and solutions that will help meet the global challenges of feeding the world in a sustainable manner. We welcome applications from prospective postgraduate researchers who are passionate about making a contribution to the research activities undertaken by the Institute.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Aquaculture research

The University of Stirling is a global leader in aquaculture research and teaching, supporting the development of aquaculture worldwide. Our expert staff, facilities and networks – including the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre hosted at Stirling – make us the first choice for research partners from across the globe. Our research looks at reproduction, genetics, aquatic animal health and welfare, nutrition, production systems, environments, markets, and social and economic impacts – with the overarching goal of providing insights and solutions that will help meet the global challenges of feeding the world in a sustainable manner. We welcome applications from prospective postgraduate researchers who are passionate about making a contribution to the research activities undertaken by the Institute.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Aquaculture research

Biological and Environmental Sciences

Our Faculty of Natural Sciences is internationally renowned for research exploring the relationship between human behaviour, technology and the environment. We offer PhDs supervised by expert staff, and are proud of the key contributions made by research students to our achievements.

PhD students in Biology will join a vibrant research environment in which we seek to understand the fundamental processes driving the evolution and maintenance of biodiversity, from the molecular to the ecosystem level. We look at how environments and ecosystems have changed over annual to millennial timescales to predict and mitigate the future impacts of anthropogenic change and natural hazards. We consistently attract major research grant support from the Natural Environment Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, charitable trusts and industrial sponsors.

Conduct your postgraduate research with us and you’ll join a friendly community where teaching, employability, internationalisation, facilities and inclusiveness are all five-star rated (QS Stars University Ratings 2020).

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Biological and Environmental Sciences research

Our Faculty of Natural Sciences is internationally renowned for research exploring the relationship between human behaviour, technology and the environment. We offer PhDs supervised by expert staff, and are proud of the key contributions made by research students to our achievements.

PhD students in Ecology will join a vibrant research environment in which we seek to understand the fundamental processes driving the evolution and maintenance of biodiversity, from the molecular to the ecosystem level. We look at how environments and ecosystems have changed over annual to millennial timescales to predict and mitigate the future impacts of anthropogenic change and natural hazards. We consistently attract major research grant support from the Natural Environment Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, charitable trusts and industrial sponsors.

Conduct your postgraduate research with us and you’ll join a friendly community where teaching, employability, internationalisation, facilities and inclusiveness are all five-star rated (QS Stars University Ratings 2020).

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Biological and Environmental Sciences research

Our Faculty of Natural Sciences is internationally renowned for research exploring the relationship between human behaviour, technology and the environment. We offer PhDs supervised by expert staff, and are proud of the key contributions made by research students to our achievements.

PhD students in Environmental Science will join a vibrant research environment in which we seek to understand the fundamental processes driving the evolution and maintenance of biodiversity, from the molecular to the ecosystem level. We look at how environments and ecosystems have changed over annual to millennial timescales to predict and mitigate the future impacts of anthropogenic change and natural hazards. We consistently attract major research grant support from the Natural Environment Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, charitable trusts and industrial sponsors.

Conduct your postgraduate research with us and you’ll join a friendly community where teaching, employability, internationalisation, facilities and inclusiveness are all five-star rated (QS Stars University Ratings 2020).

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Biological and Environmental Sciences research

Communications, Media and Culture

The University of Stirling has a long-standing reputation for excellence in Communications, Media and Culture research. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment, 100% of our research environment in English was rated world-leading or internationally excellent, and we were ranked in the top 150 universities in the world for Communication and Media in the 2017 QS World University Rankings.

Our work encompasses research into screen and print media, digital media and social media, public communication and promotional culture, heritage and archives. We have research specialists in journalism and public relations in addition to researchers working on many aspects of media representation, media institutions, media and communications policy, and also on numerous relationships between media, culture and society.

As a PhD researcher in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, you’ll be provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. You’ll also have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Communications, Media and Culture research

Communications and media research at Stirling has played an important role in the development of the research field both in the UK and internationally from the foundation of the original department in 1978. Stirling was named in the top 150 universities worldwide for communication and media in the definitive QS World University rankings for 2017, and 70 percent of our research in Communications, Media and Culture was rated as either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in the most recent Research Excellence Framework. As a PhD student researching film and media studies at Stirling, you’ll benefit from all this expertise – and play a key part in contributing to it in a supportive, vibrant research environment.

