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PhD Education / Overview

Year of entry: 2024

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  • Bachelor's (Honours) degree at 2:1 or above (or overseas equivalent); and
  • Master's degree in a relevant subject - with an overall average of 60% or above, a minimum mark of 60% in your dissertation (or overseas equivalent)

Full entry requirements

Apply online

Please ensure you include all required supporting documents at the time of submission, as incomplete applications may not be considered.

Application Deadlines

For consideration in internal funding competitions, you must submit your completed application by 19 January 2024.

If you are applying for or have secured external funding (for example, from an employer or government) or are self-funding, you must submit your application before the below deadline to be considered. You will not be able to apply after this date has passed.

  • For September 2024 entry: 30 June 2024

Programme options

Programme overview.

  • We're ranked in the top ten universities in the UK for Education (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022).
  • Learn with research-active experts in the field of education and work with highly diverse cohorts of students and staff.
  • Contribute to improvements in the overall wellbeing of students, their families and communities throughout the world through research.

The University holds regular open days, where you will have the opportunity to tour the campus and find out more about our facilities and programmes. On this day, you will find out more about the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) and meet academic and admissions staff who will be able to answer any questions you have.

For more information, see Open days.

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2024, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time) UK students (per annum): £6,000 International, including EU, students (per annum): £21,500
  • PhD (part-time) UK students (per annum): £3,000 International, including EU, students (per annum): £10,750

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Your fees will cover the cost of your study at the University, as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision, examinations and graduation (excluding graduation robe hire).

Payment of tuition fees will also entitle you to membership of The University of Manchester library, the Students' Union and the Athletic Union.

Scholarships/sponsorships

There are a range of scholarships, studentships and awards to support both UK and overseas postgraduate researchers, details of which can be found via the links below.

To apply University of Manchester funding, you must indicate in your application the competitions for which you wish to be considered. The deadline for most internal competitions, including School of Environment, Education and Development studentships is 19 January 2024.

All external funding competitions have a specified deadline for submitting the funding application form and a separate (earlier) deadline for submitting the online programme application form, both of which will be stated in the funding competition details below.

For more information about funding, visit our funding page to browse for scholarships, studentships and awards you may be eligible for.

  • ESRC North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP) PhD Studentships 2024 Entry
  • School of Environment, Education and Development Postgraduate Research Studentships 2024 Entry
  • China Scholarship Council - The University of Manchester (CSC-UoM) Joint Scholarship Programme 2024 Entry
  • Trudeau Doctoral Scholarships 2024 Entry
  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (High Income Countries)
  • School of Environment, Education and Development Enhancing Racial Equality (SERE) Studentship 2024 Entry
  • Humanities Doctoral Academy Humanitarian Scholarship 2024 Entry
  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (Least Developed Countries and Fragile States)
  • President's Doctoral Scholar (PDS) Awards 2024 Entry

Contact details

Programmes in related subject areas.

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

Regulated by the Office for Students

The University of Manchester is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS aims to help students succeed in Higher Education by ensuring they receive excellent information and guidance, get high quality education that prepares them for the future and by protecting their interests. More information can be found at the OfS website .

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Manchester, including our Degree Regulations and Complaints Procedure, on our regulations website .

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Department of Education

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PhD in Education

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Programme Leader:   Dr Sally Hancock

The PhD in Education is available to be studied in 3 modes: part-time, full-time, and  distance learning

In order to apply for a PhD place, we ask that you first submit an application form.  We cannot accept a CV or any other documentation in place of a formal application.  When you apply for a PhD place, you must submit a research proposal about 1,500 words in length. Apply now for the PhD in Education

The PhD in Education is designed to enhance specialised knowledge through academic study and research.

The programme aims to enable students to gain a solid grounding in research methodology, and to successfully carry out a substantial piece of academic research.

We are interested in hearing from students doing projects in the following broad research areas:  http://www.york.ac.uk/education/postgraduate/research-topics/

Our PhD research students in recent years have come both from the United Kingdom and from many overseas countries. Many of our overseas students have chosen to conduct studies which involve collecting fieldwork data in their home country. Proposals to conduct a study which involves collecting fieldwork data overseas are welcomed.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to have a good honours degree or a master's degree (MA, MSc or MEd) in a relevant discipline although candidates with other evidence of ability to succeed at PhD level will also be considered.

If English is not your first language, we do expect you to be able to demonstrate a high level of proficiency.  The minimum requirement for PhD in Education is IELTS 7.0 withno less than 6.5 in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.  For further information please see  English language requirements .

As part of the application process, you will be invited for interview (face-to-face or via Skype). 

You must submit a research proposal ; we are unable to consider your application without one. 

Information on the application procedure can be found at the  University postgraduate pages .

Apply now for the PhD in Education

Apply now for the PhD in Education (Distance Learning)

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Education PhD

For 2024-2025 £4,778 full time (UK)  £2,389 part time (UK) £21,360 full time (International) £10,680 part time (International)

More  Fees and funding details.

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The School of Education has a national and international reputation as a centre of excellence and provides wide and varied opportunities for students to undertake full or part-time research.

The School of Education has a national and international standing as a centre of excellence for research in education which is recognised by consistently scoring high in the national assessment of the research (REF) which takes place across all UK universities approximately every 6 years. The results of the latest  2021 Research Excellent Framework (REF)  show that the School of Education is ranked 3rd in the UK for its research. 

The original Department of Education was founded in 1896 and became the School of Education in 1947. It is one of the largest research-led schools of education in the UK employing over 100 academic staff who teach more than 2,500 students. It is also home to a number of  departments and research centres . The university also has a Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) which has been accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). 

Our strategy towards research and research degrees is centred on three key principles:

  • Research should seek to combine scholarly and empirical work on fundamental issues with a concern for development work linked to practice; a dialogue between fundamental study and development work can enrich both
  • Research should recognise the importance of professional practice and be pursued through active collaboration with schools, colleges, local authorities, and voluntary and other professional bodies in the UK and internationally
  • Research is often a multidisciplinary activity and strong links across specialisms must be encouraged and supported

The interdependence of research with development and professional practice means that we particularly welcome the contribution of research students to our work. We provide a comprehensive programme of research training, together with opportunities to take part in research seminars where speakers with national and international reputations present work that is at the forefront of current debates within the field.

The Education PhD

A PhD requires a minimum period of study as a registered student of normally three years full-time or six years part-time. It is assessed by thesis only, and is examined by a work of a maximum of 80,000 words and an oral examination. You will be required to complete a research training programme, normally within the first two years of registration.

Please visit our school postgraduate research pages  to find out more about all our postgraduate research degrees, including our taught doctoral programmes. You will also be able to find out more about the support we can offer you whilst you are undertaking your research. You will also be able to view the profiles of some of our current doctoral researchers to find out more about their research topics.

We also encourage you to visit the school  research pages  to find out more about our current research.

Scholarships

Scholarships may be available.

I decided to apply for postgraduate study because I wanted to become a researcher and this job requires a postgraduate qualification. The UK maintains its leading status in educational research, and applying to the University of Birmingham, one of the leading research-intensive universities in the UK, was an obvious choice for me. Kristina Gruzdeva, PhD Education

Fees 2024 - 2025

  • Code 2606 - £4,778 full-time
  • Code 2607 - £2,389 part-time

International

  • Code 2606 - £21,360 full-time
  • Code 2607 - £10,680 part-time

The fees shown above are the annual fees for students starting their PhD in September in 2024. Please note that the annual fees for subsequent years on the course may increase due to inflation. 

Learn more about fees

Scholarships and Loans

Please visit our dedicated Postgraduate funding database for further information on scholarships you may be eligible to apply for or contact the Funding, Graduation & Awards Office via  online enquiries.  

Eligible Doctoral students can now apply for a government loan of up to £28,673 (for 2023/2024 entry) to contribute to overall costs. 

How To Apply

PhD applications will normally need to be received by June 2024 for a September start.

When applying for a PhD programme you will be required to submit a detailed proposal, which outlines the nature of your proposed study. This proposal will not be held as a final contract and may change in negotiation with your supervisor. However, it is an indication that you have the background ideas and knowledge to begin independent research in the broad area of your interest. It also enables us to send your application to appropriate members of staff for consideration.

  • How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate research programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the research programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page . Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Our Standard Requirements

When you apply, the application system will ask you to upload a research proposal for submission together with your application. 

We require an IELTS 7 or other equivalent English language qualification with no less than 6.5 in any band.

Learn more about entry requirements

International Requirements

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 14/20 from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of the Licenciado or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Argentinian university, with a promedio of at least 7.5, may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Applicants for PhD degrees will normally have a Maestria or equivalent

Applicants who hold a Masters degree will be considered for admission to PhD study.

Holders of a good four-year Diplomstudium/Magister or a Masters degree from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 2.5 will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students with a good 5-year Specialist Diploma or 4-year Bachelor degree from a recognised higher education institution in Azerbaijan, with a minimum GPA of 4/5 or 80% will be considered for entry to postgraduate taught programmes at the University of Birmingham.

For postgraduate research programmes applicants should have a good 5-year Specialist Diploma (completed after 1991), with a minimum grade point average of 4/5 or 80%, from a recognised higher education institution or a Masters or “Magistr Diplomu” or “Kandidat Nauk” from a recognised higher education institution in Azerbaijan.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 75% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with a CGPA of 3.0-3.3/4.0 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Students who hold a Masters degree from the University of Botswana with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 (70%/B/'very good') will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Please note 4-year bachelor degrees from the University of Botswana are considered equivalent to a Diploma of Higher Education. 5-year bachelor degrees from the University of Botswana are considered equivalent to a British Bachelor (Ordinary) degree.

Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

A Licenciatura or Bacharelado degree from a recognised Brazilian university:

  • A grade of 7.5/10 for entry to programmes with a 2:1 requirement
  • A grade of 6.5/10for entry to programmes with a 2:2 requirement

Holders of a good Bachelors degree with honours (4 to 6 years) from a recognised university with a upper second class grade or higher will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.  Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good post-2001 Masters degree from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students with a minimum average of 14 out of 20 (or 70%) on a 4-year Licence, Bachelor degree or Diplôme d'Etudes Superieures de Commerce (DESC) or Diplôme d'Ingénieur or a Maîtrise will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Holders of a bachelor degree with honours from a recognised Canadian university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. A GPA of 3.0/4, 7.0/9 or 75% is usually equivalent to a UK 2.1.

Holders of the Licenciado or equivalent Professional Title from a recognised Chilean university will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Applicants for PhD study will preferably hold a Magister degree or equivalent.

Students with a bachelor’s degree (4 years minimum) may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. However please note that we will only consider students who meet the entry guidance below.  Please note: for the subject areas below we use the Shanghai Ranking 2022 (full table)  ,  Shanghai Ranking 2023 (full table) , and Shanghai Ranking of Chinese Art Universities 2023 .

需要具备学士学位(4年制)的申请人可申请研究生课程。请根据所申请的课程查看相应的入学要求。 请注意,中国院校名单参考 软科中国大学排名2022(总榜) ,  软科中国大学排名2023(总榜) ,以及 软科中国艺术类高校名单2023 。  

Business School    - MSc programmes (excluding MBA)  

商学院硕士课程(MBA除外)入学要求

School of Computer Science – all MSc programmes 计算机学院硕士课程入学要求

College of Social Sciences – courses listed below 社会科学 学院部分硕士课程入学要求 MA Education  (including all pathways) MSc TESOL Education MSc Public Management MA Global Public Policy MA Social Policy MA Sociology Department of Political Science and International Studies  全部硕士课程 International Development Department  全部硕士课程

  All other programmes (including MBA)   所有其他 硕士课程(包括 MBA)入学要求

Please note:

  • Borderline cases: We may consider students with lower average score (within 5%) on a case-by-case basis if you have a relevant degree and very excellent grades in relevant subjects and/or relevant work experience. 如申请人均分低于相应录取要求(5%以内),但具有出色学术背景,优异的专业成绩,以及(或)相关的工作经验,部分课程将有可能单独酌情考虑。
  • Please contact the China Recruitment Team for any questions on the above entry requirements. 如果您对录取要求有疑问,请联系伯明翰大学中国办公室   [email protected]

Holders of the Licenciado/Professional Title from a recognised Colombian university will be considered for our Postgraduate Diploma and Masters degrees. Applicants for PhD degrees will normally have a Maestria or equivalent.

Holders of a good bachelor degree with honours (4 to 6 years) from a recognised university with a upper second class grade or higher will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.  Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Bacclaureus (Bachelors) from a recognised Croatian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 4.0 out of 5.0, vrlo dobar ‘very good’, or a Masters degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a Bachelors degree(from the University of the West Indies or the University of Technology) may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. A Class II Upper Division degree is usually equivalent to a UK 2.1. For further details on particular institutions please refer to the list below.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Masters degree or Mphil from the University of the West Indies.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised institution with a minimum overall grade of 6.5 out of 10, or a GPA of 3 out of 4, and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Bakalár from a recognised Czech Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 1.5, B, velmi dobre ‘very good’ (post-2004) or 2, velmi dobre ‘good’ (pre-2004), or a good post-2002 Magistr (Masters), will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised institution with a minimum overall grade of 7-10 out of 12 (or 8 out of 13) or higher for 2:1 equivalence and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters/ Magisterkonfereus/Magister Artium degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of the Licenciado or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Ecuadorian university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Grades of 70% or higher can be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Magister/Masterado or equivalent qualification, but holders of the Licenciado with excellent grades can be considered.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 75% from a recognised institution. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Bakalaurusekraad from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 4/5 or B, or a good one- or two-year Magistrikraad from a recognised university, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree with very good grades (grade B, 3.5/4 GPA or 85%) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. 

Holders of a good Kandidaatti / Kandidat (old system), a professional title such as Ekonomi, Diplomi-insinööri, Arkkitehti, Lisensiaatti (in Medicine, Dentistry and Vetinary Medicine), or a Maisteri / Magister (new system), Lisensiaatti / Licenciat, Oikeustieteen Kandidaatti / Juris Kandidat (new system) or Proviisori / Provisor from a recognised Finnish Higher Education institution, with a minimum overall grade of 2/3 or 4/5, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters/Maîtrise with a minimum overall grade of 13 out of 20, or a Magistère / Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies / Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures Specialisées / Mastère Specialis, from a recognised French university or Grande École to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a Magister Artium, a Diplom or an Erstes Staatsexamen from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 2.5, or a good two-year Lizentiat / Aufbaustudium / Zweites Staatsexamen or a Masters degree from a recognised university, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good four-year Ptychio (Bachelor degree) with a minimum overall grade of 6.5 out of 10, from a recognised Greek university (AEI), and will usually be required to have completed a good Metaptychiako Diploma Eidikefsis (Masters degree) from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

4-year Licenciado is deemed equivalent to a UK bachelors degree. A score of 75 or higher from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC) can be considered comparable to a UK 2.1, 60 is comparable to a UK 2.2.  Private universities have a higher pass mark, so 80 or higher should be considered comparable to a UK 2.1, 70 is comparable to a UK 2.2

The Hong Kong Bachelor degree is considered comparable to British Bachelor degree standard. Students with bachelor degrees awarded by universities in Hong Kong may be considered for entry to one of our postgraduate degree programmes.

Students with Masters degrees may be considered for PhD study.

Holders of a good Alapfokozat / Alapképzés or Egyetemi Oklevel from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 3.5, or a good Mesterfokozat (Masters degree) or Egyetemi Doktor (university doctorate), will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with a 60% or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of the 4 year Sarjana (S1) from a recognised Indonesian institution will be considered for postgraduate study. Entry requirements vary with a minimum requirement of a GPA of 2.8.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a score of 14/20 or 70% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution, with 100 out of 110 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Students who hold the Maitrise, Diplome d'Etude Approfondies, Diplome d'Etude Superieures or Diplome d'Etude Superieures Specialisees will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees (14-15/20 or Bien from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 12-13/20 or Assez Bien is considered comparable to a UK 2.2).

Students with a Bachelor degree from a recognised university in Japan will be considered for entry to a postgraduate Masters degree provided they achieve a sufficiently high overall score in their first (Bachelor) degree. A GPA of 3.0/4.0 or a B average from a good Japanese university is usually considered equivalent to a UK 2:1.

Students with a Masters degree from a recognised university in Japan will be considered for PhD study. A high overall grade will be necessary to be considered.

Students who have completed their Specialist Diploma Мамаң дипломы/Диплом специалиста) or "Magistr" (Магистр дипломы/Диплом магистра) degree (completed after 1991) from a recognised higher education institution, with a minimum GPA of 2.67/4.00 for courses requiring a UK lower second and 3.00/4.00 for courses requiring a UK upper second class degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate Masters degrees and, occasionally, directly for PhD degrees.  Holders of a Bachelor "Bakalavr" degree (Бакалавр дипломы/Диплом бакалавра) from a recognised higher education institution, with a minimum GPA of  2.67/4.00 for courses requiring a UK lower second and 3.00/4.00 for courses requiring a UK upper second class degree, may also be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/50

Holders of a good Postgraduate Diploma (professional programme) from a recognised university or institution of Higher Education, with a minimum overall grade of 7.5 out of 10, or a post-2000 Magistrs, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a score of 16/20 or 80% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in Libya will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of a Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved score of 70% for 2:1 equivalency or 65% for 2:2 equivalency. Alternatively students will require a minimum of 3.0/4.0 or BB to be considered.

