How to apply for a postgraduate course

Once you’ve found the perfect postgraduate course for you, the application process couldn’t be easier. Watch our short video to find out how simple it is.

1. Check your entry requirements

Before you start working on your application, you should check the entry requirements for your chosen course. For most of our postgraduate degrees, we ask for a minimum of a second-class Honours degree or equivalent, but some courses also require a higher level of award, relevant work experience or prior knowledge within a related subject area.

Check our current entry requirements on your chosen course page.

If you’re an international student and don’t meet the required academic and English-language criteria for entry onto our degrees, we have a number of preparatory programmes offering progression to a wide range of postgraduate degrees at Stirling.

Find out more about our pathway programmes.

2. When to apply

You can apply up to a year in advance of your course start date and we accept applications throughout the year.

Most of our courses start in September but we also have a range of Masters courses starting in January.

3. Completing your application

You can apply directly from our course pages or go directly to our online application form.

If you’re an international student you can also apply via an international representative. You can find our international representatives on our country-specific pages. You can also email our international recruitment team to see what representatives are in your area:

About to complete your undergraduate degree at Stirling? If you are, you can log onto the portal and complete a fast-track application for your chosen course. This route is only applicable to undergraduate students in their final year.

Already started an online application? If you have already started an application but not yet submitted it, we will have sent you an email containing instructions on how to return to your saved information. If you cannot find this email, find out how to return to your existing online application.

What you need to include in your application

You are required to provide us with clear scanned or digital copies of your documents which show the full page including all four corners.

You must include the following documents:

  • your academic transcript from your undergraduate programme along with your graduation certificate. If you are still studying, then an interim transcript will suffice and your university will be able to advise you on how to get one.
  • copies of your academic qualifications or certificates
  • an academic transcript from your undergraduate programme
  • one reference: if you are applying for one of the professional courses listed below you must provide a professional reference from someone who knows your work well enough and can attest your ability to study at postgraduate level. This would normally be an academic in your final year of study (your dissertation supervisor, for example) or if you have been out of education for some time, your employer.

    Advancing Practice
    Applied Professional Studies
    Dementia Studies (online)
    Early Years Practice (Health Visiting)
    Doctorate Health Psychology
    Health Psychology
    Psychology (accredited conversion)
    Social Work Studies

  • supporting statement – a brief essay on why you want to study this course. See our guidance on what makes a good personal statement.

EU and international students also need to submit:

  • a certified translated version of your transcript (if necessary)  
  • evidence of English language proficiency (if relevant)

Although there is an option to apply first and then submit your evidence later, we would strongly advise that you apply and upload your documents at the same time as this will make for a much quicker decision on your application.

International students who require a visa to enter the UK must also provide:

  • a copy of the personal details page of your valid passport
  • a copy of your current Student visa, if you’re currently studying in the UK

Once your application is received, you’ll get a confirmation email from the University’s Admissions Team containing a unique reference number. Please quote this number when you contact us about any aspect of your application.

Want to stay in touch?

When submitting your application you can also opt-in to receive essential information about the University of Stirling. We’ll be in touch via email with everything you’ll need to know about studying at Stirling, and you can change your mind at any time.

4. Offers

We aim to make a decision on your application as quickly as possible. If you want to ask about the status of your application then please email quoting your student reference number.

We’ll get in touch with you when a decision has been made on your application. 

If we contact you requesting additional evidence, please respond to us as soon as you can.

Once a decision has been made on your application, you will be sent an offer by email.

These are the responses you could receive:

  • an unconditional offer which means that you satisfy all the conditions required for entry and we’re offering you a place
  • a conditional offer which means you have not yet satisfied all the conditions of entry. We’ll send you a letter with the conditions you need to meet and may include such things as the classification of your degree award or evidence of English language proficiency
  • you have been unsuccessful in your application and we’re unable to offer you a place

5. Responding to our offer

If you receive an offer, congratulations! Please respond to our offer as soon as you can, even if it’s only to let us know that you are declining.

You’ll be sent all of the information you need to access our Applicant Portal to respond to your offer. Your Applicant Portal can also be used to upload documentation, apply for University accommodation and select fee payment options.

If you require an entry visa to the UK you’ll also be sent instructions on how to proceed.

You’ll receive a welcome email before you start your course which includes:

  • our online enrolment process
  • fee payment options
  • details of our welcome and orientation events for all new students whether coming to campus or studying online

6. Coming from overseas? Some things you may want to consider

Students coming in to the UK from overseas will require a visa.

You will find information on the Government website on whether you need to apply for a visa. 

If you do, you will need a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies) number, which is an electronic document containing a unique number for inclusion in your visa application. You will need to have accepted your unconditional offer and paid your tuition fee deposit.

Once you have applied for your visa, you may be called for an interview. They will want to know that your English is up to a suitable standard and may ask you questions about why you chose to study in the UK and at Stirling. We always recommend that students from overseas apply as soon as they can, but CAS information is only issued three months before the start of the new academic year.

You will find some useful information for applicants from the UK Council for International Student Affairs.

7. Unable to take up your place?

If you are not able to take up your place there are a number of options available to you. 

  • You can opt to withdraw your application from your Applicant Portal.
  • Once you have your offer, you can decline it, if you think that your situation will not change (again, you can do this from your Applicant Portal).
  • If you think that your reason may be temporary then you can defer your offer although you would normally only get one opportunity to decline. If you have already paid your tuition fee deposit, then if you defer, this will go forward to the next year of application.

 If you have paid your tuition fee deposit, then you will find details on requesting a refund under 4.3.

Student stories

Mila Goranova
Mila Goranova
MSc Big Data
The MSc Big Data course was a stepping stone into my academic career. My studies helped me improve my programming skills and critical thinking that are essential for my profession.
Read Mila's story
Yang Liu
Yang Liu
The best part of my course is the micro-teaching module. It offers students the opportunity to practice teaching in a simulated class, which is a good way to build confidence and overcome your nerves.
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Postgraduate admissions

If you have any questions about postgraduate study please contact us.