As a PhD researcher in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, you’ll be provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. You’ll also have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Communications, Media and Culture research

Communications, Media and Culture at the University of Stirling had 70 percent of its research rated as either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in the most recent Research Excellence Framework. Our expertise in Public Relations has helped us build strong links with industry, giving PhD students the chance to both learn from and contribute to the latest thinking in the arena. We host regular visits from guest speakers and work closely with a range of international research partners – further contributing to a vibrant research environment that values your contribution as a Postgraduate researcher and supports you in your ambitions.

As a PhD researcher in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, you’ll be provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. You’ll also have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Communications, Media and Culture research

Computing Science and Mathematics

Our Professional Doctorate in Data Science is the first industrial doctorate of its kind, and is supported by The Data Lab. We build on Stirling’s highly successful taught MSc Big Data to equip you with a range of cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research and practical skills and tools, that will lead to an academic or industry job in big data science or data analytics. In addition to enhancing students’ employability through work-based learning, the doctorate prepares you to undertake interdisciplinary Big Data research, jointly supervised by world-leading Stirling academics and Big Data industry experts.

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 95% of our Computing Science and Mathematics research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent. As a PhD student researching Computing Science at Stirling, you’ll benefit from the support and expertise of leading academics who encourage you to think outside the box and tackle real problems affecting industry and society. The contributions of our postgraduate researchers play a vital role in our work, and we welcome applications from anyone who shares our passion for making a positive impact through Computing Science research.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Computing Science and Mathematics research

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 95% of our Computing Science and Mathematics research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent. As a PhD student researching Mathematics at Stirling, you’ll benefit from the support and expertise of leading academics who encourage you to think outside the box and tackle real problems affecting industry and society. The contributions of our postgraduate researchers play a vital role in our work, and we welcome applications from anyone who shares our passion for making a positive impact through Mathematics research.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Computing Science and Mathematics research

Dementia and Ageing

Our Applied Social Research Doctorate is designed to transform the way you think as a professional and ensure you can make a powerful impact in your field.

If you’re an experienced professional who wants to advance your expertise and broaden your career opportunities, this course is an ideal match. From the outset, you’ll gain high-quality research skills that can be immediately applied in the workplace and refined through access to seminars and advanced training opportunities. You’ll also benefit from the guidance of our expert staff and your interaction with fellow professionals and executives from a range of social science backgrounds.

The course is highly flexible and attendance is kept to a minimum to ensure you can fit your studies around your career. You’ll also have the opportunity to fine-tune your Doctorate based on your profession – choosing one of six pathways that include Dementia Studies. 

Ultimately, you’ll acquire skills that bring you up-to-date with the latest ideas, findings and research methods in your field, all of which you can feed back into optimising the workplace and taking decisive actions that improve services and advance your career. 

Dementia research at the University of Stirling is multidisciplinary, relevant to policy and practice, and places a particular emphasis on people with dementia and those who support and care for them. Our research spans from healthcare – looking at the outcomes of people with cognitive impairment and dementia in the hospital setting – through to end of life care, decision making for care provision, the roles of community based care professionals in particular community pharmacists, and the importance of the dementia friendly neighbourhood. This large spectrum of research is made possible by the vast skill mix of the team: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, psychologist, economists, social workers, social scientists, musicians, carers and people with dementia. The Research Group works with researchers, clinicians and social care practitioners from many disciplines across the University and with national and international colleagues in Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. The University of Stirling is also home to the Dementia Services Development Centre – an international centre of knowledge and expertise. We welcome applications from prospective PhD students who are interested in joining us in our work.  

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Dementia and Ageing research

Economics

The aim of the PhD Economics programme is the development of students who (a) develop a very high degree of technical ability in economic theory and methods, to allow advanced career progression in the field, and (b) are supported to make an original research contribution to knowledge through high level peer-reviewed publication.

