Which is the right research degree for you?

Here at the University of Stirling, we’re all about choice. Our research degrees give you the flexibility and freedom to carry out original quality research, supporting you to solve real-world problems.

See which research degree is right for you and your career ambitions. You can also see a full list of the 50+ PhD subject areas we offer supervision in. 

Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

We offer Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees for students wanting to undertake a defined research project, or a suite of work that culminates in a thesis. An MPhil qualification is typically shorter than a PhD, but is completed to the same academic quality. Students often complete an MPhil degree within two years, and three to four years for a PhD.

To achieve the award of MPhil or PhD, students must demonstrate their ability to apply appropriate research methods to a specialist topic or question, and display a critical understanding of the key issues and debates in their chosen field. The thesis may contain, or be the basis for, published peer-reviewed papers, and students will have the opportunity to publish during and after their degree.

Students undertaking these degrees will also be expected to complete a viva voce (oral examination), where they must present their work in front of a panel of experts and justify why their thesis makes a valuable contribution to the field.

Professional Doctorates

A Professional Doctorate is a qualification that integrates professional and academic knowledge. It’s designed for professionals who want to focus on a particular area in their field, and make a contribution to theory and practice through further study. Courses comprise a taught element in the first year, followed by a significant period of independent research.

Professional Doctorates often take full-time students three to four years to complete, or six to eight years part-time.

These courses are generally delivered on a part-time basis to better suit working professionals, but in some cases, full-time courses may be available.

We offer a number of professional doctorates:

Student stories

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

Contact us

If you have any questions about Postgraduate Research at Stirling, please contact us.