Holders of a good pre-2001 Magistras from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 8 out of 10, or a good post-2001 Magistras, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes

Holders of a good Bachelors degree from a recognised Luxembourgish Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 16 out of 20, or a Diplôme d'Études Supérieures Spécialisées (comparable to a UK PGDip) or Masters degree from a recognised Luxembourgish Higher Education institution will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees (70-74% or A or Marginal Distinction from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 60-69% or B or Bare Distinction/Credit is considered comparable to a UK 2.2).

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised Malaysian institution (usually achieved with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average minimum of 3.0) will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a good Bachelors degree from the University of Malta with a minimum grade of 2:1 (Hons), and/or a Masters degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree (Honours) from a recognised institution (including the University of Mauritius) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2:1).

Students who hold the Licenciado/Professional Titulo from a recognised Mexican university with a promedio of at least 8 will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Students who have completed a Maestria from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree, licence or Maîtrise and a Masters degree, with a score of 14/20 or 70% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Students with a good four year honours degree from a recognised university will be considered for postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. PhD applications will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with 60-74% or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Doctoraal from a recognised Dutch university with a minimum overall grade of 7 out of 10, and/or a good Masters degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree (minimum 4 years and/or level 400) from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised institution with a minimum GPA of B/Very Good or 1.6-2.5 for a 2.1 equivalency, and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters, Mastergrad, Magister. Artium, Sivilingeniør, Candidatus realium or Candidatus philologiae degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with a CGPA of 3.0/4 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in the Palestinian Territories will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3/4 or 80% for 2:1 equivalency or a GPA of 2.5/4 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency.    

Holders of the Título de Licenciado /Título de (4-6 years) or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Paraguayan university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Grades of 4/5 or higher can be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent.  The Título Intermedio is a 2-3 year degree and is equivalent to a HNC, it is not suitable for postgraduate entry but holders of this award could be considered for second year undergraduate entry or pre-Masters.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Título de Maestría / Magister or equivalent qualification, but holders of the Título/Grado de Licenciado/a with excellent grades can be considered.

Holders of the Licenciado, with at least 13/20 may be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent. The Grado de Bachiller is equivalent to an ordinary degree, so grades of 15+/20 are required.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Título de Maestría or equivalent qualification.

Holders of a good pre-2001 Magister from a recognised Polish university with a minimum overall grade of 4 out of 5, dobry ‘good’, and/or a good Swiadectwo Ukonczenia Studiów Podyplomowych (Certificate of Postgraduate Study) or post-2001 Magister from a recognised Polish university with a minimum overall grade of 4.5/4+ out of 5, dobry plus 'better than good', will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Licenciado from a recognised university, or a Diploma de Estudos Superiores Especializados (DESE) from a recognised Polytechnic Institution, with a minimum overall grade of 16 out of 20, and/or a good Mestrado / Mestre (Masters) from a recognised university, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised Romanian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 8 out of 10, and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree/Diploma de Master/Diploma de Studii Academice Postuniversitare (Postgraduate Diploma - Academic Studies) or Diploma de Studii Postuniversitare de Specializare (Postgraduate Diploma - Specialised Studies) to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Диплом Специалиста (Specialist Diploma) or Диплом Магистра (Magistr) degree from recognised universities in Russia (minimum GPA of 4.0) will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes/PhD study.

Students who hold a 4-year Bachelor degree with at least 16/20 or 70% will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.   

Students who hold a Maitrise, Diplome d'Etude Approfondies,Diplome d'Etude Superieures or Diplome d'Etude Superieures Specialisees will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. A score of 14-15/20 or Bien from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 12-13/20 or Assez Bien is considered comparable to a UK 2.2

Students who hold a Bachelor (Honours) degree from a recognised institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 (or a score of 60-69% or B+) from a well ranked institution will be considered for most our Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees with a 2:1 requirement.

Students holding a good Bachelors Honours degree will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a good three-year Bakalár or pre-2002 Magister from a recognised Slovakian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 1.5, B, Vel’mi dobrý ‘very good’, and/or a good Inžinier or a post-2002 Magister from a recognised Slovakian Higher Education institution will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Diploma o pridobljeni univerzitetni izobrazbi (Bachelors degree), Diplomant (Professionally oriented first degree), Univerzitetni diplomant (Academically oriented first degree) or Visoko Obrazovanja (until 1999) from a recognised Slovenian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 8.0 out of 10, and/or a good Diploma specializacija (Postgraduate Diploma) or Magister (Masters) will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor Honours degree (also known as Baccalaureus Honores / Baccalaureus Cum Honoribus) from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most Masters programmes will require a second class upper (70%) or a distinction (75%).

Holders of a Masters degree will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a Bachelor degree from a recognised South Korean institution (usually with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average 3.0/4.0 or 3.2/4.5) will be considered for Masters programmes.

Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with 7 out of 10 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with 60-74% or a CGPA 3.30/4.0 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Kandidatexamen (Bachelors degree) or Yrkesexamen (Professional Bachelors degree) from a recognised Swedish Higher Education institution with the majority of subjects with a grade of VG (Val godkänd), and/or a good Magisterexamen (Masters degree), International Masters degree or Licentiatexamen (comparable to a UK Mphil), will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good "PostGraduate Certificate" or "PostGraduate Diploma" or a Masters degree from a recognised Swiss higher education institution (with a minimum GPA of 5/6 or 8/10 or 2/5 (gut-bien-bene/good) for a 2.1 equivalence) may be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 3.0/4.0, 3.5/5 or 75% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Bachelor degree (from 75% to 85% depending upon the university in Taiwan) from a recognised institution will be considered for postgraduate Masters study. Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for entry to our postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Masters degree or Mphil from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students with a Bachelors degree from the following universities may be considered for entry to postgraduate programmes:

  • Ateneo de Manila University - Quezon City
  • De La Salle University - Manila
  • University of Santo Tomas
  • University of the Philippines - Diliman

Students from all other institutions with a Bachelors and a Masters degree or relevant work experience may be considered for postgraduate programmes.

Grading Schemes

1-5 where 1 is the highest 2.1 = 1.75 2.2 = 2.25 

Out of 4.0 where 4 is the highest 2.1 = 3.0 2.2 = 2.5

Letter grades and percentages 2.1 = B / 3.00 / 83% 2.2 = C+ / 2.5 / 77%

Holders of a postdoctoral qualification from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.  Students may be considered for PhD study if they have a Masters from one of the above listed universities.

Holders of a Lisans Diplomasi with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0/4.0 from a recognised university will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a Yuksek Diplomasi from a recognised university will be considered for PhD study.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most Masters programmes will require a second class upper (2.1) or GPA of 3.5/5.0

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree / Диплом бакалавра (Dyplom Bakalavra), Диплом спеціаліста (Specialist Diploma) or a Dyplom Magistra from a recognised Ukrainian higher education institution with a minimum GPA of 4.0/5.0, 3.5/4, 8/12 or 80% or higher for 2:1 equivalence and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

The University will consider students who hold an Honours degree from a recognised institution in the USA with a GPA of:

  • 2.8 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for entry to programmes with a 2:2 requirement 
  • 3.2 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for entry to programmes with a 2:1 requirement 

Please note that some subjects which are studied at postgraduate level in the USA, eg. Medicine and Law, are traditionally studied at undergraduate level in the UK.

Holders of the Magistr Diplomi (Master's degree) or Diplomi (Specialist Diploma), awarded by prestigious universities, who have attained high grades in their studies will be considered for postgraduate study.  Holders of the Fanlari Nomzodi (Candidate of Science), where appropriate, will be considered for PhD study.

Holders of the Licenciatura/Título or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Venezuelan university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Scales of 1-5, 1-10 and 1-20 are used, an overall score of 70% or equivalent can be considered equivalent to a UK 2.1.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Maestria or equivalent qualification

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised Vietnamese institution (usually achieved with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average minimum GPA of 7.0 and above) will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.  Holders of a Masters degree (thac si) will be considered for entry to PhD programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree with a minimum GPA of 3.5/5.0 or a mark of 2.0/2.5 (A) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.   

Students who hold a good Bachelor Honours degree will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. 

In addition to our standard academic and English language requirements, applications to study a PhD in Education are judged on the quality of the research proposal submitted and we advise you to carefully read the information outlined below before applying. 

Your Research Proposal

Your research proposal should illustrate your ability to plan an independent research study in Education and  the relevance of your topic to the research interests and expertise of staff in the School of Education. You need to demonstrate that you understand the field that you plan to research, identify an interesting and original research question, develop a tentative plan of study and connect your work with our research in the School. It is critical that your research proposal is written to the guidelines specified below.

Guidelines for the Research Proposal

You are free to write your Research Proposal in a format that suits you, however it should be no more than 2,500 words, excluding references.

However, please be sure that your Research Proposal includes the following minimum information.  

  • Provide a title for your proposed research
  • Identify the Department  or Research Centre you wish to join and select two or three potential supervisors you would like to work with.
  • Provide an overview of your research question, explaining why it is of academic and/or practical importance.
  • Discuss the importance of previous related research and how your own research question might make a useful contribution to the area.
  • State the main research techniques and data collection procedures you propose to answer the research question you have proposed. Justify why these are appropriate.
  • Explain how you will collect data for your study. Justify why your strategy is a good one and explain how you can successfully collect the data you need in the timeframe.
  • Outline your proposed timetable of activities.

Common mistakes made in a research proposal

  • The research topic is too general. Your research proposal needs to state clearly what you plan to research, why and how.
  • The proposal is not well-informed, theoretically. Your proposal may identify a real-world educational issue or problem, but it does not demonstrate its theoretical importance to the study of education. Your proposal must identify the theoretical insight your research will bring to our discipline. What will be the significance of your work? Why is your research question original and interesting?
  • The research proposal does not fit with our academic expertise. 

The stages of a PhD application

  • Develop your research proposal
  • Ensure that your proposal matches our research expertise in the School of Education
  • Identify a potential supervisor and department; list these clearly on your application form, in your personal statement and in your research proposal
  • Make informal contact with your potential supervisor via email and discuss your proposed research with them if you wish
  • Finalize all of the supporting material for your application (including a 2 – 3 page CV, a personal statement, academic references, copies of academic transcripts/degrees, evidence of a successfully completed English Language Test if applicable)
  • Submit your application online

Perhaps the most important step in the formulation of your research project is to identify a member of academic staff with appropriate expertise to supervise your area of interest. Your supervisor will act as the main source of academic supervisory support and research mentoring during your time as a doctoral researcher at the University and as such, it is vital that you ensure that the department to which you are applying is able to offer appropriate supervisory support in your relevant research area. Before submitting your application to the University you will need to identify potential supervisors in your desired field of research and contact them directly about your research proposal.

Whilst we accept applications covering all aspects of educational research, we particularly welcome applications for our  current priority areas . Applicants are encouraged to view the research activity within each  department in the school  as well as on individual staff profiles. 

Individual staff research interests

Professor Julie Allan Disability and children’s rights, educational theory.

Professor Kalwant Bhopal Race, racism, gender, class, intersectionality, educational inequalities, schools and higher education, qualitative research, case study research, ethnography, Gypsy and Traveller groups, social justice, equity.

Dr Helen Breadmore Reading, spelling and writing. Causes and consequences of low literacy. Morphological awareness and processing. Evidence-based practice in literacy education. Randomised controlled trials.

Dr Laura Day Ashley Non-state education, Education in India, The history of schooling, Cross-cultural education, Alternatives to education and progressive education, Qualitative approaches, Ethnography, Case Studies, Anthropological approaches, education and marketisation / privatisation / the private sector; NGOs and education (especially developing countries).

Dr Laura D'Olimpio Moral education; Moral philosophy and applied ethics; Aesthetics; particularly aesthetics and ethics; Philosophy in schools; Media, mass art, technology and digital literacy; Philosophy of film and literature; Virtue ethics and character education; Public philosophy.

Professor Graeme Douglas Visual impairment; Educational outcomes and SEN; Transitions from school; Curriculum balance; WHO ICF model of disability; The views of disabled people; Technology and SEN / disability.

Dr Reza Gholami Impact of transnationality and diversity on education practice and policy; Citizenship education, subjectivity and social change in the contemporary/future world; Educational responses to extremism and counterextremism.

Dr Celia Greenway Early Years workforce reform; Early Years practitioners professional identity; Gender issues connected to the recruitment of males into Early Years; Leadership and Management within the nursery sector; Creative Curriculum with reference to young children’s social and emotional development; Outdoor learning and Forest schools.

Dr Karen Guldberg Technology Enhanced Learning for children with autism; social learning theory and inter subjectivity theory; Evidence Based Practice in Education; participatory methodologies

Mr Neil Hall Assessment and intervention in child and adolescent mental health; understanding how family mental health and trauma affects children’s learning and well-being, behaviour and development; teachers’ models of child and adolescent mental health.

Dr Sarah Hall Holocaust and genocide education within a school context, and post-holocaust theology in the classroom; Literary theory and re-reading narrative within Biblical texts especially through a feminist lens; RSE (Relationship and Sex Education): policy and school context; PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education): policy and school context including work on RSE and Mental Health; Secondary School based subject mentors as ‘HEI teachers’ through their work with students undertaking professional courses; Tutoring and managing ‘the tutor’ in a HEI context.

Professor Michael Hand Philosophy of education; moral education; religious education; political education; teaching controversial issues; philosophy in schools.

Dr Tom Harrison Character, virtue, citizenship, cyber-phronesis, youth social action.

Dr Julie Howe Professional practice in educational psychology services; social constructionism with a particular interest in gender; anti-oppressive practice in educational psychology; the educational implications of acquired brain injury.

Dr Dina Kiwan Citizenship, civil society, activism, conflict, human rights, ethnic and religious diversity, disability, gender, sexuality, migration, refugees, intersectionality.

Dr Ben Kotzee Philosophy of education; virtue theory; ethics in education; professional education.

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Moral education, virtue ethics, well-being, educational values, teacher/student emotions and self-concepts.

Dr Andrea MacLeod Adults with autism spectrum conditions; models of support; self-advocacy; higher education students with autism; participatory methodologies.

Dr Eleni Mariou Multilingualism in educational and social contexts; Language ideology and discourse; Cultural and political implications of English as an International Language; Language education.

Professor Jane Martin Biography, history and education, Comprehensive education, Gender and education, Education and politics, Education and social movements, Identities and social action, Teacher unions.

Dr Ian McGimpsey Youth Work.

Dr Kevin Myers History of education; history and heritage; social history of childhood and youth.

Dr Jawiria Naseem Dynamics of Higher Education and the labour market in France and Britain; Socio-economic inequalities among (female) graduates; Citizenship and belonging among second generation and Muslim minority ethnic groups.

Dr Prithvi Perepa Most topics related to autism, specifically Intersectionality of autism with different factors such as culture or ethnicity, bilingualism, gender and sexual orientation, and religion; educational support; family experiences and family support.

Dr Siân Roberts Twentieth century educational interventions with children and refugees in contexts of war or displacement; pedagogic contributions by refugee educationalists who arrived in the UK , 1914-1950; transnational interventions by British Quaker women in education, social justice and humanitarian aid, 1914-1950; visual representations of children by humanitarian and political activists; the history of educational broadcasting.

Dr Nicola Smith Children and families with EAL; children as researchers and parental involvement in early years education.

Dr Anita Soni Early years; Children's Centres; personal social and emotional development in young children; key person approach; supervision and group supervision.

Dr Tonie Stolberg Science education, Sustainable development education, Science and the creative arts, The teaching of and learning about controversial issues Religion and science, The impact of faith on teaching and learning, Cultural influences on education, Pedagogy, Values and education, Philosophy of education, Phenomenological education.

Dr Emmanouela Terlektsi Education of deaf and hearing impaired children, Literacy skills of deaf children and young people, socioemotional development of deaf children and young people.

Dr Ruth Wareham Philosophy of education, religious education and schooling, moral education, relationships and sex education, political education, citizenship education, human rights education, education policy.

Dr Kirsty Wilson Mathematics education; algebraic thinking; pedagogy and teachers' practices, including use of technology; primary and early years mathematics; primary teacher education.

As a postgraduate researcher you will have one-to-one supervision with a lead supervisor and also a second supervisor or academic advisor. Your supervisor is the key person in providing support and guidance in your research. Students who are involved in similar areas may also have some group supervision.

You will have 24 hour access to work space in our research suite, where there are computer and telephone facilities. You also have access to the University's libraries and computer facilities, as well as other entitlements such as grants towards conference attendance, printing and photocopying. Many of our postgraduate researchers work with supervisors in publishing articles and making their work public. Although students will register with the School of Education, they are also automatically members of the Graduate School, with access to facilities such as the Graduate Social Centre and the opportunity to meet with other researchers from a wide range of academic disciplines. As a doctoral student, you will also be able to join the College of Social Sciences Doctoral Training programme which has ESRC recognition.

The School of Education also runs an annual Doctoral Research Conference which is which brings together doctoral researchers, academics and practitioners to explore key issues and developments in educational research, theory, policy and practice. The conference, which is organised and run by the doctoral researchers, includes a keynote presentation, an expert panel debate, papers in parallel sessions and a poster exhibition.