The PhD programme is affiliated with the prestigious Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics and is accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council. In REF 2014, Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent. The reputation of our research at Stirling Management School was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), where the School was placed in the UK’s top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of 101 business schools. In Scotland, the School was ranked in the top five. 64% of our research outputs were classified as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of their originality, significance and rigour and we were ranked 14th in the UK in terms of research impact with over 60% of our research impact judged to have outstanding reach and wide-ranging impact on the policies of public, private and governmental organisations.

The division is a vibrant and friendly place in which to be based, with a weekly seminar series providing contact with leading external researchers, as well as opportunities to network with academic staff from the division. Whether your career aim involves a research or teaching lead academic career, working in an environmental charity or NGO, or a having a professional economist position in a financial institution, a PhD in Economics can help you achieve your goals.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Economics research

Education

Our Doctorate in Education is an ideal development opportunity if you’re a senior education professional seeking to enhance and utilise your research expertise. Whatever your area of education – from schools, colleges and universities to professional, work-based and lifelong learning, or policy development – earning a Professional Doctorate will position you as a leader in your field. Our Doctorate in Education is tailored to the needs of busy professionals, and combines an excellent grounding in research methods and educational theory with the opportunity to put your research to work in improving professional policy and practice. You’ll work towards your EdD either full or part-time under the guidance of expert teachers who have helped to secure the University’s reputation as one of the Top 5 in Scotland and Top 10 in the UK for Education studies (The Complete University Guide 2021).

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), 100% of our Education research submissions were judged world leading or internationally excellent in terms of the quality of the research environment and their impact.

Our early years education research has influenced education provision and practice in the UK, Ireland, Australia and the USA, and our research on the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) is influencing government policy around CfE and developing key tools for teachers to use in schools to improve education.

As a PhD student, you’ll benefit from all our expertise and conduct your research in a supportive, vibrant environment that helps to develop your research skills and provide a collaborative research environment, so you can make a difference to wider society.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements Learn more about our Education research

A PhD in TESOL Research will mark you out as an expert researcher in the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages, and will equip you with new skills in understanding complex matters and increase your confidence as a researcher. We’ll support you throughout your research, and you’ll benefit from the knowledge of our Education experts. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), 100% of our Education research submissions were judged world leading or internationally excellent in terms of the quality of the research environment and their impact – highlighting the vibrant, world-leading research environment you’ll be part of.

 

Health Sciences

Our Clinical Doctorate is the only one of its kind in Scotland, tailored to the needs of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. 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 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.

Study for a Health Sciences PhD or MPhil at the University of Stirling and you’ll join a friendly postgraduate health science community, where teaching, employability, internationalisation, facilities and inclusiveness are all five-star rated (QS Stars University Ratings 2018).

We’re proud of the key contributions made by our research students to our achievements and our PhD students are supervised and supported by leading academics who have outstanding multidisciplinary research records. These include specialists in public health, epidemiology, statistics, social marketing, health psychology, nursing, health services research and evaluation. They have expertise in a range of qualitative and quantitative methods. We’re committed to making a difference to world needs in health, wellbeing and society. If you share our passion, the University of Stirling is the perfect place to conduct postgraduate research in Health Sciences.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Health Sciences research

Study for a Nursing and Midwifery PhD or MPhil at the University of Stirling and you’ll join a friendly postgraduate health science community, where teaching, employability, internationalisation, facilities and inclusiveness are all five-star rated (QS Stars University Ratings 2018).

We’re proud of the key contributions made by our research students to our achievements and our PhD students are supervised and supported by leading academics who have outstanding multidisciplinary research records. These include registered nurses, midwives and other allied health care professionals, who have interests across the fields of practice and work in research teams in self-care, cancer care, evaluation and public health. We’re committed to making a difference to world needs in health, wellbeing and society. If you share our passion, the University of Stirling is the perfect place to conduct postgraduate research in Nursing.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Health Sciences research

History and Politics

This course brings together best practice in academic learning and professional expertise. A unique feature of the face-to-face and practical aspect of the course is weekend seminars, which maximise your opportunities for discussion of key issues and flexible delivery. The suite of modules includes diplomatic simulations and negotiation exercises, which can also be taken à la carte. The DDipl consists of two parts. Full-time students can expect to complete the degree in three to four years. The taught part of the course will last for two academic years if you’re a full-time student. In your final year (with the option of applying for a one-year extension), PhD candidates will complete a thesis within about one year. This thesis will enable you to reflect on pertinent issues of diplomacy in light of the theory and conceptual knowledge you have gained over the course of your degree – as well as through your independent research. Most working professionals are likely to choose part-time study for this degree. If you choose the part-time degree pathway, the completion of the DDipl will take proportionately longer.

