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Educational Research [MRes, PGDIP, PGCert]

Course Description

This innovative course prepares you for doctoral studies and a career in Educational Research through a series of taught modules and a dissertation. Under the expert guidance of a team of leading academics you will learn the skills of research, from conception through to design, methodology and data collection, to analysis, interpretation and dissemination. As part of the course you will engage closely with cutting edge research projects currently being undertaken by Education staff in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Key information

-Degree type: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, MRes.
-Study methods: Full time, part time. Mixture of online and classroom delivery.
-Duration: Full time 12 months, part time 27 months.
-Start date: September.
-Course Director: Dr G Mannion.
-Location: Stirling Campus.

Course objectives

The MRes is designed to equip you for a career in educational research or as preparation for doctoral study (as a 1 + 3 route to PhD). You will develop a range of research skills and will engage closely with current research projects in Education. The course will offer you:
-A structured taught course in educational research.
-Excellent preparation for doctoral studies by research.
-First-hand experience of current education research projects in the Faculty of Social Sciences.
-The award of a Master’s degree.
-A course recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The Faculty of Social Sciences is committed to developing capable educational researchers as well as enabling you to improve your career prospects, employability is an important focus of this course. We aim to:
-Recruit people with a good degree in social sciences.
-Enable you to undertake collaborative tasks and assignments.
-Enable you to successfully undertake a viable research project, relevant to existing interests in Education, and to fulfil your aims and aspirations for your future doctoral studies or work.

About the Faculty

The Faculty of Social Sciences is a large interdisciplinary unit, combining teaching and research interests in: Dementia; Education; Housing Studies; Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology; and Social Work. We offer an established, research-led suite of taught postgraduate courses, including our world renowned Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) courses, ESRC-recognised courses in Social Research and diverse Doctoral opportunities.

Our externally accredited professional courses, such as Educational Leadership, Housing Studies and Social Work Studies, are designed to best equip our students with practical and transferable knowledge for the complex demands of professional practice. The Faculty is home to a vibrant and diverse community of academics and postgraduate students, where creative thinking and independent spirit is promoted and celebrated.

Other admission requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
-IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill.
-Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C.
-Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B.
-Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component.
-IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20.

For more information go to English language requirements: http://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses: http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx

Visit the Educational Research [MRes, PGDIP, PGCert] page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Bethan Mitchell

2633.jpg Why did you decide to study a postgraduate course?

When I finished my first Masters degree I was very keen on exploring workplace and professional learning further. I was particularly interested in Actor-Network Theory and had attended a conference at Stirling University where this was discussed widely.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Stirling University?

For my Masters in Research Methods, I enjoyed the placement most. It was an excellent opportunity to go into the workplace specifically to conduct research. I presented my work at the Doctoral Conference and displayed and presented a poster at the ProPEL conference. It was a valuable and rewarding experience that I will draw on for my research degree.

Which aspects of the programme did you enjoy the most?

I enjoyed the workshops that were provided for the PhD students. These were a great combination of theory and discussion, and got us reading (and talking) about key theories in education research that we might otherwise not have come across.

Do you think the degree has made you more employable, or better prepared for further study? If yes, what are the key skills? What contacts/networks have you made in your time at Stirling?

My Masters in Research Methods will help me if I seek work as a researcher. It also gave me a good grounding for the PhD; even though I already had a Masters degree, the MRes developed specific skills and knowledge. For example, the course covered NVivo (computer software for qualitative research), quantitative methods (STATA), and qualitative methods such as interviews, discourse analysis and analysing data. Not all of these are directly relevant to my PhD, but it is very useful to know and I may draw on these in the future. I would encourage students who are thinking of going into research to undertake this course.

What advice would you give a student considering studying at Stirling?

Come and enjoy studying in a beautiful place! When you need to study there’s a great library, and when you need to think, there are lots of lovely walks.

How would you summarise your time at Stirling?

Hard work but rewarding, and I still have lots of hard work to come with the PhD. At least I can do this in lovely surroundings with the support of brilliant staff.

If you have now graduated, what are you doing now?

PhD in Education Research at Stirling


University of Stirling Postgraduate Merit Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Masters course or £1,000 for part-time study.Your eligibility will be verified after enrolment and you will be contacted with further details, through your University email address.Please note that award of this scholarship cannot be combined with any other scholarship or award. This award is only available to self-funded students who are paying the full course tuition fee to the University of Stirling.Availability
Available to any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent). It is not available to students studying postgraduate certificates, diplomas or modules. Additionally, it is only available to self-funded students paying tuition fees to the University of Stirling. This scholarship will be awarded in two instalments at the end of each of Semester.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Masters course or £1,000 for part-time study


Available to any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent). It is not available to students studying postgraduate certificates, diplomas or modules. Additionally, it is only available to self-funded students paying tuition fees to the University of Stirling.

Application Procedure

To be considered, you must forward on a copy of your degree certificate and academic transcript when available to [email protected]

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply. See course description for further admission details.

Last Updated

22 August 2016

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Recipient: University of Stirling

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