Over the last five years, an impressive 95.8% of Education postgraduates have been in work and/or further study six months after graduation.

Birmingham’s Education graduates choose to work in variety of education roles in schools and administrative roles in public and private sector organisations. Some chose to continue their education and apply for professional courses such as teacher training. Some of our graduates are attracted to careers in education such as teaching, community and youth work or other public sector occupations such as social work, police, housing and probation. New opportunities in partnership enterprises within sport, leisure, education and community schemes appeal. Some graduates also consider work in the private sector such as retail, finance or marketing.

What type of career assistance is available to doctoral researchers in Education?

The College of Social Sciences, to which the School of Education belongs, has specially designated careers advisors and careers consultants who can provide guidance for doctoral researchers on career paths, CVs, training opportunities, application and interviews. The University’s central Careers’ Service also runs workshops and offers personally tailored advice and guidance including 1-1 careers advice and 1-1 CV advice. The Career’s Service runs CV writing workshops especially for postgraduates in the College of Social Sciences, giving advice on how to compile CVs for both employment and for academic roles. The University also has dedicated careers advisors who run workshops and provide networking opportunities with potential employers. These are especially popular with international postgraduate researchers.

  • Online chat events

The University of Edinburgh home

  • Schools & departments

Postgraduate study

Education PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Education

Discovery Day

Join us online on 18th April to learn more about postgraduate study at Edinburgh

View sessions and register

Research profile

Why edinburgh.

The University of Edinburgh was ranked first in Scotland for research power in Education and Sport (Times Higher Education, REF 2021) and we offer the largest concentration of researchers in education in a Scottish university.

This means you will be supported by and collaborate with leaders in the field. Our research activities cover all aspects of education and learning - from pre-school to higher education and lifelong learning.

Moray House School of Education and Sport staff provide supervision on a wide range of topics within the fields of:

  • teacher education
  • pedagogy, curriculum and schooling
  • outdoor education
  • social justice and inclusive education
  • comparative education and international development
  • childhood and youth studies
  • digital education
  • philosophy of education
  • language education: policy and practice

Many opportunities exist for interdisciplinary research.

Research Thematic Hubs

With over 250 research staff and students, we have a vibrant and expanding research community with a broad portfolio of academic disciplines gathered within seven broad research themes with permeable boundaries. These thematic hubs are:

  • Advanced Quantitative Research in Education
  • Children and Young People
  • Digital Education
  • Language, Interculturality and Literacies
  • Social Justice and Inclusion
  • Sport-Related Research
  • Teacher Education, Curriculum and Pedagogy

Research community

As a postgraduate research student you will join a vibrant Graduate School community with over 150 research students. There are also several opportunities for optional training and development throughout your studies.

Research students are encouraged to attend and actively engage with the activities of School research thematic hubs, which include seminars, meetings and workshops. In addition, several academic and social events for research students take place throughout the year.

We organise an annual series of around 25 training, talks and seminar events, as well as the student-led ‘Interweaving’ conference for research students and staff.

Programme structure

The PhD is a substantial piece of independent research which makes a contribution to the state of existing knowledge in the field.

The PhD programme is designed to take three years full-time or six years part-time. The programme is examined by submission of a thesis of up to 100,000 words and by oral examination.

Application

You are encouraged to contact a potential supervisor to discuss your research project before making a formal application.

You may start your studies with us either on 1 October or 10 January of a year.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

Training and support

Students following the PhD degree are normally supported in their research by two supervisors.

The first of these will be a member of staff who has expertise in the general area of your proposed research topic and the second will be another expert in the field who may come from within the School, University or a field of practice.

Most students who are accepted begin a period of research leading to a PhD; however, the first year of this degree is probationary and progression to year two is dependent on satisfactory progress.

We offer a number of courses in research methodologies, which you are encouraged to take during your first year.

You will work closely with your supervisors, who are recognised experts in the field. All PhD students pursue an individually tailored programme of research training agreed with their supervisors.

Our PhD programmes provide core training in the research skills necessary to flourish at doctoral level and beyond.

PhD by Distance option

The PhD by Distance is available to suitably qualified applicants in the same areas as our on-campus programmes.

The programme allows students who are unable to commit to basing themselves in Edinburgh full time to study for a PhD from their home country or city, however, this is not intended to be a fully online distance learning programme.

For further information on the PhD by Distance option (including criteria for eligibility, required application form and how to apply) please visit the School website:

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport PhD by Distance

Entry requirements

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a related subject is normally required.

Normally also a postgraduate degree with a 60% overall grade point average and 60% in the dissertation, or its international equivalent.

You must also submit a research proposal that fits well with our staff expertise. You are encouraged to contact potential supervisors in advance to informally discuss your research proposal.

We may also consider your application if you have other qualifications or substantial experience; if in doubt, please contact us to check before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

  • Entry requirements by country
  • English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced ( CAE ) / C2 Proficiency ( CPE ): total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE : ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 62 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS , TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE , in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

  • UKVI list of majority English speaking countries

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

  • Approved universities in non-MESC

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Fees and costs

Tuition fees, scholarships and funding, featured funding.

Moray House School of Education and Sport funding for postgraduate research students

Research scholarships for international students

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK's governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status.

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

  • UK government and other external funding

Other funding opportunities

  • Search for scholarships and funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Search for funding

Further information

  • Postgraduate Admissions
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4086
  • Contact: Admissions Office
  • Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research, Dr Darío Luis Banegas
  • Contact: [email protected]
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Programme: Education
  • School: Education and Sport (Moray House)
  • College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Select your programme and preferred start date to begin your application.

PhD Education - 3 Years (Full-time)

Phd education - 6 years (part-time), application deadlines.

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

  • How to apply

You must submit two references with your application.

You must also submit a detailed research proposal using the following template:

Research Proposal template

Guidelines on writing your research proposal

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

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The PhD in Education is a research degree, the main purpose of which is to prepare a substantial piece of original research.

Our postgraduate students, from all over the world, make an important contribution to their respective fields and to the vitality of the Faculty's research culture. 

One of the great strengths of studying at Cambridge is the level of individual support you will receive from an expert in your field. All doctoral students in the Faculty conduct their research with the guidance of a supervisor. All doctoral students also participate in a guided programme that introduces them to the key questions and concerns of contemporary, world-leading educational research. Students are encouraged to play an active role in research seminars and engage in opportunities for acquiring transferable skills.

The UK's Research Excellence Framework exercise assesses the quality of research produced by UK Higher Education Institutions.  The Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, based on Power Ranking scores, placed 4th overall in the UK in the most recent results. The research environment score for the Faculty (UoA23) as part of REF 2021 attained the maximum score of 100%, with the profile of  “world leading” outputs and impact case studies among the strongest in the UK (full UoA23 results:  https://results2021.ref.ac.uk/profiles/units-of-assessment/23 ). 

Continuation to the PhD from Masters programmes within the Faculty of Education is not automatic, and students wishing to do so must submit a PhD application by the usual deadline. 

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the  Postgraduate Open Day  page for more details.

See further the  Postgraduate Admissions Events  pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

Key Information

3-4 years full-time, 4-7 years part-time, doctor of philosophy, faculty of education, course - related enquiries, application - related enquiries, course on department website, dates and deadlines:, michaelmas 2024.

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Funding Deadlines

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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PhD in Education Programme

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Each year the University holds a Postgraduate Open Day where potential applicants can ask staff their questions, find out more about the application process, and explore Cambridge virtually.

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DPhil in Education

  • Entry Requirements
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About the course

The DPhil in Education is intended to provide graduates with a wide range of research skills, as well as in-depth knowledge, understanding and expertise in their chosen field of research.

There are full-time and part-time routes available. Currently the overall expected contact time for the part-time route is thirty days at Oxford per year, but the majority of this will take place across the three eight week terms, and will include supervision meetings and core research training. Part-time students will normally be expected to be in the department every Thursday during term time in the first year and every Wednesday during term time in the second year. In later years there is greater flexibility and contact time will be agreed between the student and their supervisor.  

The department's doctoral students develop their skills through a range of research methods and skills training courses in their first year (for full-time students) and in their first two years (for part-time students). At the heart of the skills provision is the Research Training Seminar, where students present and develop their research ideas and proposals with the benefit of feedback and support from their peers. 

You will work closely with supervisors on literature review and study design for your thesis, and you are encouraged to make the most of the doctoral training and research methods provision available across the Social Sciences Division. 

You are also encouraged to join one or more of the department's research groups, becoming part of a vibrant educational research community with an active set of doctoral student-led events, seminars and conferences. All DPhil students are given opportunities to present their work at a variety of seminars and sessions in the department.

Supervision

The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Department of Education and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a second or co-supervisor may be found outside the Department of Education. 

A full-time student will typically have three supervisions per term, with some variance according to stage or if they are on fieldwork.

All students will be initially admitted to the status of Probationer Research Student (PRS). Within a maximum of four terms as a full-time PRS student or eight terms as a part-time PRS student, you will be expected to apply for and achieve transfer of status from Probationer Research Student to DPhil status. This application is normally made by the third term for full-time students and by the sixth term for part-time students.

A successful transfer of status from PRS to DPhil status will require submission of a research proposal. Students who are successful at transfer will also be expected to apply for and gain confirmation of DPhil status to show that your work continues to be on track. This will include submission of two chapters from your thesis (methodology and a findings chapter) and a framing document, and will need to be achieved within nine terms of admission for full-time students and eighteen terms of admission for part-time students.

Both milestones involve an interview with two assessors (other than your supervisor) and therefore provide important experience for the final oral examination.

Full-time students will be expected to submit a substantial thesis of at most 100,000 words after three or, at most, four years from the date of admission. If you are studying part-time, you will be required to submit your thesis after six or, at most, eight years from the date of admission. To be successfully awarded a DPhil in Education you will need to defend your thesis orally (viva voce) in front of two appointed examiners.

Graduate destinations

The most recent Oxford University Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey made contact with 635 master's course students who graduated from the Department of Education between 2012 and 2014. 90.2% of alumni were in work and 5.8% in further study with only 2.0% looking for work, ranking the department in the best 3 of the 15 departments in Oxford's Social Sciences Division.

Past DPhil students from the Department of Education have gone on to academic and research careers at universities in the UK (eg Oxford, Edinburgh, Warwick, UCL, King's College, St. Mary's, Liverpool) and across the world (eg Stanford, Princeton, MIT, Hong Kong, Chile, Norway), or are employed across a wide range of other sectors such as policy for government departments or NGOs, international organisations such as OECD, think tanks and administration at local and national levels. The department’s ‘Conversations with Alumni’ feature includes interviews with two DPhil alumni on their career paths after Oxford.

Changes to this course and your supervision

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic, epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information please see our page on changes to courses and the provisions of the student contract regarding changes to courses.

Entry requirements for entry in 2024-25

Proven and potential academic excellence.

The requirements described below are specific to this course and apply only in the year of entry that is shown. You can use our interactive tool to help you  evaluate whether your application is likely to be competitive .

Please be aware that any studentships that are linked to this course may have different or additional requirements and you should read any studentship information carefully before applying. 

Degree-level qualifications

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the following UK qualifications or their equivalent:

  • a master's degree , normally with a mark of at least 68 and at least 68 in your dissertation, in a relevant subject;  and
  • a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in a relevant subject, preferably in the social sciences.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.6 out of 4.0.

If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.

GRE General Test scores

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

  • Part-time applicants will also be expected to show evidence of the ability to commit time to study and, if applicable, an employer's commitment to make time available to study, to complete coursework, and attend course and University events and modules. Where appropriate, evidence should also be provided of permission to use employers’ data in the proposed research project.

English language proficiency

This course requires proficiency in English at the University's  higher level . If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement. The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are detailed in the table below.

*Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) † Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. Our Application Guide provides  further information about the English language test requirement .

Declaring extenuating circumstances

If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.

You will need to register three referees who can give an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for the course. The  How to apply  section of this page provides details of the types of reference that are required in support of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application. The  How to apply  section of this page provides details of the supporting documents that are required as part of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview

Interviews are held as part of the admissions process.  

Interviews are normally held with two interviewers using Teams videoconferencing. The interview will normally cover issues related to your research proposal, your fit with departmental research groups, and your career plan. Interviews normally take place in February.

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed purely on your proven and potential academic excellence and other entry requirements described under that heading.

References  and  supporting documents  submitted as part of your application, and your performance at interview (if interviews are held) will be considered as part of the assessment process. Whether or not you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.

An overview of the shortlisting and selection process is provided below. Our ' After you apply ' pages provide  more information about how applications are assessed . 

Shortlisting and selection

Students are considered for shortlisting and selected for admission without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex, sexual orientation, as well as other relevant circumstances including parental or caring responsibilities or social background. However, please note the following:

  • socio-economic information may be taken into account in the selection of applicants and award of scholarships for courses that are part of  the University’s pilot selection procedure  and for  scholarships aimed at under-represented groups ;
  • country of ordinary residence may be taken into account in the awarding of certain scholarships; and
  • protected characteristics may be taken into account during shortlisting for interview or the award of scholarships where the University has approved a positive action case under the Equality Act 2010.

Initiatives to improve access to graduate study

This course is taking part in  the 'Close the Gap' project  which aims to improve access to doctoral study.

For this course, socio-economic data (where it has been provided in the application form) will be used to contextualise applications at the different stages of the selection process.  Further information about how we use your socio-economic data  can be found in our page about initiatives to improve access to graduate study.

Processing your data for shortlisting and selection

Information about  processing special category data for the purposes of positive action  and  using your data to assess your eligibility for funding , can be found in our Postgraduate Applicant Privacy Policy.

Admissions panels and assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

Other factors governing whether places can be offered

The following factors will also govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • the ability of the University to provide the appropriate supervision for your studies, as outlined under the 'Supervision' heading in the  About  section of this page;
  • the ability of the University to provide appropriate support for your studies (eg through the provision of facilities, resources, teaching and/or research opportunities); and
  • minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to the University's taught and research programmes.

Offer conditions for successful applications

If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, your offer will outline any conditions that you need to satisfy and any actions you need to take, together with any associated deadlines. These may include academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course. These conditions will usually depend on your individual academic circumstances and may vary between applicants. Our ' After you apply ' pages provide more information about offers and conditions . 

In addition to any academic conditions which are set, you will also be required to meet the following requirements:

Financial Declaration

If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a  Financial Declaration  in order to meet your financial condition of admission.

Disclosure of criminal convictions

In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any  relevant, unspent criminal convictions  before you can take up a place at Oxford.

The Department of Education has been making a major contribution to the field of education for over 100 years and the department has a world class reputation for research, for teacher education and for its master's and doctoral programmes. We combine international standing as a research-intensive department with the highest quality teaching.

In the 2021 evaluation of research quality in UK universities, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), Oxford University Department of Education had the highest overall percentage of research judged to be 4* (i.e. world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour) in Education in the UK. The department has ESRC recognition for its graduate training, and its teacher training was rated ‘outstanding’ by the Office for Standards in Education (OfSTED) in its most recent inspection in 2019.

Research in the department is organised around three major themes:

  • Language, Cognition and Development
  • Policy, Economy and Society
  • Learning: Pedagogy, Learning and Knowledge.

Within each of these themes there are several research groups and centres. All staff and doctoral students belong to one or more of these research groups; each has its own seminar programme to which postgraduate students often contribute. In addition, the department as a whole sponsors regular seminars and public lectures which attract distinguished national and international speakers.

The Bodleian Education Library, located at the centre of the Department of Education, specialises in material on education and related fields. As well as a print collection of books, journals and statistics, the library provides access to a wide range of electronic resources. The library also houses a collection of teaching resources, primarily in support of subjects covered by the department's secondary PGCE course. The Social Sciences Library provides valuable additional resource to students pursuing programmes in the Department of Education.

Oxford has been a major contributor to the field of education for over 100 years and today the University’s Department of Education has a world class reputation for research, for teacher education and for its graduate courses.

The department offers one of the strongest graduate studies programmes in the UK with a range of full- and part-time MSc courses and a lively doctoral programme (DPhil) which is recognised for national funding by the ESRC.

The department's masters' courses are delivered by academics and research experts, the majority of whom are permanent staff engaged in their fields of research. The department's DPhil in Education has excellent facilities for the large number of full-time research students who are well integrated into the research of the department.

The department has an outstanding research profile. In the 2021 evaluation of research quality in UK universities, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), Oxford University Department of Education had the highest overall percentage of research judged to be 4* (ie world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour) in Education in the UK. A wide range of funded research projects are based in the department and many of these projects have had a major impact on national policy.

Oxford’s PGCE course has an international reputation for the quality of its work, undertaken in close collaboration with local Oxfordshire secondary schools. Over many years, it has consistently received the highest possible designation (Outstanding) from Ofsted in inspections.

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The University expects to be able to offer over 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2024-25. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships , if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant December or January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential. 

For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources.

Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of any college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages or below:

Please note that not all the colleges listed above may accept students on this course. For details of those which do, please refer to the College preference section of this page.

Further information about funding opportunities for this course can be found on the department's website.

Annual fees for entry in 2024-25

Full-time study.

Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.

Part-time study

Information about course fees.

Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on changes to fees and charges .

Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.

Continuation charges

Following the period of fee liability , you may also be required to pay a University continuation charge and a college continuation charge. The University and college continuation charges are shown on the Continuation charges page.

Where can I find further information about fees?

The Fees and Funding  section of this website provides further information about course fees , including information about fee status and eligibility  and your length of fee liability .

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees (or, after fee liability ends, continuation charges) and living costs. However, please note that, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Please note that you are required to attend in Oxford for a minimum of 30 days each year, and you may incur additional travel and accommodation expenses for this. Also, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur further additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2024-25 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,345 and £1,955 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. The current economic climate and high national rate of inflation make it very hard to estimate potential changes to the cost of living over the next few years. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2024-25, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of around 5% each year – although this rate may vary depending on the national economic situation. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.

If you are studying part-time your living costs may vary depending on your personal circumstances but you must still ensure that you will have sufficient funding to meet these costs for the duration of your course.

Students enrolled on this course will belong to both a department/faculty and a college. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 43 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as societies and permanent private halls (PPHs). 

If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. Before deciding, we suggest that you read our brief  introduction to the college system at Oxford  and our  advice about expressing a college preference . For some courses, the department may have provided some additional advice below to help you decide.

The following colleges accept students for full-time study on this course:

  • Blackfriars
  • Brasenose College
  • Campion Hall
  • Green Templeton College
  • Harris Manchester College
  • Hertford College
  • Jesus College
  • Kellogg College
  • Lady Margaret Hall
  • Linacre College
  • Mansfield College
  • New College
  • Regent's Park College
  • Reuben College
  • St Anne's College
  • St Antony's College
  • St Catherine's College
  • St Cross College
  • St Edmund Hall
  • St Hilda's College
  • St Hugh's College
  • Wolfson College
  • Worcester College
  • Wycliffe Hall

The following colleges accept students for part-time study on this course:

Before you apply

Our  guide to getting started  provides general advice on how to prepare for and start your application. You can use our interactive tool to help you  evaluate whether your application is likely to be competitive .

If it's important for you to have your application considered under a particular deadline – eg under a December or January deadline in order to be considered for Oxford scholarships – we recommend that you aim to complete and submit your application at least two weeks in advance . Check the deadlines on this page and the  information about deadlines  in our Application Guide.

Application fee waivers

An application fee of £75 is payable per course application. Application fee waivers are available for the following applicants who meet the eligibility criteria:

  • applicants from low-income countries;
  • refugees and displaced persons; 
  • UK applicants from low-income backgrounds; and 
  • applicants who applied for our Graduate Access Programmes in the past two years and met the eligibility criteria.

You are encouraged to  check whether you're eligible for an application fee waiver  before you apply.

Readmission for current Oxford graduate taught students

If you're currently studying for an Oxford graduate taught course and apply to this course with no break in your studies, you may be eligible to apply to this course as a readmission applicant. The application fee will be waived for an eligible application of this type. Check whether you're eligible to apply for readmission .

Do I need to contact anyone before I apply?

You do not have to contact anyone before you apply. You are encouraged, however, to approach academics whose research interests overlap with yours to informally solicit their capacity and interest in supervising you. You may also ask them to share with you specific publications that they have authored that you can’t access otherwise and that may help inform your research proposal. Details of academic staff, including their research interests and contact details, can be found on the departmental website.  

In making this informal contact, you may wish to also provide some information about yourself. Please note that potential supervisors receive large numbers of informal requests each year, as such the department recommends getting in contact with a potential supervisor as early as possible. Please also note that final decisions about admission are not made by individual academics but by an appointed panel at the department level - supervisors will also be ultimately be allocated by the department.

General queries should be directed to the course administrator via the contact details provided on this page.

Completing your application

You should refer to the information below when completing the application form, paying attention to the specific requirements for the supporting documents .

For this course, the application form will include questions that collect information that would usually be included in a CV/résumé. You should not upload a separate document. If a separate CV/résumé is uploaded, it will be removed from your application .

If any document does not meet the specification, including the stipulated word count, your application may be considered incomplete and not assessed by the academic department. Expand each section to show further details.

Proposed field and title of research project

Under the 'Field and title of research project' please enter your proposed field or area of research if this is known. If the department has advertised a specific research project that you would like to be considered for, please enter the project title here instead.

You should not use this field to type out a full research proposal. You will be able to upload your research supporting materials separately if they are required (as described below).

Proposed supervisor

Under 'Proposed supervisor name' enter the name of the academic(s) who you would like to supervise your research. 

You are strongly encouraged to enter the names of two proposed supervisors.

Referees: Three overall, academic and/or professional

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

One of your references should be from your most recent academic tutor. If you are currently in employment, you would be expected to provide a reference from your employer alongside academic references which comment on your academic suitability for the course.

Your references will support intellectual ability, academic achievement, motivation and ability to work in a group.

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.

Personal statement and research proposal: Statement of a maximum of 1,000 words and proposal of a maximum of 2,500 words 

Your statement of purpose/personal statement and research proposal should be submitted as a single, combined document with clear subheadings. Please ensure that the word counts for each section are clearly visible in the document.

Personal statement

You should submit a convincing personal statement (statement of purpose) explaining your reasons for applying to the programme and highlighting your relevant academic and professional experience. The final part of your personal statement should indicate your future plans after a doctorate.

Your personal statement should be written in English and should be a maximum of 1,000 words.

If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.

Research proposal

You should also submit a research proposal that should focus on your proposed research topic, rather than your personal achievements, interests and aspirations. Your proposal should include:

  • an indicative title;
  • a short introduction that introduces the topic and explains its importance;
  • a discussion of the most relevant scholarly literature; 
  • research questions or hypotheses, and a description of the methods you plan to use to address them; and
  • an indicative bibliography.

The issue or question should emerge from your review of the literature. Please also provide a rationale for the importance of this research topic.

Your research proposal should also indicate your proposed methodological approach. This will depend on the kind of research you envisage. If empirical research is planned, then please discuss the likely ‘data’ to be collected. At this stage these ideas are exploratory, and likely to develop and change once you are admitted to the course and start working with your supervisor.

Your research proposal should be written in English and should be a maximum of  2,500 words (not including the indicative bibliography).

Your research proposal will be assessed for your potential to carry out doctoral research, the quality and coherence of the proposal, the rigor of the proposed research design, and the originality of the project.

It will be normal for your ideas to subsequently change in some ways as you develop your project. You should nevertheless make the best effort you can to demonstrate the extent of your research question, sources and method at this moment.

Written work: Two essays, a maximum of 2,000 words each

The written work should be related to the DPhil in Education and should be on separate topics. If you do not have any existing material that fits this requirement, you may wish to critique an article or write a book review based on the course subject.

You may submit written work completed for a prior course of study if the topic is relevant, eg an assignment or chapter of a dissertation etc, provided it meets the requirements. If your work is longer than the guide length it should be edited to meet the requirements.

A list of relevant references is required for your written work and should be included in your word count.

This will be assessed for understanding of the subject area, an ability to construct and defend an argument, and proficiency in academic English.

Start or continue your application

You can start or return to an application using the relevant link below. As you complete the form, please  refer to the requirements above  and  consult our Application Guide for advice . You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.

Application Guide   Apply - Full time Apply - Part time

ADMISSION STATUS

Closed to applications for entry in 2024-25

Register to be notified via email when the next application cycle opens (for entry in 2025-26)

12:00 midday UK time on:

Friday 5 January 2024 Latest deadline for most Oxford scholarships Final application deadline for part-time study

Friday 1 March 2024 - Full-time study only Full-time applications reopened 7 February 2024 Final application deadline for full-time study

*Three-year average (applications for entry in 2021-22 to 2023-24)

Further information and enquiries

This course is offered by the Department of Education

  • Course page on the department's website
  • Funding information from the department
  • Academic and research staff
  • Departmental research
  • Social Sciences Division
  • Residence requirements for full-time courses
  • Postgraduate applicant privacy policy

Course-related enquiries

Advice about contacting the department can be found in the How to apply section of this page

[email protected] ☎ +44 (0)1865 274183

Application-process enquiries

See the application guide

Visa eligibility for part-time study

We are unable to sponsor student visas for part-time study on this course. Part-time students may be able to attend on a visitor visa for short blocks of time only (and leave after each visit) and will need to remain based outside the UK.

Education Research MPhil/PhD

Key information.

The School of Education, Communication & Society welcomes applications for the PhD in Education Research.  The MPhil/PhD programme offers the chance to undertake a piece of research that is worthy of publication and which makes an original contribution to your field of study. It was ranked 1st in London for research quality the Education Unit of Assessment in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF).

We are looking for outstanding candidates to join a supportive and dynamic research community.

Students are supervised by staff in one or more of our three Research Centres:

Centre for Research in Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Centre for Public Policy Research

Centre for Language Discourse and Communication

In addition to its world-leading academic contributions, the School has a proud history of contributing to public policy debates and the concerns of professional communities of practice across multiple sectors, both nationally and internationally. We provide programmes of study that lead doctoral students to the cutting edge of knowledge, and help education professionals critically analyse, research and effectively respond to changes in thinking and policy in their fields.

We recommend that prospective students read through the Research Centre webpages to find their preferred area of research and potential supervisor.

Course Detail

The School provides extensive research training and supervision on a range of themes including: curriculum, pedagogy and assessment; education management; school improvement; higher education; student & teacher identities; informal & workplace learning; inequality and social justice; the nature of professional expertise; the intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of personal experience and professional development; and the evolving practices and policy contexts of professional work.

There is a particular emphasis on rigorous interdisciplinary and critical perspectives with staff and students working in and across a range of disciplines.

We also run MPhil and PhD programmes in Interdisciplinary Policy Studies and Language, Discourse & Communication. We are home to a range of research projects, funded by research councils (ESRC and AHRC) and major charities (e.g. Wellcome, Leverhulme and Nuffield).

Information is current, but staff members can change .

Head of group/division

Professor Lulu Healy

  • How to apply
  • Fees or Funding

UK Tuition Fees 2023/24

Full time tuition fees: £6,540 per year

Part time tuition fees: £3,270 per year

International Tuition Fees 2023/24

Full time tuition fees: £24,360 per year

Part time tuition fees: £12,180 per year

UK Tuition Fees 2024/25

Full time tuition fees: £6,936 per year

Part time tuition fees: £3,468 per year

International Tuition Fees 2024/25

Full time tuition fees: £26,070 per year

Part time tuition fees: £13,035 per year

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King's terms and conditions.

  • Study environment

Base campus

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Waterloo Campus

Waterloo campus is home of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery and facilities for other faculties

Study Environment

The School is located on the Waterloo Campus right in the heart of London, next to London's South Bank Centre which includes the British Film Institute (BFI), Hayward Gallery, and the National Theatre. The Waterloo campus is home to the Franklin Wilkins library, with the Strand campus and the Maughan Library only a short walk away across the river.

The School offers a supportive, lively and outward-looking intellectual environment. There are plenty of opportunities for informal interaction and designated study rooms for doctoral students.

As part of a large multi-faculty institution, students also have the opportunity to build close ties across the College, as well as active cross-institutional links.

Postgraduate Training

Our extensive research training for MPhil/PhD students consists of an initial foundation programme which covers different approaches in the social sciences. It gives you a firm grounding in key social science theories and methodologies and invites students to grapple with experimental and innovative epistemologies.

You will be allocated two supervisors who will work with you throughout your studies. Students will also join one of our three research groups ( Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication ; Centre for Public Policy Research ; Centre for Research in Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic s), all of which run a full programme of subject-specialist seminars. Many of these sessions are constructed around students' own research problems, and all of them provide extensive opportunities for students to learn from one another.

Students are also encouraged to participate in the training provided by the College's Centre for Doctoral Studies and the London Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Training Partnership (LISS-DTP) supported by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council.

Student Destinations

The course provides a good grounding for an academic career, as well as personal enrichment and career enhancement opportunities for those already working in, or interested in moving into, education-related roles within the formal and informal learning sectors, local and central government, research and policy organisations, educational charities and NGOs.

  • Entry requirements

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For more information regarding our courses please contact us using the details below

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Education PhD

Most students complete this programme in 4 years full-time.

Apply your existing education knowledge and skills to different contexts and research activities.

This course gives you the opportunity to research a topic in depth and contribute new knowledge to the academic community. You will be required to conduct supervised research at the leading edge of the educational field and write up as a substantial thesis (up to 90,000 words).

See what some of our current students are researching .

Department of Education

  • Programme structure

Most students complete this programme in 4 years. You cannot take less than 2 years to finish your research and the maximum time you are allowed is normally 4 years.

You may start this programme at any time. Most students start in September.

Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

Your academic progress and general welfare will be monitored by your supervisor.

Academic milestones

  • Registration
  • Candidature
  • Confirmation
  • Give notice of intention to submit a thesis / portfolio
  • Submission for examination
  • Examination (Viva Voce)
  • Examiners report
  • Final submission of thesis / portfolio
  • Programme content
  • Doctoral skills online
  • Doctoral skills workshop
  • Research project
  • Supervisory team

Research content

From application to completion of your submission and viva voce, you will benefit from high-quality individual guidance and support. A supervisory panel will be responsible for giving you advice and support, and monitoring your progress.

You can expect reasonable access to your supervisory panel throughout your period of research; there is a minimum requirement for some face-to-face contact each year.

The programme aims to:

  • provide a framework within which you can conduct an original piece of research relating to your own experience and interest
  • facilitate your development as a fully-trained and competent educational researcher, able to understand and use research techniques appropriate to your subject area, and to be knowledgable about approaches used by other social scientists
  • enable you to think through how you can use your existing knowledge and skills to different contexts and apply them to a variety of problems and to your future research activities.

Learning occurs in several ways:

  • Supervisory team – through working with two academic advisers (your supervisory team) you will develop both your research skills and your research study.
  • By undertaking courses provided through resources from our Doctoral College , which aims to develop your research skills and engagement (see section below on professional development). In addition, it is sometimes possible for you to audit units from other programmes.
  • Through becoming part of the Department of Education’s research culture for example, by participating in research seminars and research cluster activities.

Professional Development

Professional development is a crucial element of doctoral study, not only in supporting your research but also as part of your longer term career development. Our DoctoralSkills workshops and courses will help you build your skills and help you succeed in your doctorate.

Read more about professional development support

Assessment methods

Assessment description.

  • Oral assessment – known as a ‘viva voce’, this normally occurs at two stages. First, as part of the Confirmation process at the end of your first year of study in order to transfer from MPhil to PhD status of study; and second as part of the final assessment of your PhD Thesis.
  • Thesis – this is your written research study.
  • Entry requirements

Academic requirements

First or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject, from a recognised university. This is not necessary for students holding a Masters degree, have undertaken our MRes, or who feel more strongly prepared for PhD study.

English Language requirements

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 7.0 overall with no less than 6.5 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 69 with no less than 62 in any element
  • TOEFL IBT: 100 overall with a minimum 24 in all 4 components

You will need to get your English language qualification within 24 months prior to starting your course.

If you need to improve your English language skills before starting your studies, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course to reach the required level.

Two references are required. At least one of these should be an academic reference from the most recent place of study.

  • Fees and funding

Fees and funding information for Education PhD

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home or Overseas student.

Learn how we decide fee status

Tuition fees are liable to increase annually for all University of Bath students. If you aren't paying your fees in British pounds, you should also budget for possible fluctuations in your own currency.

Find out more about student fees

Funding options

Find funding for doctoral research

Payment options

You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card or bank transfer.

Paying your tuition fees

  • Application information
  • Programme title Education PhD
  • Final award PhD
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • Course code RHED-AFM02
  • Department Department of Education as part of the ESRC South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP) in economic and social science
  • Location University of Bath Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY

3 months prior to the intended start date (for international applicants) or 2 months prior to the intended start date (for home applicants). For example, for an end of September start, the deadline is 30 June (international) and 31 July (home).

  • Regulator The Office for Students (OfS)

Applicant profile

See our guide about how to apply for doctoral study

Immigration requirements

If you are an international student, you can find out more about the visa requirements for studying in the UK .

For additional support please contact the Student Immigration Service for matters related to student visas and immigration.

  • Programme enquiries

Doctoral Admissions

  • Apply for this programme
  • Related programmes
  • Education PhD part-time
  • Doctor of Education EdD part-time

On this page

PhD Education

We offer high-quality supervision by internationally recognised scholars in areas including educational psychology, education policy, sociology of education, higher education, teaching and learning in schools, professional development, learning in the city, non-formal education, lifelong learning and assessment.

Academic staff include experienced researchers with methodological expertise in advanced quantitative methods, experimental methods, a range of qualitative research methods and mixed methods. You will be part of a large, diverse doctoral community in an atmosphere that is exciting, creative and welcoming.

You can expect:

  • membership of a research centre, network and/or faculty-wide research group that includes staff and postgraduate researchers;
  • accredited research methods units;
  • networking opportunities with other doctoral researchers across disciplines and neighbouring universities through membership of the South West Doctoral Training Partnership and Bristol Doctoral College;
  • support for developing as a researcher, including attending conferences and publishing research;
  • opportunities to apply for short-term paid research assistant and teaching assistant roles;
  • access to professional development and short training courses tailored for postgraduate researchers;
  • access to a dedicated school library on site, faculty and other University libraries;
  • modern and well-appointed study spaces within the School of Education and in the wider University;
  • opportunities to participate in seminars (often featuring national and international visitors), research student seminars, reading groups and specialist methodological workshops.