Study for a PhD or MPhil in History at the University of Stirling and you’ll be part of a dynamic culture where collaboration is key, international links abound and the desire to make a meaningful contribution to society is always at the forefront of our minds.

Research students can draw on the expertise of our academic staff, all of whom have national and international reputations in their respective fields. We value the opportunity to work with new research talent and have put in place a supportive environment for you to develop your skills and pursue your specialist field of research.

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities has a vibrant postgraduate research community working across its four Divisions. Students are provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. Research students have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our History research

Study for a PhD or MPhil in Politics at the University of Stirling and you’ll be part of a dynamic culture where collaboration is key, international links abound and the desire to make a meaningful contribution to society is always at the forefront of our minds.

Research students can draw on the expertise of our academic staff, all of whom have national and international reputations in their respective fields. We value the opportunity to work with new research talent and have put in place a supportive environment for you to develop your skills and pursue your specialist field of research.

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities has a vibrant postgraduate research community working across its four Divisions. Students are provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. Research students have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Politics research

Housing

Our Applied Social Research Doctorate is designed to transform the way you think as a professional and ensure you can make a powerful impact in your field.

If you’re an experienced professional who wants to advance your expertise and broaden your career opportunities, this course is an ideal match. From the outset, you’ll gain high-quality research skills that can be immediately applied in the workplace and refined through access to seminars and advanced training opportunities. You’ll also benefit from the guidance of our expert staff and your interaction with fellow professionals and executives from a range of social science backgrounds.

The course is highly flexible and attendance is kept to a minimum to ensure you can fit your studies around your career. You’ll also have the opportunity to fine-tune your Doctorate based on your profession – choosing one of six pathways that include Housing. 

Ultimately, you’ll acquire skills that bring you up-to-date with the latest ideas, findings and research methods in your field, all of which you can feed back into optimising the workplace and taking decisive actions that improve services and advance your career. 

Study for a PhD in Housing Studies at the University of Stirling and you’ll be part of a research environment with an outstanding international reputation. In the Faculty of Social Sciences we engage with communities around the world and produce research that makes a positive difference to society. As a postgraduate researcher, you’ll receive expert support and encouragement as you conduct your research and pursue your ambitions.

Our Housing Studies staff are on the cutting-edge of housing research, with specialist expertise in policy analysis, homelessness and housing rights, social theory, housing and land market analysis. In the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), 75 percent of the research in Applied Social Science at Stirling was assessed as ‘Internationally Excellent' with the top 24 percent of that judged as ‘World-leading'.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Housing Studies research

Law and Philosophy

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, we were ranked 1st in Scotland for research publications in Law. Our staff are committed to producing high quality publications, which impact on legal scholarship and outside academia. Research is centred around a number of clusters, reflecting staff expertise. These include Private Law, Environmental and Energy Law, Public Law, Competition Law, Intellectual Property and Legal Philosophy. Our Law staff are involved in a number of research networks and groups – from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Implementation Project, to the University Association for Contemporary European Studies. Postgraduate students undertaking a PhD or MPhil in Law at the University benefit directly from our vibrant, interdisciplinary research environment, and play a key role in furthering the division’s knowledge.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Law research

The University of Stirling offers a range of postgraduate research opportunities in Philosophy through our collaboration with the University of St Andrews. The St Andrews and Stirling Graduate programme in Philosophy (SASP) is taught by the Philosophy departments at the University of St Andrews and the University of Stirling, which together form Scotland’s premier centre for Philosophy and one of the top Philosophy programmes in the United Kingdom. The philosophical ambience is rigorous, friendly and co-operative.

We offer graduate teaching at a level that matches the best graduate programmes elsewhere in the world, across many areas of Philosophy. Our students are active participants in both the Arché Philosophical Research Centre and the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs. In addition, the department hosts the Institute for Gender Studies.