Programme structure

A PhD is focused on carrying out research that leads to a dissertation of 80,000 words. With the support of academic supervisors to guide you, you will undertake research training and then design and conduct your own research project.

World-leading research

The University of Bristol is ranked fifth for research in the UK ( Times Higher Education ).

94% of our research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class undergraduate honours degree (or equivalent) and normally a merit at MSc/MA level (or equivalent).

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our  profile level C.

Further information about  English language requirements and profile levels .

Fees and funding

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support .

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study.  Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law offers 1+3 and +3 ESRC-funded scholarships .

Applicants may also be interested in applying for funding from the University of Bristol scholarship fund or alumni PhD scholarship fund.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

We offer academic and personal development opportunities to equip you for the intellectual, social and personal challenges you will encounter during your career. Our overarching goal is to enable our graduates to display the following characteristics:

  • equipped to demonstrate impact, excellence and distinctiveness in your chosen field;
  • visionary, imaginative, innovative, reflective and creative;
  • high ideals and values, including a strong sense of social justice;
  • highly employable throughout the world;
  • adaptable, with the potential to be a leader in work and in the community.

Meet our supervisors

The following list shows potential supervisors for this programme. Visit their profiles for details of their research and expertise.

Research groups

The overarching mission of the School of Education is to develop learning and leadership for a changing world through research and teaching that promotes achievement, opportunity and social justice. The aim is to build intellectual and practical leadership among policymakers, practitioners, students and the wider research community, which is urgently required to enable education to adapt and thrive in a time of rapid local and global change.

Research in the school is concentrated into five main areas of inquiry and expertise within these five research centres:

  • Centre for Higher Education Transformations
  • Centre for Comparative and International Research in Education
  • Centre for Multilevel Modelling
  • Centre for Psychological Approaches for Studying Education
  • Centre for Teaching, Learning and Curriculum

As a doctoral student you will join one of the research centres associated with these key areas of research and work with staff and other doctoral students who have similar research interests. Please see the School of Education research centres and networks for more information.

How to apply

Apply via our online application system. For further information, please see the guidance for how to apply on our webpages.

We welcome applications at any time of year. Early application is advised.

The closing date for ESRC studentship applications (September 2024 start) is December 2023. For further details on applying for ESRC funding, please visit the SWDTP website .

Student Services Office

Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Explore more

Find out about the bristol doctoral college.

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Education MPhil/PhD

Distance learning programme

IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society offers world-leading doctoral programmes in education and related social science. Our Education (Online) MPhil/PhD distance learning students undertake their research project, working closely with their supervisor(s) online (e.g. using Teams/Zoom and email) to develop each stage of their research, whilst engaging in a tailored programme of online research training courses and activities available from the UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme, IOE faculty’s Research Training Programme, the multi-institutional Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network, and from other sources.

UK tuition fees (2024/25)

Overseas tuition fees (2024/25), programme starts, applications accepted.

  • Entry requirements

The normal minimum requirement is a Master’s degree from a UK university in a subject appropriate to the programme to be followed, or a qualification of equivalent standard appropriate to the programme to be followed awarded by a university (or educational institution of university rank) outside the UK. The majority of our successful applicants hold a Merit at Master’s level, and may have additional relevant experience. Students without a Master’s degree who have completed the UCL PGDip in Social Science Research Methods, obtaining a grade B or above in any two or more modules, may also be considered for admission to this programme.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website .

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

IOE has specialised, research-active staff who are able to supervise students in education and related social sciences, including leadership, management, and teaching and learning in all phases of education, from early years through schooling and post-compulsory education to professional and lifelong learning. Other areas include health, the life course and economics.

Who this course is for

The MPhil/PhD is for applicants with a strong interest in an aspect of educational and social research, which may be understood broadly across the life course, in relation to other subject areas and wider social, economic, political and cultural changes. You should normally have completed an MA to merit level and want to develop a specific area of research. You may have a background in education or a cognate area of study. It is suitable for both recent graduates and those progressed in a career.

What this course will give you

IOE is a world-leading centre for research in education and related social science. We host the UK's largest doctoral cohort in these areas. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2023), the Institute was ranked first for education for the tenth year running, ahead of Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge. In the UK's recent Research Excellence Framework (2021), we were ranked first for research strength and research power in Education, according to the Elsevier REF 2021 Results Analysis Tool. We attract extensive research funding each year and host many prestigious research centres and projects.

There are no residency requirements and the programme has been designed to engage students in distance learning so it is not necessary to attend.

Students undertake their research project, working closely with their supervisor(s) online (e.g. , using Teams/Zoom and email) to develop each stage of their research, whilst engaging in online research training courses modules and activities.

The viva examination takes place in-person at UCL or online. Students are welcome to visit and use campus facilities including the library, attend seminars etc.

The foundation of your career

Students gain experience of planning and implementing research methodologies, academic writing and presentation, management of their own research projects, and engagement with a wide range of researchers, practitioners, policymakers and other groups relevant to their chosen topic.

Employability

IOE doctoral graduates progress to a diverse range of careers in research, policy, management and practice, within education, cultural sectors and related areas of social science.

IOE is a leading centre for education and social science research. Students will have the opportunity to network with other doctoral students from around the world, as well as with world-leading academics within their field of study. The institute hosts several online seminar series as well as both national and international conferences. In addition, students are encouraged to take part in conferences elsewhere, expanding networking opportunities.

Teaching and learning

Distance learning students engage in independent learning supported through: (i) individualized online supervision (e.g., via Teams/Zoom and email) and (ii) peer group (cohort) learning through asynchronous and synchronous learning activities following a robust Online Research Training Programme (Online RTP). However, students are welcome to visit and use campus facilities to engage in in-person research training, access the library, attend seminars etc.

Education (Online) MPhil/PhD engages distance learning students in a robust Online Research Training Programme (Online RTP) to complement their individualized online supervision.

The Online RTP comprises of six `core' modules with asynchronous and synchronous learning activities introducing social science research in education.  Modules build students' critical perspective in: approaches to educational research, research and the theoretical field, research methods, qualitative and quantitative analytic procedures and academic writing and presentation.  Learning activities engage students in developing their doctoral research through independent study, peer group study and module tutor feedback.

Students with prior learning have flexibility in opting to engage in advanced online courses from the UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme, IOE Research Training Programme, Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network and other sources, as agreed with supervisors.

Full-time students typically study 2 modules per term over one year while part-time students study 1 module per term over two years.  Modules run for 4-9 weeks and are awarded 6-10 `training points'.  

Students also undertake two `core skills' courses to: (i) introduce UCL and IOE academic regulations, prepare for upgrade and ethics application and, (ii) enhance students' use of digital information and resources.  

Assessment is undertaken through completion of a thesis and viva examination. The maximum word length for a PhD degree thesis is 100,000 words. This includes footnotes, tables and figures but excludes bibliography, appendices and supporting data. In some instances, supervisors may wish to recommend a shorter length. Students should therefore consult with their supervisors on the length of theses in their subject area or topic, including the minimum length. The viva examination takes place in-person at UCL or online.

Education MPhil/PhD students engage in self-directed learning. Duration of full-time study is 3 years and part-time study is 5 years. Typically, full-time students engage in their doctoral studies for at least 35 hours a week, whilst part-time students engage in at least 15 hours a week.

Research areas and structure

Applicants to the IOE Education MPhil/PhD programme must apply to one of the six departments within the IOE: Culture, Communication and Media; Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment; Education, Practice and Society; Learning and Leadership; Psychology and Human Development; or the UCL Social Research Institute.

Applicants should look at the departmental websites to find out more information about the work of each department, and to identify one or more potential supervisors for their work. Even though applicants apply directly to the MPhil/PhD programmes in the department of their principal supervisor, the programme they follow once enrolled will be identical.

Research environment

You will have the opportunity to access to the wider UCL community. The Institute’s programme has been designed to provide comprehensive and broadly based research training and to meet the requirements of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the UK Researcher Development Framework.

As a research student at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society you have the opportunity to participant in online seminar groups when engaging in distance learning as well as in-person seminar groups when visiting campus, along with seminars organised by research centres or according to interest groups.  This promotes collegiality and enriches learning.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is 3 years for full-time.

You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration.

Students undertake their research project, working closely with their supervisor(s) online (e.g., using Teams/Zoom and email) to develop each stage of their research, whilst engaging in online research training courses and activities.

IOE Centre for Doctoral Education provides an extensive Research Training Programme. Courses are available from the UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme, IOE faculty’s Research Training Programme, the multi-institutional Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network, and from other sources. The training offers a wide range of introductory, advanced methods, advanced theoretical, and generic non-credit bearing academic skills courses, as well as student led workshops and reading groups which you can attend.

A mandatory core course is provided online and in-person that aims to meet the needs of early-stage doctoral students. In addition, distance learning students are required to take six tailored online research training core modules (Approaches to Educational Research; Research and the Theoretical Field; Research Methods; Qualitative Data Analysis; Quantitative Data Analysis; Writing and Presenting Educational Research) in their first year of full-time study or first two years of part-time study, and are then able to choose from a selection of advanced online courses.

Full-time MPhil/PhD students are required to fulfil minimum 20 ‘points’ of training activity in their first year, and are encouraged to fulfil the same in their subsequent years of study. Each point is worth approximately a half-day of face-to-face training, or an online equivalent.

Other activities such as attending and presenting at conferences also count towards research training. Students may undertake additional training beyond these minima, as relevant to their research and/or as agreed with their supervisors.

You are expected to upgrade from MPhil to PhD status towards the end of your first year of study if full-time. Students whose performance is satisfactory will transfer from MPhil to PhD status.

Processes aimed at assisting you during your course of study include the Research Student Log (an online project management tool), and periodic reviews of students’ progress.

Upon successful completion of your approved period of registration you may, if necessary, register as a completing research status (CRS) student while you finish writing your thesis.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is 5 years for part-time.

Students   undertake their research project, working closely with their supervisor(s) online (e.g. , using Teams/Zoom and email) to develop each stage of their research, whilst engaging in online research training courses and activities.

IOE Centre for Doctoral Education provides an extensive Research Training Programme. Courses are available from the UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme, IOE faculty's Research Training Programme, the multi-institutional Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network, and from other sources.

The training offers a wide range of introductory, advanced methods, advanced theoretical, and generic non-credit bearing academic skills courses, as well as student led workshops and reading groups which you can attend.

A mandatory core course is provided online and in-person that aims to meet the needs of early-stage doctoral students. In addition, distance learning students are required to take six tailored online research training core modules (Approaches to Educational Research; Research and the Theoretical Field; Research Methods; Qualitative Data Analysis; Quantitative Data Analysis; Writing and Presenting Educational Research) in their first year of full-time study or first two years of part-time study, and are then able to choose from a selection of advanced online courses .

Part-time students are required to fulfil minimum 12 ‘points’ of training activity in each year of study. Each point is worth approximately a half-day of face-to-face training, or an online equivalent.

You are expected to upgrade from MPhil to PhD status at around 18 months if part-time. Students whose performance is satisfactory will transfer from MPhil to PhD status.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk . Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team .

Fees and funding

Fees for this course.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees .

Additional costs

Students should take into account any travel, accommodation and expenses involved in their thesis.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs .

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding webpage: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/scholarships/funding-students-postgraduate-research-courses

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website .

After choosing a programme to apply for, you should develop a research proposal and identify a potential supervisor. For more information, visit our website to find a supervisor and get in touch with departmental graduate tutors.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

Year of entry: 2023-2024, got questions get in touch.

UCL Institute of Education

UCL Institute of Education

[email protected]

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students .

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Department of

Department of Education

Dphil in education, scholarships.

The DPhil in Education is a full-time programme which takes 3-4 years and is intended to provide graduates with a wide range of research skills as well as in-depth knowledge, understanding and expertise in their chosen field of educational research.

The DPhil in Education is an advanced research degree of a high standing and is awarded on the basis of a thesis and an oral examination.

A full-time programme takes 3-4 years to complete and is intended to provide graduates with a wide range of research skills as well as in-depth knowledge, understanding and expertise in their chosen field of research.

About 80 DPhil students are attached to the Department, researching a wide range of topics, normally linked to one or more of the Department’s Research Groups. Students come from over 40 different countries and are supported by a variety of scholarships and grants. Entry is highly competitive, and applicants are required to have a strong academic background and are required to submit a research proposal.

It is also possible to study part-time for a DPhil in the department. For more information, visit our part-time DPhil page .

The Department offers some part and full scholarships to attract the very strongest students who would otherwise not be able to come and study in Oxford.

It is committed to developing the number of fully-funded studentships it can offer to DPhil students, given their importance to the Department’s research culture. The funding deadline for all graduate courses in the Department of Education is January application deadline. Applications submitted after this date will not be considered for funding offered by Oxford. Funding deadlines for other University courses can be found on the relevant course page on the Graduate Admissions website . These are all highly competitive, and require high-quality, well-crafted research proposals.

All eligible applicants for graduate study are automatically considered for the University’s prestigious Clarendon Scholarships and the departmental scholarships. You will be notified around the beginning of March if you are being considered for any of these funding opportunities.

Reparative Futures of Education Scholarship

The Reparative Futures of Education (REPAIR-ED) research project is awarding two fully-funded doctoral scholarships based within Oxford University’s Department of Education.

The REPAIR-ED project involves working with primary school communities in the city of Bristol to examine the features and mechanisms of structural inequities in education. The project will use its empirical findings to facilitate dialogues with stakeholders (schools, their communities, policy-actors and the broader public) to explore how reparative justice in education might be conceptualised and enacted.

More information about the REPAIR-ED scholarships and how to apply.

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

The ESRC is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on social and economic issues. The University, in collaboration with Brunel University and the Open University, hosts the Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership – one of 14 Doctoral Training Partnerships accredited by the ESRC as part of a Doctoral Training Network.

In order to be considered for a Grand Union DTP ESRC studentship, you must select ‘ ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentships in Social Sciences ’ in the University of Oxford scholarships section of the University’s graduate application form. You must also complete a  Grand Union DTP Application Form and upload it, together with your graduate application form, by the funding deadline for your course.

Information about ESRC studentships at Oxford can be found here . Please ensure you have read all of the guidance available on the website before you complete the Grand Union DTP Application Form . If you have any questions, get in touch with the Grand Union DTP Office .

Talbot Scholarships

This scholarship fund is the result of a bequest to the Department in honour of Ms Elfrida Talbot, who ran the first women’s hostel for Education students in the University in the early years of the twentieth century. It is normally used to part-fund a UK/EU doctoral student for three years who was seen as strong contender for an ESRC doctoral studentship. Strong contenders for ESRC studentships will be automatically considered for this scholarship: no separate application process is needed. This scholarship is usually offered once every three years.

Clarendon scholarships

The very strongest applicants for all our MSc and DPhil programmes are automatically considered for University Clarendon scholarships. There is no separate application process. These are highly competitive and each year only one or two of our students are successful. During our initial admissions screening, supervisors nominate applicants with outstanding academic records to be considered. These supervisors then prepare a supporting statement.  A departmental panel ranks these candidates and the Director of Doctoral Research puts forward a shortlist of the strongest applicants to the divisional committee.

Departmental studentships

The Department is keen to attract the very strongest MSc students and encourage them to stay on for doctoral study. The shortlist will normally be made up of those students shortlisted for the ESRC and Clarendon scholarships. Interviews and decisions will be made once the ESRC and Clarendon awards are announced.

Awards will vary in range, but will seek to make a significant contribution to the overall cost of fees. Successful candidates will be expected to make an active contribution to the academic and professional life of the doctoral students within the Department. These scholarships may not be offered every year.

Further information on graduate scholarships and awards offered by the University and external agencies can be found on the  Student Funding Services  website.

Self-Funding

Scholarships are awarded on entry to the doctoral programme, not at any later point. If you are not awarded a scholarship in your first year, but elect to self-fund, you will be asked by the University to sign a declaration that you have the money to cover your fees and your living expenses for the first year. It should be noted that although you are only asked about the first year, it is extremely unlikely that you will acquire funding after that. There are no additional scholarships within the University for continuing doctoral students. The Department in general and individual staff members work hard to bring in funding for doctoral students, but we cannot fund everybody. It is worth carefully considering which colleges might have scholarships for which you are eligible when you apply.

Most colleges will offer some very small grants for fieldwork, travel or conference attendance. These are in the region of a couple of hundred pounds at most.

You can work part time during your doctorate, subject to the requirements of your visa, but you must obtain the support of your supervisor to do so, and it can have detrimental effects on your progress. There are occasionally some paid research assistant posts within the Department which are advertised to the doctoral cohort but these tend to be highly sought after. We do not have undergraduates so you are unlikely to be able to supervise as graduate students outside Education do.

There are some charitable trusts outside of the University to which you might be able to apply for some funding; we cannot keep track of all the potential requirements, so you should seek these out for yourself. However, they are not likely to be sufficient to cover fees and living expenses in their entirety.