Learn more about our Philosophy research

Literature and Languages

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment, 100% of our research environment in English was classed as world-leading or internationally excellent. As a PhD researcher in English, you’ll become a key part of that environment.

In conducting English studies research at Stirling, we are guided by our policy on impact: to preserve and make public global literary and cultural heritage; to develop new vocabularies to enhance understanding of cultural values and practices; to inspire and educate readers and audiences outside academia. Recent collaborations with external partners include the British Library, Aye Write!, the Edinburgh Festival of Spirituality and Peace, the Scottish Poetry Library, the National Trust for Scotland, NHS Scotland, and many others.

Research students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. Research students have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Literature and Languages research

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment, 81% of Literature and Language Research at the University of Stirling was rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

Studying for a PhD in French, you’ll benefit from our international partnerships and broad and deep specialisms in Francophone Studies, especially Africa and Canada/Quebec, as well as metropolitan France. These interests come together in our strengths in global Film Studies, where we bring together more specialists on more francophone areas than in any other French Studies grouping in the world.

Research students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. Research students have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Literature and Languages research

As a PhD student in Languages, Cultures and Religions you’ll contribute to a research culture that cuts across the disciplinary units of English, Modern Languages, Global Cinema and Religion, and foregrounds their intersections. We work within a shared set of research groups, bringing together outstanding researchers to develop their fields. Our wide-ranging expertise comprises creative practice and the study of global literatures, languages and cultures from the medieval period to the present day.

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 81% of our Literature and Languages research was classed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Research students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. Research students have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Literature and Languages research

The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication at the University of Stirling is a world-leading centre for postgraduate publishing studies, offering expertise in contemporary and historical publishing in the UK and beyond.

As a PhD researcher in Publishing Studies you’ll benefit from this expertise, as well as our collaborations with industry, publishing-related organisations and other universities. Research students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. You’ll also have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements Learn more about our Literature and Languages research

As a postgraduate researcher in Religious Studies at the University of Stirling, you’ll work with a range of scholars at the cutting edge of critical engagement, with key themes in religion, politics, gender, philosophy, economics and more.

Our Religion research seeks to interrogate the historical construction and limitations of the term itself, and to ask positive but searching questions about the place of religious discourse – and discourse on religion – in contemporary societies. We have a vibrant research environment that welcomes, values and supports PhD researchers. Religious Studies sits within the University’s Division of Literature and Languages, which had 81% of its research classed as world-leading or internationally excellent in the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment.

Research students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. Research students have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Literature and Languages research

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment, 81% of Literature and Language Research at the University of Stirling was rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

Studying for a PhD in Spanish, you’ll benefit from our international partnerships and broad expertise in film and visual cultures, literary writing and theory, postcolonial studies and more.

Research students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are provided with access to dedicated research facilities as well as an opportunity to attend a range of research seminars and workshops within specialist research centres and collaboratively across multi-disciplinary subjects. Research students have access to a number of training opportunities, at University, Faculty and Divisional levels, including subject specialist training within postgraduate research seminars and other forums.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Literature and Languages research

Management, Work and Organisation

Conducting a PhD in Management, Work and Organisation at the University of Stirling will put you at the heart of a vibrant environment which facilitates the development of world-class research. Research in the Division covers a range of business and management topics and supports knowledge exchange, research impact, as well as the development of young scholars. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework we were ranked among the UK’s top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of 101 Business Schools, and 90% of our research is rated as either world-leading or internationally excellent.

The Management, Work and Organisation Division is comprised of two Groups – Business and Strategy, and Working Lives. Staff in these Groups have international reputations for the quality of their research, which is published in leading journals such as the Journal of Management Studies, Human Relations, Journal of Business Ethics and more.

As a PhD researcher, you’ll benefit from all of our expertise and make your own key contributions in a supportive, collaborative environment.  

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Management, Work and Organisation research

Marketing and Retail

The PhD in Marketing and Retail enables students to undertake research in a broad range of topics. Students often conduct their research in collaboration with industry, charities, and governmental bodies with a view to using the findings of their research to improve some aspect of the organisation’s operation. The PhD programme is accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council and is affiliated with the prestigious Business and Management Pathway of the Scottish Graduate School. The Marketing and Retail division has particular strengths in consumer culture and society and retail studies, as well as brands and branding, corporate social responsibility, and marketing in the small and medium sized enterprise. Whether your career aim involves a research or teaching orientated academic career, working in a charity or NGO, or a career in business, the PhD in Marketing can help you achieve your goals.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Marketing and Retail research

Psychology

Our professional Doctorate in Health Psychology will train you to develop scientific and practitioner skills in Health Psychology, and to be eligible to become a health psychologist. It is based on real-world placement learning, and includes brief periods of teaching and workshops. 

You'll acquire specific competencies as defined by the British Psychological Society. You'll also gain competence in carrying out a piece of high quality empirical research to a standard publishable in peer review journals.

Supervision is provided by the experienced and enthusiastic health team in Psychology. We have an excellent international reputation in the field of Health Psychology with a record of high quality research into health and health behaviour.

The Professional Doctorate award is also available for study via a two year part-time top-up research doctorate route. Applicants who already hold a doctoral level (practitioner) qualification in Health Psychology via the British Psychological Society (QHP), and are eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a ‘Health Psychologist’ will be eligible to complete the research module for award of the Professional Doctorate degree.

Students following this route will be required to complete the 240 credit ‘Applied Research in Health Psychology’ module, via one-to-one supervision.

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 100% of our Psychology impact case studies were rated as world-leading. From the neuropsychology of perception and action to influences of smell on mate choice, we have a diverse range of research interests, and our staff are highly collaborative, with an extensive network of international research partners. Many of our academic staff and students conduct interdisciplinary research while working closely with public services and industry. Our research is organised in three overarching research groups: Cognition in Complex Environments, Behaviour & Evolution and Health and Behaviour Change. We have a collegiate working environment that provides excellent support and mentoring to early career researchers, making Stirling the perfect place to study for a PhD or MPhil in Psychology.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Psychology research

Social Work

Our Applied Social Research Doctorate is designed to transform the way you think as a professional and ensure you can make a powerful impact in your field.

If you’re an experienced professional who wants to advance your expertise and broaden your career opportunities, this course is an ideal match. From the outset, you’ll gain high-quality research skills that can be immediately applied in the workplace and refined through access to seminars and advanced training opportunities. You’ll also benefit from the guidance of our expert staff and your interaction with fellow professionals and executives from a range of social science backgrounds.

The course is highly flexible and attendance is kept to a minimum to ensure you can fit your studies around your career. You’ll also have the opportunity to fine-tune your Doctorate based on your profession – choosing one of six pathways that include Social Work. 

Ultimately, you’ll acquire skills that bring you up-to-date with the latest ideas, findings and research methods in your field, all of which you can feed back into optimising the workplace and taking decisive actions that improve services and advance your career. 

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 100% of research submissions from our Faculty of Social Sciences were rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

As a PhD researcher in Social Work, you’ll benefit from our desire to engage with communities around the world and produce research that makes a positive difference to society. Our staff having outstanding international research records, and you’ll be part of a Faculty that hosts and collaborates with renowned centres and networks such as The Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection, the Dementia Services Development Centre and many more.

Our research influences policy, shapes thinking and improves lives. Postgraduate researchers in Social Work have a key role to play in all that we do, and we offer a supportive, encouraging environment to help you achieve your goals.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Social Work research

Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology

The University of Stirling is ranked first in Scotland and 3rd in the UK for Criminology (The Guardian University Guide 2021). Our world-class teaching is underpinned by leading-edge empirical and theoretical research in a vibrant, multi-disciplinary environment which welcomes and supports PhD researchers in achieving their goals.   

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment, Social Work and Social Policy research at Stirling was judged to have the 2nd highest research power in Scotland and 13th highest in the UK. Join us to study for a PhD and play a key role in work that is influencing policy and positively impacting society.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements Learn more about our Criminology research

Our Applied Social Research Doctorate is designed to transform the way you think as a professional and ensure you can make a powerful impact in your field.

If you’re an experienced professional who wants to advance your expertise and broaden your career opportunities, this course is an ideal match. From the outset, you’ll gain high-quality research skills that can be immediately applied in the workplace and refined through access to seminars and advanced training opportunities. You’ll also benefit from the guidance of our expert staff and your interaction with fellow professionals and executives from a range of social science backgrounds.