Financial assistance run by colleges tends to be for ‘unexpected circumstances’; self-funders not getting any funding in second or subsequent years is not seen as unexpected. Both the University and the Department have some limited funds for those writing up the final stages of their doctorate. These are highly competitive and there are always more requests than there is money to fulfil them.

This advice is not intended to put you off, but it is important for self-funders to have a realistic view.

WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO I NEED TO APPLY?

For more specific details of our admission criteria please visit the DPhil in Education course page .

HOW MANY STUDENTS DO YOU RECRUIT TO THE DPHIL IN EDUCATION PROGRAMME?

Approximately 25-35 students are recruited to our DPhil in Education programme each year.

CAN I STUDY ONLINE OR THROUGH DISTANCE LEARNING?

It is not possible to study at a distance or on-line on our DPhil programme.

What if I have already completed research training as part of a Masters degree?

All PRS students no matter what their previous training are required to undertake the Research Training Seminar course. This is the seminar specifically for PRS students, preparing you for the Oxford DPhil structure, creating a supportive cohort and enabling you to begin professional development for an academic or non-academic career. Other research training courses are: Beginners and Intermediate Quantitative Methods; Perspectives and Debates in Qualitative Research and Philosophy of Educational Research. The exact courses you will be required to take will depend on your previous training and experience, and the decision will be based on the evidence you provide in your application and in discussion with the Director of Doctoral Research on matriculation.

WHAT ARE THE BACKGROUNDS OF STUDENTS RECRUITED TO YOUR PROGRAMMES?

The Department offers a very wide range of courses. As well as a comprehensive Doctoral programme attracting students from all over the world, we offer full-time one year MSc in Education and in MSc Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition (ALSLA) courses, as well as a range of part-time courses, some aimed primarily at UK teachers (e.g. MSc Learning & Teaching, MS Teacher Education) and some at distance learning (e.g., Applied Linguistics and Language Teaching). Consequently our courses cater to students from a diverse range of backgrounds.

For example in 2021/22, the Department had a total complement of 780 students of whom 414 were studying full-time and 366 were studying part-time. For 2021/22, across the MSc Education, MSc ALSLA, and DPhil programmes, approximately 29% of our students came from the UK, and the remaining 71% from the EU or overseas. The cohort from those programmes included students from Afghanistan, Australia, Japan, Germany, India, Malaysia, China, Mexico, Estonia, Australia, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the United States, among many others.

What our students share is exceptional academic achievement in their previous learning and an ambition to excel academically.

CAN I STUDY PART TIME?

Although doctoral research training programmes across the University tend to be structured around the needs of full-time students, we are able to offer a part-time DPhil option for students who reside and are employed locally.   See here for more information about studying for a part-time DPhil with us .

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO STUDY AND LIVE IN OXFORD?

To find out how much it will cost to undertake your studies at the University, please  visit the Fees and Living Costs webpage  for details.

CAN I APPLY FOR MORE THAN ONE COURSE?

We would strongly encourage you to focus your application on the course for which you have the most interest and experience.

CAN I APPLY FOR YOUR COURSES IF I AM IN THE PROCESS OF ACHIEVING MY QUALIFICATION TO GAIN ENTRY ONTO THE PROGRAMME?

Yes, you may apply for any of our courses whilst studying for another degree. If you are successful in achieving a place on one of our programmes, we would make a conditional offer which would include the condition of you achieving your qualification. You are required to submit an interim transcript at application. However, your final outcome would need to be available prior to you commencing the course at Oxford.

CAN SOMEONE CHECK IF MY RESEARCH PROPOSAL FITS INTO THE RESEARCH INTERESTS OF CURRENT MEMBERS OF STAFF BEFORE I SUBMIT AN APPLICATION?

Prospective DPhil applicants are expected to browse the online profiles of current members of staff to identify academics whose research interests overlap with theirs. If you can’t locate any academics with overlapping interests with yours, it is likely that your proposed area of research does not fit into the interests of current members of staff or the Department’s research centres.

ENGLISH IS NOT MY FIRST LANGUAGE; WHICH HIGHER LEVEL LANGUAGE QUALIFICATION IS ACCEPTABLE? AND WHAT SCORE DO YOU REQUIRE?

If you do not have English as your first language, we would like you to have achieved the higher level competence in English Language proficiency i.e. IELTS 7.5 overall with at least 7.0 in each component, or TOEFL 110 (Internet-based).

We do not accept tests which are more than 2 years old. We encourage applicants to apply with a successful IELTS test. If evidence that you successfully meet the English language condition cannot be provided with your application, the language requirement will be set as a condition if an offer is made.

For further information, please  visit the Application Guide .

CAN I APPLY FOR A WAIVER OF PROOF OF PROFICIENCY IN ENGLISH?

For information on applying for a waiver of the English test requirement, please  visit the application guide .

HOW DO I APPLY?

For information about applying, see the University Admission’s DPhil page . For a more detailed explanation of the process, please  click here for the application guide .

NOT ALL OF MY QUALIFICATIONS WILL FIT ON THE APPLICATION FORM, WHAT SHALL I DO?

If you require more space on the application form, please contact Graduate Admissions for advice.

I HAVE BEEN OUTSIDE OF AN ACADEMIC SETTING FOR SOME TIME NOW; WHO SHALL I HAVE TO ACT AS MY REFEREES?

We strongly recommend that you have at least one reference from your most recent academic tutor. If you are currently in employment, you would be expected to provide a reference from your employer as well as an academic referee who is able to comment on academic capability/suitability for Higher Degree study.

WHAT DO I NEED TO INCLUDE FOR THE SAMPLES OF WRITTEN WORK?

Two essays, a maximum of 2,000 words each.

The written work should be related to the DPhil in Education and should be on separate topics. If you do not have any existing material that fits this requirement, you may wish to critique an article or write a book review based on the course subject.

You may submit written work previously completed for a prior course of study if the topic is relevant, eg an assignment or chapter of a dissertation etc, provided it meets the requirements. If your work is significantly longer than the guide length it should be edited to meet the requirements.

A list of relevant references is required for your written work and should be included in your word count. [If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.] This will be assessed for understanding of the subject area, an ability to construct and defend an argument, and proficiency in academic English.

WHAT DO I NEED TO INCLUDE IN THE RESEARCH PROPOSAL AND PERSONAL STATEMENT?

If you are applying to the DPhil programme you need to submit a personal statement of a maximum of 1,000 words and a research proposal of a maximum of 2,500 words. Your statement and proposal should be submitted as a single, combined document with a clear subheading for each.

You should submit a convincing personal statement (statement of purpose) explaining your reasons for applying to the programme and highlighting your relevant academic and professional experience. The final line of your personal statement should indicate your future plans after a doctorate.

You should also submit a research proposal written in English. An indicative bibliography is required but you do not need to include this in your word count. Your proposal should include an indicative title and a short introduction/synopsis, a discussion of the most relevant scholarly literature, and a research question or hypothesis. This issue or question should emerge from your review of the literature. Please also provide a rationale for the importance of this research topic.

Your proposal should also indicate your proposed methodological approach. This will depend on the kind of research you envisage. If empirical research is planned, then please discuss the likely ‘data’ to be collected. At this stage these ideas are exploratory, and likely to develop and change once you are accepted.

This will be assessed for your potential to carry out doctoral research, the quality and coherence of the proposal and the originality of the project.

It will be normal for your ideas to subsequently change in some ways as you develop your project. You should nevertheless make the best effort you can to demonstrate the extent of your research question, sources and method at this moment.

Your proposal should focus on your proposed research topic, rather than personal achievements, interests and aspirations.

HOW IS MY SUPERVISOR DECIDED?

Although supervisors will be allocated by the Department and it is not necessary for you to contact academic members of staff directly, prospective applicants are encouraged to approach academics whose research interests overlap with theirs to informally solicit their capacity and interest in supervising new DPhil students. You may also ask them to share with you specific publications that they have authored that you can’t access otherwise and that may help inform your research proposal. There is a section in the application form in which you can indicate your suggested supervisors. You are strongly encouraged to fill it in with two names of suggested supervisors when you apply.

AM I REQUIRED TO ATTEND FOR INTERVIEW?

Interviews are normally held with two interviewers using Microsoft Teams. Interviews will normally take place in February.

WHAT WILL THE INTERVIEW BE LIKE?

We are keen to find out more about you and your interests, and how these might tie in with the research specialisms of academic staff within the department.

For DPhil applicants, we will ask you to talk in detail about your research proposal, its design, your methodological choices and potential challenges you might face. For MSc applicants, we will ask you about your knowledge of the course, your reasons for wanting to study in this area, and initial ideas for their dissertation research.

Applicants may be asked to explain how their areas of interest link to those of the departments’ research groups, centres and academic staff.

WHEN WILL THE OUTCOME OF MY APPLICATION BE KNOWN?

Applications will be considered by the admissions panel within the Department and decisions will be made in accordance with the following deadlines:

January application deadline – mid March

You will be informed of our decision by email to ensure that you receive the outcome as soon as possible.

In the event that we are not able to offer you a place, we regret that it is not possible to provide you with feedback on your application.

CAN I DEFER ENTRY TO A COURSE?

The University will only consider requests for deferral of entry due to exceptional unforeseen circumstances, and only after all conditions set for the offer (both academic and financial) have been met.

Couldn’t find your answers under our FAQ section?

Please direct all enquiries to our Higher Degrees Office and a member of the administrative team will be happy to assist you.

Email: [email protected]

  • Entry requirements
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Meet our DPhil Students

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Teaching in a classroom

Help to shape the future of education through our research degrees at Southampton. Explore new ideas that can have an impact on practice as you develop your professional skills.

Join our community of researchers and challenge current national and international thinking in education. We welcome applications from those looking to further their interest in the fields of education, such as: mathematics, science and health education, leadership, inclusion and work-related learning.

Research paths

You can choose from 2 postgraduate research options:

Integrated PhD (iPhD)

On our PhD programme, we'll support you through expert joint supervision. You will typically work with 2 supervisors who are active research members of staff with expertise in your area of interest.

At the start of your PhD, your supervisor will discuss any training and support needs you may have to develop specific research skills, and, if appropriate, you will be able to attend relevant modules of our research training programme.

After agreeing on an appropriate development plan, you will meet regularly with your supervisors for academic support and supervision. You will also be able to participate in the research seminars and specialist workshops run at a school or faculty level.

We recommend the iPhD to students who:

  • do not have a master’s degree that included a significant research element
  • need to strengthen their foundational research skills and research proposal before carrying out a research project leading to a PhD thesis

This is an intensive programme with 2 phases:

Skills development

During the first 12-18 months (full time) or 24-30 months (part time), you'll take part in a substantial programme of seminars, workshops and lectures. You must attend the University for taught sessions, usually for half a day per week.

We will develop your foundational research skills and subject-specific knowledge of education, alongside a wide range of transferrable skills. You will further develop and strengthen your initial research proposal, and also write and present a research report related to a key aspect of your proposed research project. Much of the work that you undertake for assessment during this first phase can be turned into material for drafting parts of your PhD thesis.

In the second phase, you will complete a research project leading to the production of a PhD thesis. We will expect you to have passed a range of research and education modules before progressing onto the thesis. We'll assess you through:

  • written assignments
  • presentation
  • annual reports
  • confirmation of candidature through submission of an interim thesis
  • final thesis

You must complete your annual progress reports and interim thesis, examined by viva, for confirmation of your PhD candidature in order to arrive at the final thesis stage of your PhD.

Main areas of research

Research at the School of Education is structured in 3 research centres or groups, providing all research-active members of the school, whether internationally renowned professors or first-year PhD students, with a creative environment for discussion. Our centres support members (including PhD students nearing completion) in the publication process and carry out commissioned and funded research for a wide variety of organisations. We have research centres for:

  • research in inclusion
  • leadership, effective education and policy
  • mathematics, science and health education

Our research seminar series offers a forum for the presentation of current research being undertaken both by our department and externally, to develop our own research, and to share ideas.

We adopt a deliberately inclusive approach, offering insight into local, national and international research projects in all phases of education.

Similar research degree topics

  • Modern languages and linguistics

Doctoral Programme Director

For questions about Southampton Education School doctoral programmes, please contact  Dr Charis Voutsina .

Email:  [email protected]

iPhD Director and PGR Admissions Selector

For questions about PGR admissions and the iPhD programme, please contact  Dr Andri Christodoulou .

Email:  [email protected]  

Find a research project

You can either apply for a supervisor-led project or  propose your own PhD idea.

We offer most of our funding opportunities between October and March each year. If there are no projects advertised currently, we still welcome enquiries to potential supervisors to discuss projects and funding options.

Advertised PhD research projects

0 advertised projects, funding and fees.

  • Funding options

Find a funded PhD project

We offer a wide range of fully funded studentships. We run several of our PhD studentships in partnership with doctoral training centres, meaning you'll benefit from enhanced training and guaranteed funding.

These studentships: 

  • are fully funded
  • come with a maintenance grant to help towards living costs
  • are open to UK and international students

View our current projects

Doctoral training centre studentship

Find out about studentship funding opportunities from the South Cost Doctoral Training Partnership

Scholarships

We offer scholarships and teaching bursaries ourselves. Your potential supervisor can guide you on what is available.

If you’re an international student you may be able to apply for a scholarship from your country.

Find out more about scholarships

Fund your own PhD research project

Once you've found a supervisor, they can help you with potential funding sources. We offer match funding in some cases.

You'll need to state how you intend to pay for your tuition fees when you submit your application.

Find out more about funding your PhD

Get industry sponsorship

You may be able to fund your postgraduate research with funding from your current employer or from industry.

Take out a PhD loan

You can borrow up to £28,673 for a PhD starting in 2023. Doctoral loans are not means tested and you can decide how much you want to borrow.

Find out about PhD loans on GOV.UK

Apply for funding from a charity

You may be able to win funding from one or more charities to help fund your PhD.

Learn about charity funding on FindAPhD.com

2022 to 2023 entry:

2023 to 2024 entry:

2024 to 2025 entry:

Alumni discount

You're eligible for a 10% alumni discount on a self-funded PhD if you're a current student or graduate from the University of Southampton.

Potential supervisors

Doctor Cristina Azaola

Dr Cristina Azaola

Research interests.

  • Social inclusion and exclusion through schooling
  • School belonging in urban and rural educational settings
  • Education inequalities: the public and private school divide

Email: [email protected]

Professor Christian Bokhove

Professor Christian Bokhove

  • Mathematics education in the classroom
  • Technology use in schools
  • Research methods

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Michaela Brockmann

Dr Michaela Brockmann

  • Sociology of education
  • Biographical, ethnographic and interdisciplinary approaches 
  • Education and VET policy

Email: [email protected]

Professor Chris Brown

Professor Chris Brown

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Andri Christodoulou

Dr Andri Christodoulou

  • Argumentation within scientific and socio-scientific contexts
  • Dialogic teaching
  • Socio-scientific inquiry-based learning

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Tae-Hee Choi

Dr Tae-Hee Choi

  • Education policy and change
  • Teacher development
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Ben Davies

Dr Ben Davies PhD

  • Mathematics education
  • Comparative judgement
  • Assessment methods in higher education

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Jay de los Reyes

Dr Jay de los Reyes

  • transnational families

Email: [email protected]

Professor Martin Dyke

Professor Martin Dyke PhD, MSc, BA (hons), PGCE.

  • Lifelong Learning and Work-related Learning
  • Experiential Learning
  • Technology Enhanced Learning

Email: [email protected]

Mr David Galbraith

Mr David Galbraith

  • Psychology of writing
  • Dual-process model of writing process
  • Expressive writing

Email: [email protected]

Professor Marcus Grace

Professor Marcus Grace BSc, MSc, PhD, PGCE, CSciTeach, FRSB

  • The science and values underpinning education for biodiversity, sustainable development and citizenship
  • Adolescent decision-making, and teaching and learning about socio-scientific issues
  • Outdoor science education

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Achala Gupta

Dr Achala Gupta FHEA, PhD (Sociology), MPhil (EdRes), MPS, MA, BSc

  • Shadow education
  • Educational inequality 

Email: [email protected]

Doctor James Hall

Dr James Hall CPsychol, AFBPsS, FHEA, FRSA

  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Educational Effectiveness

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Rosalyn Hyde

Dr Rosalyn Hyde BSc(Hons), PGCE, MA(Ed), MPhil(ResMeth), PhD,SFHEA

  • Teacher Education
  • Secondary mathematics teacher knowledge
  • Teaching for Mastery approaches in England

Email: [email protected]

Dr Maria Kaparou

  • Educational leadership and management, particularly focused on instructional leadership/Leadership for Learning; leadership and management for school improvement within MATs;
  • Education policy;
  • School improvement;

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Sarah Lewthwaite

Dr Sarah Lewthwaite BA(Hons), MA, PhD, FRSA

  • Higher Education
  • Critical Disability Studies
  • Digital Accessibility

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Nora McIntyre

Dr Nora McIntyre PhD

  • Educational effectiveness
  • Educational technology
  • Innovative research methods: eye-tracking, big data

Email: [email protected]

Professor Kyriaki (Kiki) Messiou

Professor Kyriaki (Kiki) Messiou

  • inclusive education
  • marginalisation in schools
  • research with children and young people

Email: [email protected]

Professor Melanie Nind

Professor Melanie Nind BEd(Hons), PhD. FAcSS

  • inclusive research
  • learning disability
  • research methods education

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Wonyong Park

Dr Wonyong Park BSc, MSc, DPhil

  • Science education
  • STEM education
  • Disaster education

Email: [email protected]

Professor Sarah Parsons

Professor Sarah Parsons

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Ran Peleg

Dr Ran Peleg

  • Game based learning 
  • Chemistry education
  • Innovation in teaching and learning

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Nicola Pensiero

Dr Nicola Pensiero

  • Educational inequalities
  • Social stratification
  • Social Theory

Email: [email protected]

Professor John Schulz

Professor John Schulz PhD, BA (Hons), Assoc Dip Bio.