The course is highly flexible and attendance is kept to a minimum to ensure you can fit your studies around your career. You’ll also have the opportunity to fine-tune your Doctorate based on your profession – choosing one of six pathways that include Criminal Justice.

Ultimately, you’ll acquire skills that bring you up-to-date with the latest ideas, findings and research methods in your field, all of which you can feed back into optimising the workplace and taking decisive actions that improve services and advance your career. 

Our Applied Social Research Doctorate is designed to transform the way you think as a professional and ensure you can make a powerful impact in your field.

If you’re an experienced professional who wants to advance your expertise and broaden your career opportunities, this course is an ideal match. From the outset, you’ll gain high-quality research skills that can be immediately applied in the workplace and refined through access to seminars and advanced training opportunities. You’ll also benefit from the guidance of our expert staff and your interaction with fellow professionals and executives from a range of social science backgrounds.

The course is highly flexible and attendance is kept to a minimum to ensure you can fit your studies around your career. You’ll also have the opportunity to fine-tune your Doctorate based on your profession – choosing one of six pathways that include Drug and Alcohol Studies.

Ultimately, you’ll acquire skills that bring you up-to-date with the latest ideas, findings and research methods in your field, all of which you can feed back into optimising the workplace and taking decisive actions that improve services and advance your career. 

Our Applied Social Research Doctorate is designed to transform the way you think as a professional and ensure you can make a powerful impact in your field.

If you’re an experienced professional who wants to advance your expertise and broaden your career opportunities, this course is an ideal match. From the outset, you’ll gain high-quality research skills that can be immediately applied in the workplace and refined through access to seminars and advanced training opportunities. You’ll also benefit from the guidance of our expert staff and your interaction with fellow professionals and executives from a range of social science backgrounds.

The course is highly flexible and attendance is kept to a minimum to ensure you can fit your studies around your career. You’ll also have the opportunity to fine-tune your Doctorate based on your profession – choosing one of six pathways, including a specialisation in Social Research.

Ultimately, you’ll acquire skills that bring you up-to-date with the latest ideas, findings and research methods in your field, all of which you can feed back into optimising the workplace and taking decisive actions that improve services and advance your career.

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, 100% of research submissions from our Faculty of Social Sciences were rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

As a PhD researcher in Sociology and Social Policy, you’ll benefit from our desire to engage with communities around the world and produce research that makes a positive difference to society. Our staff having outstanding international research records, and you’ll be part of a Faculty that hosts and collaborates with renowned centres and networks such as The Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection, the Dementia Services Development Centre and many more.

Our research influences policy, shapes thinking and improves lives. Postgraduate researchers in Sociology and Social Policy have a key role to play in all that we do, and we offer a supportive, encouraging environment to help you achieve your goals.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Sociology and Social Policy research

Sport

As Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence and Sports University of the Year 2020, we pride ourselves on game-changing research. We’re shedding light on the risks posed by heading footballs, informing the conversation around anti-doping and inspiring the next generation to form healthy habits. Sport is in our DNA, and our research reflects our passion to make an impact on the global stage.

Our campus is home to Olympic athletes, national academies for tennis and swimming and unique five-star facilities – creating a dynamic environment where theory and practice are closely interlinked.

PhD studies in Sport and Exercise Science can be undertaken in diverse contexts from high performance sport to population health. Staff specialisms include genetics and molecular biology, nutrition and hydration, neuro-muscular function and physical activity. Doctoral students join a dynamic, internationally recognised academic community carrying out innovative studies that improve human health and performance and address global challenges.

Meanwhile, our expertise in Sport and Social Sciences allows doctoral students to conduct original studies across diverse sub-disciplines including sport coaching, sport psychology, sport policy, sociology of sport, and sport management, governance and economics. Our strong connections across the sport, health and exercise sectors allow students to address key issues in sport including anti-doping policy, coach education, sport for social change, sport and identity, and sport mega events. Our expertise includes the role of sport in contributing to health and wellbeing, including active lifestyles and workplace health.

Read more about how to apply and see entry requirements What's the difference between a PhD and an MPhil? Learn more about our Sport research