  • Video-based learning
  • Online learning

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Neta Shaby

Dr Neta Shaby BSc, MA, PhD

  • Emotions and EDA
  • Learning ecologies
  • Grounded theory

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Emma Rawlings Smith

Dr Emma Rawlings Smith CGeog, FRGS, FHEA

  • Place-based education and geography education
  • Sustainability and curriculum design
  • Teacher education, mentoring and teacher identity

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Vasilis Strogilos

Dr Vasilis Strogilos PhD

  • The Inclusion of students with disabilities in mainstream schools
  • Differentiated instruction
  • Co-teaching

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Athina Thoma

Dr Athina Thoma

  • Teaching and learning Mathematics at University level
  • Transitions between Secondary and University Mathematics
  • Students’ proof production – use of an interactive theorem prover

Email: [email protected]

Professor Michael Tomlinson

Professor Michael Tomlinson

  • Education, employment and employability
  • Transitions from education to work
  • Career capitals and resources

Email: [email protected]

Doctor Charis Voutsina

Dr Charis Voutsina

  • Mathematics Learning in the Early Years and Primary school education
  • Family engagement and socio-cultural influences in early mathematics learning
  • Teacher Education and Development

Email: [email protected]

Dr Ben Whitburn

  • Inclusive education -theory~practice
  • Critical disability studies

Email: [email protected]

Research institutes, centres and groups

Our research is organised around 3 research centres.

If you're interested in developing your own PhD project idea, you can find out more about what our academics are working on by visiting our centre pages.

young children drawing and writing and school

Centre for Research in Inclusion

Teacher and students in classroom

Leadership, Effective Education and Policy (LEEP)

Children looking at coloured liquids in large tubes

Mathematics and Science Education (MaSE)

Choose your project type.

Decide which option to apply to:

  • your own PhD proposal
  • advertised research project

If you're interested in developing your own PhD project idea, explore our research centres to find out more about what we're working on.

Contact your potential supervisors

Whichever option you choose, it's a good idea to email potential supervisors to discuss the specifics of your project. It's best to do this well ahead of the application deadline. You’ll find supervisors’ contact details listed with the advertised project, or you can search our list of potential supervisors .

Gather your application documents

You’ll need to send us:

  • your CV with details of your academic record and research interests
  • your academic transcript
  • details of 2 current academic referees, with their institutional email addresses
  • IELTS or TOEFL certificate if English is not your first language
  • a research proposal (6-8 pages) including the topic of your research and reasons for undertaking it

Download the document 'Guidelines for writing a PhD/iPhD research proposal' (PDF, 212KB).

The application process is the same whether you choose the PhD or iPhD research path. 

You can submit your application at any time. However, we recommend that you apply by June for an October start.

We try to make a decision within 6 weeks of submission.

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Entry requirements.

You’ll need to have:

  • 2:1 honours undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject
  • master's at merit level in a relevant subject
  • a detailed research proposal that indicates potential for original contribution to knowledge
  • satisfactory performance at interview

You'll need to have:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need an IELTS minimum level of 6.5 with a 6.0 in writing, reading, speaking and listening. Your awarded certificate needs to be dated within the last 2 years.

Visit our English language proficiency pages to  find out more about other qualifications we accept.  

If you need further English language tuition before starting your degree, you can apply for one of our pre-sessional English language courses .

Requirements for advertised projects

Check the specific entry requirements listed on the project you’re interested in before you apply.

Programmes and durations

Research degrees have a minimum and maximum duration, known as the candidature. Your candidature ends when you submit your thesis.

Most candidatures are longer than the minimum period.

View the doctoral programme profile for the PhD Education" and link to the 2024/25 doctoral programme profile at https://www.southampton.ac.uk/~assets/doc/specs/2425-doctoral-programme-profile.odt 

View the course description document for the iPhD Education" and link to the 2023/24 course descirption document at https://www.southampton.ac.uk/~assets/doc/specs/2324-7152-iphd-education.odt

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  • The Mayflower Studentship: a prestigious fully funded PhD studentship in bioscience
  • The calming effect of group living in social fishes
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  • The evolution of symmetry in echinoderms
  • The impact of early life stress on neuronal enhancer function
  • The oceanic fingerprints on changing monsoons over South and Southeast Asia
  • The role of iron in nitrogen fixation and photosynthesis in changing polar oceans
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  • Uncovering the drivers of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease progression using patient derived organoids
  • Understanding recent land-use change in Snowdonia to plan a sustainable future for uplands: integrating palaeoecology and conservation practice
  • Understanding the role of cell motility in resource acquisition by marine phytoplankton
  • Understanding the structure and engagement of personal networks that support older people with complex care needs in marginalised communities and their ability to adapt to increasingly ‘digitalised’ health and social care
  • Unpicking the Anthropocene in the Hawaiian Archipelago
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  • Using acoustics to monitor how small cracks develop into bursts in pipelines
  • Using machine learning to improve predictions of ocean carbon storage by marine life
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School of Society and Culture

Phd education.

This PhD allows you to join a vibrant research community where you can explore a question about formal or informal education and learning that interests you, in-depth, with the support of world-leading academics. It can help you develop an academic career, deepen understanding in your professional field or keep your mind engaged and active in retirement.

Key features

  • Opportunity to join an active research network in the Institute of Education.
  • Designed to be flexible with both full time and part time modes of study available.
  • Comprehensive support from a team of dedicated supervisors.
  • Access to a wide range of courses focussed on the development of research skills and knowledge through the Doctoral College.
  • Specialisms in Children and Families, Inclusive Education, Learning outside Formal Education and Education Policy.
  • Research across all ages and in formal and informal contexts.
  • International students very welcome.

Entry requirements

Fees, costs and funding, how to apply.

All applications for doctoral study in Plymouth Institute of Education are processed via our Doctoral College. To make a formal application the applicant needs to complete our postgraduate application form which can be found here:  https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/student-life/your-studies/research-degrees/applicants-and-enquirers .     With your application form you need to include two academic references, evidence of a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, if English is not your first language, and a research proposal. Submitted research proposals should address the following questions:

  • What is the topic of your research,
  • What research question(s) will you aim to address,
  • What are your reasons for undertaking this research,
  • A review of relevant research literature in the field,
  • What data will you need to collect to carry out your research (do you already have access to your data source),
  • What are your proposed research method(s) and/or plans to conduct your research?

Learning outcomes

Applicants will normally be expected to reside in the UK for the majority of the academic year to enable regular face-to-face contact with tutors, except for periods of fieldwork overseas.

PhD students are allocated a team of at least two research supervisors who have expertise in your chosen area of study. You will be expected to attend regular supervision meetings and to conduct an annual training needs analysis with your supervisors. This identifies which training event, or research seminars, it would be appropriate for you to attend as part of your research training and professional development as a career researcher

  • ) Apply online
  • / Contact us

Contact us on [email protected] or +44 1752 587640 . 

Welcome from the PhD Programme Leader –  Professor Jocey Quinn  

PhD Programme Leader – Professor Jocey Quinn

  Find out more about our PhD studentships in Education

Potential research topics

  • Children and Families – led by  Professor Verity Campbell Barr  
  • Learning Outside Formal Education – led by Dr Rowena Passy and  Dr Alun Morgan  
  • Inclusive Education – led by Dr Jan Georgeson and  Dr Becky Stancer  (previously McKenzie)
  • Education Policy – led by  Dr Peter Kelly  
  • Issues in leadership, management and policy in education;
  • A range of different learners: from children through to adults;
  • Learning in different contexts, places and spaces: from schools and universities through to online and outdoor education;
  • Enhancing the way that we teach and learn about core curricula subjects such as science, mathematics and technology;
  • The impact and influence of education: issues of transition, innovation and social justice;
  • The effectiveness of strategies and interventions in the field of education

“Studying for my PhD in Education with Plymouth has given me the opportunity to meet some amazing individuals. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet other like-minded people working on their own PhDs who were happy to advise and compare notes. I’ve had expert supervision and support whilst I’ve been studying and have had the chance to learn some useful transferable skills through the Doctoral College.” Ciaran O’Sullivan PhD Education 

Ciaran O'Sullivan

"The long journey of PhD made me feel like it was too short because of having an excellent research environment in Plymouth. Comparing cross-cultural outdoor activities in early years is my research interest, and the research was supported with an excellent supervisory team. I had plenty of chance to meet with people in my field as having opportunities and support to attend various events. After this journey, I got a place at a Turkish University as well as feeling proud of using the name of University of Plymouth as an alumni research fellow."

Mehmet Mart PhD Education

Heather Knight - PhD Education

"My research explored the topic of racism in mainly white schools, using critical race theory, critical pedagogy and critical arts theory. It examined white teachers and pupils conceptualisations of racism and anti-racist education and explored the role of the arts for supporting anti-racist school practice in the south west of England. 

"The PhD journey was both a rewarding and challenging process that involved juggling doctoral research with family responsibilities and teaching. The opportunities, provided by the department, to nurture and support PhD students to engage in teaching opportunities were a valuable part of the process, leading to a part-time Associate Lecturer role during and after completing my doctorate."

Heather Knight PhD Education

Doctoral supervisors

Professor David Burghes Professor of Education

Professor David Burghes

Professor of education.

Professor Verity Campbell Barr Director of Plymouth Institute of Education

Professor Verity Campbell Barr

Director of plymouth institute of education.

Dr Jan Georgeson Associate Professor

Dr Jan Georgeson

Associate professor.

Professor Jocey Quinn Professor of Education

Professor Jocey Quinn

Funding for postgraduate research students.

Coastal Processes Research Group Perranporth beach

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International Education and Development PhD

Key information.

phd education uk

The PhD in International Education and Development gives you the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge in the field of development and education and to hone advanced research skills in methodologies appropriate for contexts in low-income countries.

Our doctoral researchers come from all over the world and this PhD will help advance your professional career.

Areas of study

Doctoral researchers will become members of the Centre for International Education (CIE) , a global leader in this field, and will be based in the Department of Education, located in the School of Education and Social Work.

Your supervisors are generally members of CIE and are global in outlook. They all share an understanding that education lies at the heart of development and poverty reduction.  Their r esearch interests include conflict and peace-building, refugee education, gender justice, critical pedagogies, inclusion, governance and global education policy.

You will have opportunities to engage with other research centres in the School and across the University and to work in international and interdisciplinary ways.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described in this prospectus. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to government or regulatory requirements, or unanticipated staff changes, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Masters and P h D events

Meet us on campus or online

Book your place

Entry requirements

  • UK requirements
  • International requirements

Please select your country from the list.

Philippines

Saudi arabia, south africa, south korea, switzerland, united arab emirates, my country is not listed.

If your country is not listed, you need to contact us and find out the qualification level you should have for this course. Contact us

English language requirements

Ielts (academic).

Advanced level (7.0 overall, including at least 6.5 in each component).

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course.  Find out more about IELTS

We accept IELTS One Skills Retake.

We do not accept IELTS Online.

Check full details of our English Language requirements and find out more about some of the alternative English language qualifications listed below

Alternative English language qualifications

Proficiency tests, cambridge advanced certificate in english (cae).

176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill.

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency

LanguageCert International ESOL SELT

Advanced level (International ESOL SELT C1 with a minimum of 33 in each component)

LanguageCert International ESOL scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. Find out more about LanguageCert SELT

We only accept LanguageCert when taken at SELT Test Centres. We do not accept the online version.

Pearson PTE Academic

Advanced level (67 overall, including at least 62 in all four skills)

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic)

We do not accept the PTE Academic Online test.

TOEFL (iBT)

Advanced level 95 overall, including at least 22 in Listening, 23 in Reading, 23 in Speaking, 24 in Writing. 

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT)

We do not accept TOEFL (iBT) Home Edition.

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

As/a-level (gce).

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language (Grade 4 or above in GCSE from 2017).

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only:  70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English:  70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education

Grades A - C in English language

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 1119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-6 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades A1-C6 (1-6) in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt english-speaking countries.

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirement. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this, we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries: 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • The British Overseas Territories
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

English language support

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for your degree, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course

  • Visas and immigration

Admissions information for applicants

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, contact us

  • How to apply

If you’d like to join us as a research student, there are two main routes:

  • browse funded projects in this subject area
  • browse our potential supervisors and propose your own research project.

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Sussex

Our supervisors

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Prof Janet Boddy

Professor of Child, Youth and Family Studies

[email protected]

View profile of Janet Boddy

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Dr Rachel Burr

Senior Lecturer in Education

[email protected]

View profile of Rachel Burr

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Prof Barbara Crossouard

Professor of Theory in Education

[email protected]

View profile of Barbara Crossouard

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Dr Emily Danvers

Senior Lecturer in Higher Education Peda

[email protected]

View profile of Emily Danvers

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Dr Marcos Delprato

Senior Lecturer

[email protected]

View profile of Marcos Delprato

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Prof Mairead Dunne

Professor of Sociology of Education

[email protected]

View profile of Mairead Dunne

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Prof Louise Gazeley

Professor of Educational and Social Disadvantage

[email protected]

View profile of Louise Gazeley

Dr Christina Hancock

Lecturer in Primary Education

[email protected]

View profile of Christina Hancock

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Dr Sean Higgins

Lecturer in International Education and Development

[email protected]

View profile of Sean Higgins

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Dr Tamsin Hinton-Smith

Senior Lecturer In Higher Education

[email protected]

View profile of Tamsin Hinton-Smith

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Dr Nimi Hoffmann

[email protected]

View profile of Nimi Hoffmann

Prof Lisa Holmes

Professor in Applied Social Science

[email protected]

View profile of Lisa Holmes

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Dr Perpetua Kirby

Lecturer in Childhood and Youth

[email protected]

View profile of Perpetua Kirby

Dr Nigel Marshall

Reader in Education

[email protected]

View profile of Nigel Marshall

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Prof Linda Morrice

Professor of Education and Migration

[email protected]

View profile of Linda Morrice

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Prof Mario Novelli

Professor Of The Political Economy Of Education

[email protected]

View profile of Mario Novelli

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Dr Keith Perera

Lecturer in Education

[email protected]

View profile of Keith Perera

Dr Marcelo Staricoff

[email protected]

View profile of Marcelo Staricoff

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Dr Julia Sutherland

[email protected]

View profile of Julia Sutherland

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Prof Simon Thompson

Head of School ESW

[email protected]

View profile of Simon Thompson

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Dr Gunjan Wadhwa

Lecturer in International Education

[email protected]

View profile of Gunjan Wadhwa

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Dr Rebecca Webb

Senior Lecturer in Early Years and Primary Education

[email protected]

View profile of Rebecca Webb

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Prof Jo Westbrook

Professor of International Educationand Pedagogy

[email protected]

View profile of Jo Westbrook

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Dr James Williams

[email protected]

View profile of James Williams

Funding and fees

How can i fund my course, funded projects and scholarships.

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals. Don’t miss out on scholarships – check the specific application deadlines for funding opportunities. Note that funded projects aren’t available for all our PhDs.

£3,000 scholarships available to environmental influencers bringing about real-world behaviour change

Find out more

Cash scholarships available for students who have demonstrated sporting excellence

University of Sussex Stuart Hall Doctoral Scholarship

Applying for USA Federal Student Aid?

If any part of your funding, at any time, is through USA federal Direct Loan funds, you will be registered on a separate version of this degree which does not include the possibility of distance learning which is prohibited under USA federal regulations. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid .

Part-time work

We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.

Find out more about careers and employability

How much does it cost?

Fees for self-funding students.

Home students: £4,786 per year for full-time students

Channel Islands and Isle of Man students: £4,786 per year for full-time students

International students: £21,500 per year for full-time students

Home PhD student fees are set at the level recommended by United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) annually, rising in line with inflation. Overseas fees are subject to an annual increase - see details on our tuition fees page

Additional costs

Note about additional costs.

Please note that all costs are best estimates based on current market values. Activities may be subject to unavoidable change in response to Government advice. We’ll let you know at the earliest opportunity. We review estimates every year and they may vary with inflation. Find out how to budget for student life .

Empirical research costs

On top of your PhD fees and living costs, you may also need to cover some research and training costs, relevant to your research project. These costs will depend on your research topic and training needs, but may include: - travel (to archives, collections or scientific facilities) - a laptop - overseas fieldwork costs (travel and accommodation, and language training) - conference costs (travel, registration fees and accommodation) - laboratory consumables and workshop materials - participant costs - transcription or translation costs - open-access publication costs. If you have a scholarship from one of the UK Research Councils, your scholarship should cover these types of costs. You'll receive details of how to claim this additional funding. If you're self funded, or if your scholarship doesn’t cover these costs, check with the Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator in your School for details of School or Doctoral School funding that may be available.

  • Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Find out about our terms and conditions

Explore our campus

Experience Sussex life in our virtual tour.

Start your virtual tour

PhD Information Sessions

Visit campus and chat to staff and students. Book your place

Online PhD Sessions

Join a live webchat. Book your place

International

Meet us in your country

Course enquiries

+44 (0)1273 876787

Send us a message

Admissions enquiries

If you haven’t applied yet:

+44 (0)1273 678464 eswpgradmin@​sussex.ac.uk

Find out about the School of Education and Social Work

After you’ve applied:

+44 (0)1273 877773 [email protected]

Find out how to apply

Quick links

  • Guide to PhD study
  • PhD support
  • Academic facilities
  • Open Days and events
  • Accommodation
  • International students
  • Student life
  • Order a printed prospectus

What do you want to do next?

  • Courses Browse our courses by subject area
  • Sussex Life Find out about life at Sussex
  • Visit Come to a PhD Open Evening
  • Apply Find out how to apply

Study Postgraduate

Doctorate in education (edd) (2024 entry).

a group of postgraduate education studies students

Course code

30 September 2024

5 years part-time

Qualification

Education Studies

University of Warwick

Find out more about our Doctorate in Education.

Education Studies at Warwick includes three overarching strands: Learning, Society and Cultures. These strands group academics with a shared interest in educational research and scholarship, providing a space for meaningful and multi-disciplinary collaborations across the Department and beyond.

The Department’s ethos is that educational research and scholarship exist to find solutions to questions of ‘what works’ in terms of policy and practice, but also to problematise existing policy and practice by posing new questions about the purposes and the future of education, in the UK and globally. The University of Warwick's Doctorate in Education welcomes world-class applicants with a commitment to educational research and challenge. The Department of Education Studies was ranked 6th in the UK for Education ( The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 ).

Course overview

The Doctorate in Education is aimed at professionals who have several years’ experience in the education sector. We welcome students from all backgrounds and educational roles and settings. You might be a teacher, lecturer, educational leader, or in a specialist role enhancing educational provision. The focus is on professional issues and is available as a part-time course to complete alongside your work. The programme is a combination of foundation and advanced research methods, and optional modules within Education Studies. Then you will complete a 50,000-word thesis with the guidance of a specialist supervisor. You may be eligible to use your previous studies as accredited prior learning towards this course.

Teaching and learning

You will complete four Education Studies modules of your choice as well as two advanced research methods modules before moving on to the thesis. Depending on the modules you select, sessions consist of presentations, group discussions, case studies and self-study.

Assessment types vary depending on modules selected but may be a mixture of assignments and oral presentations. The final thesis is a written thesis which is then assessed in an oral examination.

Specific departmental guidance is available on preparing applications to the Department of Education Studies and on Preparing a Research Proposal .

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements.

A 2:1 undergraduate honours degree and at least two years' professional experience in any educational setting. Applications from those without a good honours degree but with substantial professional experience will be considered.

English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirements Link opens in a new window . This course requires the following:

  • With a minimum of 6.5 in the Writing component.

Additional requirements

There are no additional entry requirements for this course.

Our research

Our main research themes are:

  • Special educational needs and disability
  • Early years’ education
  • Philosophy of mind and thought
  • Educational leadership and development
  • Drama and theatre education
  • Creative and arts-based learning
  • Sociology of arts and religion
  • Modern Islamic pedagogies
  • Education inequalities and social justice
  • Sociologies of childhood and fatherhood
  • Education policy
  • Feminist and gender pedagogy
  • Higher education
  • International development

Full details of our research interests are listed on the Education Studies web pages Link opens in a new window .

You can also read our general University research proposal guidance.

Find a supervisor

It is advisable to locate a potential supervisor using the link below and to discuss with them the area you'd like to research.

We have over 20 full-time academic staff members with many research strengths who could be your supervisors. Explore our Staff Research Directory where you will be able to filter by research interests. Co-supervision with other Departments may be possible.

You can also see our general University guidance about finding a supervisor. Link opens in a new window

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Find your research course fees

Fee Status Guidance

The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.

If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website .

Additional course costs

Please contact your academic department for information about department specific costs, which should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

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Scholarships and financial support

Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.

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Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

What does it mean to study and research Education?

Education provides us with an essential foundation for a fulfilling life in a thriving and equitable society – it underpins how we act and see the world and is the engine of social and cultural change and reproduction.

Education gives the basis for innovation in thought, culture and technology; it nurtures a sense of citizenship and social participation; it underpins our political and economic robustness; and is the foundation of the knowledge and skills that society shares.

Education is fundamentally about human development, knowledge and social justice. Education is something that everyone experiences: it is life-long and society wide; it is local as well as global; it takes place in the home, in prisons, in refugee centres, in places of worship, in the workplace, on the sports field, in the theatre, in the pub as well as in the classroom.

Education, like Politics, is inherently interdisciplinary – it is an applied field of study which draws on a range of disciplines including: sociology, psychology, history and philosophy. It is necessarily pluralist and eclectic, drawing upon a range of theoretical, conceptual and methodological perspectives.

Therefore, in studying and researching Education we work to understand the fundamental questions about why we educate, how we educate, who we educate and what purpose education serves.

Find out more about us on our website.

Our Postgraduate Taught courses

  • Childhood in Society (MA)
  • Drama and Theatre Education (MA)
  • Drama Education and English Language Teaching (MA)
  • Education (MA)
  • Educational Innovation (MA)
  • Educational Leadership and Management (MA)
  • Foundation Research Methods in Education (PGA)
  • Global Education and International Development (MA)
  • Islamic Education (PGA)
  • Islamic Education: Theory and Practice (MA)
  • Leading Educational Change and Improvement (PGA)
  • Psychology and Education (MA)

Our Postgraduate Research courses

  • Doctorate in Education (Ed.D)
  • Education (MPhil/PhD)

How to apply

The application process for courses that start in September and October 2024 will open on 2 October 2023.

For research courses that start in September and October 2024 the application deadline for students who require a visa to study in the UK is 2 August 2024. This should allow sufficient time to complete the admissions process and to obtain a visa to study in the UK.

How to apply for a postgraduate research course  

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After you’ve applied

Find out how we process your application.

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Applicant Portal

Track your application and update your details.

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Admissions statement

See Warwick’s postgraduate admissions policy.

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Join a live chat

Ask questions and engage with Warwick.

Warwick Hosted Events Link opens in a new window

Postgraduate fairs.

Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in-person around the UK. These events give you the chance to explore our range of postgraduate courses, and find out what it’s like studying at Warwick. You’ll also be able to speak directly with our student recruitment team, who will be able to help answer your questions.

Join a live chat with our staff and students, who are here to answer your questions and help you learn more about postgraduate life at Warwick. You can join our general drop-in sessions or talk to your prospective department and student services.

Departmental events

Some academic departments hold events for specific postgraduate programmes, these are fantastic opportunities to learn more about Warwick and your chosen department and course.

See our online departmental events

Warwick Talk and Tours

A Warwick talk and tour lasts around two hours and consists of an overview presentation from one of our Recruitment Officers covering the key features, facilities and activities that make Warwick a leading institution. The talk is followed by a campus tour which is the perfect way to view campus, with a current student guiding you around the key areas on campus.

Connect with us

Learn more about Postgraduate study at the University of Warwick.

Page updates

We may have revised the information on this page since publication. See the edits we have made and content history .

Why Warwick

Discover why Warwick is one of the best universities in the UK and renowned globally.

9th in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2024) Link opens in a new window

67th in the world (QS World University Rankings 2024) Link opens in a new window

5th most targeted university by the UK's top 100 graduate employers Link opens in a new window

(The Graduate Market in 2023, High Fliers Research Ltd. Link opens in a new window )

About the information on this page

This information is applicable for 2024 entry. Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.

Earning an Education Doctorate Degree with UK Online: Choosing Between the EdD or PhD Program

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In This Article:

Navigating the choice of doctorate degrees in education offered by UK Online involves a decision between either an  EdD (Doctor of Education) or a  PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in education . While both degree paths share a commitment to scholarly research and the enhancement of educational practices, they differ in their focus and orientation. This article explores the differences in both online doctoral programs in Education offered from the University of Kentucky to help you make an informed decision about your choice of direction.

EdD Program

The  EdD program is strategically designed to equip individuals for leadership roles within educational organizations. Focused on honing skills for effectively leading departments, programs, or entire organizations with an educational mission, this program provides practical training for real-world scenarios. Graduates emerge well-prepared to navigate the challenges in educational leadership.

Research Focus of EdD Program

For those seeking a program that integrates data-driven decision-making into educational leadership, the Research EdD is an ideal choice. Participants engage in mixed-method action research designs, using data to inform policy and practice. This program emphasizes the application of research findings to drive progressive change within educational settings.

PhD Program

The  PhD program is tailored for individuals aspiring to pursue careers as researchers or faculty members with a specific focus on leadership within educational organizations. 

Research Focus of PhD Program

Individuals in the Research PhD program delve into the realm of advanced research design, aiming to uncover new knowledge within the field. 

Program Requirements

Credit hours  .

Both programs require the completion of 42 credit hours through coursework, along with a minimum of 2 semesters dedicated to dissertation residency.

Online Modality 

Both programs utilize a hybrid blend of course modality. All courses have a synchronous (scheduled live) and asynchronous (on your own schedule) component. For the synchronous components, we utilize Zoom and meet per a defined schedule. The cadence is usually 5-6 times per semester and these meetings are either on Saturdays, or after work hours (all times are EST). Students are not required to come to campus for courses, examinations, or the final dissertation defense.

Both programs admit in the Fall only. Please adhere to the deadlines listed on the program page for the  EdD and  PhD options.

Benefits of the Online Modality

Both programs are offered in similar fully online formats, designed to best fit the needs of working professionals. 

  • Course Schedule:  Core courses that require synchronous interaction are scheduled primarily on Saturdays or weekday evenings to accommodate work schedules.
  • Semester Courses: In each semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer), the course load is generally 2 courses.
  • Cohort System:  Both programs follow a cohort-based model, with new students joining a cohort in the Fall of each year.
  • Flexibility:  Physical attendance on campus for courses, exams, or the final dissertation defense is not mandatory. 

Whether you aspire to lead educational organizations or contribute to advancing research, understanding the distinctions between EdD and PhD programs is important. Align your professional goals with the unique features of each program and pick the path best for you! If you need help, please  schedule a meeting to discuss your specific goals. 

Get a UK Degree, Your Way

Choose from one of our 80+ degrees and certificates, designed to be flexible with your lifestyle and career..

In the Fall 2022 term, 75% of students enrolled in UK Online programs received some form of financial aid.

About UK Online

We launch critical & innovative thinkers, creators and doers. The University of Kentucky has a long history of successful alumni who are leaders in their roles, industries and communities. Choose from one of our 80+ degrees and certificates, designed to be flexible with your lifestyle and career.

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Start achieving your career goals

And earn your uk degree, from anywhere, learn online., expand your skill set. grow your career..

Pay the same tuition anywhere in the world with our online tuition rate

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  • International edition
  • Australia edition
  • Europe edition

James Cleverly leaving No 10 Downing Street.

Foreign students may be undermining UK higher education, says Cleverly

Home secretary calls for visa review over concern that courses are being used as shortcut to gain work permits

  • UK politics – latest updates

The home secretary, James Cleverly , has said international students may be “undermining the integrity and quality of the UK higher education system” by using university courses as a cheap way of getting work visas.

In a letter to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), Cleverly asked the body to investigate whether the graduate visa entitlement – allowing international students to work for two or three years after graduating – was failing to attract “the brightest and the best” to the UK.

But university leaders fear that cutting or restricting the graduate visa route will lead to a drastic fall in international recruitment, and provoke a financial crisis for universities that rely on income from international tuition fees.

Cleverly told the MAC that while the government was committed to attracting “talented students from around the world to study in the UK”, it also wanted “to ensure the graduate route is not being abused. In particular, that some of the demand for study visas is not being driven more by a desire for immigration”.

Cleverly said: “An international student can spend relatively little on fees for a one-year course and gain access to two years with no job requirement on the graduate route, followed by four years’ access to a discounted salary threshold on the skilled worker route.

“This means international graduates are able to access the UK labour market with salaries significantly below the requirement imposed on the majority of migrant skilled workers.”

The home secretary instructed the committee, which gives independent advice to the government, to investigate “any evidence of abuse” of the graduate route, “including the route not being fit for purpose”, and to look at which universities were producing graduates who used the route.

He also asked the MAC to analyse “whether the graduate route is undermining the integrity and quality of the UK higher education system, including understanding how the graduate route is or is not, effectively controlling for the quality of international students, such that it is genuinely supporting the UK to attract and retain the brightest and the best, contributing to economic growth and benefiting British higher education”.

Rachel Hewitt, the chief executive of the MillionPlus group of universities, said the government’s review appeared to be deliberately aimed at undermining the success of British higher education.

“It is impossible to imagine the government going out of its way to make Britain less inviting to investment in almost any other sector – and yet every negative headline and policy reform makes Britain less attractive to international students,” Hewitt said.

“The graduate route is a key component of the offer that UK universities can make to international applicants, and its value should be recognised and not eroded.”

Jamie Arrowsmith, the director of Universities UK International, said universities were “deeply concerned” by the short notice given by Cleverly.

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“Post-study work matters for many international students, allowing those who have invested in our country the opportunity to find work and contribute to the UK economy​,” said Arrowsmith.

“Having publicly recommitted to the graduate route on its current terms in May 2023, any further changes would be extremely damaging to our reputation as a welcoming destination for international students, and risks undermining a UK success story that generates more than £20bn a year in export earnings for the economy​.​”

Cleverly said “early data” showed that just 23% of international students using the skilled workers route moved into graduate-level jobs, and that last year only a third moved into jobs paying more than £26,000 a year.

The committee is expected to report back in May, and its findings could come at a difficult time for the higher education sector. So far this year, enrolments from overseas have fallen by 40% compared with 2023.

Vanessa Wilson, chief executive of the University Alliance group, said: “It is important that international students have the opportunity to study at the full range of UK universities so they can select the option that is right for them, and so that all UK students and regions can benefit from their contributions.”

  • International students
  • Immigration and asylum
  • James Cleverly
  • University funding
  • Universities
  • Higher education

More on this story

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Findings of UK Grad Route review expected by May

The Migration Advisory Committee is expected to report back the findings of its review into the UK Graduate Route by May, the home secretary has announced.

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The MAC review into the Graduate Route was initially announced in December 2023

James Cleverly made the announcement in the  Daily Mail , where he outlined his wider plans to crack down on immigration, including “a comprehensive and tough package which means around 300,000 people eligible to come to the UK last year would now be unable to do so”.

“But we are going further – today I will ask the expert and independent Migration Advisory Committee to review the graduate route for international students,” wrote Cleverly.

“We must prevent abuse of this route, protect the integrity and quality of our higher education, and ensure it works in our best interests.”

The review was initially announced in December 2023 in the House of Commons by Cleverly, who took the opportunity to reinforce the plans with Daily Mail readers in the 11 March article and give a clearer timeline to when the findings of the review can be expected.

“I want to ensure that applications through this route are not being driven by a desire for immigration over education. The MAC will report back to me in May.”

We must prevent abuse of the graduate route into the UK & protect the integrity of our higher education system. That’s why today I’ve commissioned a review of the graduate route for international students by the independent Migration Advisory Committee. https://t.co/tNdigZ3ccy — James Cleverly🇬🇧 (@JamesCleverly) March 11, 2024

The terms of reference for the MAC’s review into the visa route are also becoming a little clearer, as Cleverly outlined what he expects to be included. In a letter dated March 11, Cleverly wrote to Brian Bell, chair of the Migration Advisory Committee, with regards to the “rapid” review of the Graduate Route the UK government has commissioned.

Cleverly noted the government will consider the MAC’s analysis – expected by May 14 – “with a view to implementing any changes in due course”.

According to the letter, the review may include evidence of abuse of the route and evidence of it not being fit for purpose. In addition, it will also report findings on who is using the route and which university they graduated from.

Cleverly is also requesting to see “demographics and trends for students accessing a study visa and subsequently accessing the UK labour market by means of the Graduate Route”.

The review will also include information on what individuals do during and after their time on the Graduate Route and whether students who progress to the route are contributing to the economy, requested Cleverly.

Finally, the government would like to see an analysis of whether the the route is “undermining the integrity and quality of the UK higher education system”, in the context of the government’s wider International Education Strategy.

“Whilst the Graduate Route has supported the UK to achieve its International Education Strategy ambition of hosting 600,000 students a year and progress towards our education exports target, we want to understand whether it is meeting its wider objectives,” wrote Cleverly.

He went on to cite data from the MAC annual report that showed the proportion of international students studying at lower tariff institutions has risen to 32% in 2021/22, while the number of international postgraduate students attending institutions with the lowest UCAS tariff quartiles has increased by over 250% between 2018 and 2022.

“We are keen to understand the drivers behind this, including whether it is because people are using these courses as a long-term route to work in the UK,” wrote Cleverly.

Back in December, the home secretary said that international students were part of the “robust action” the government announced through a five-point plan on immigration.

Since the announcement, stakeholders have suggested that amending or removing the Graduate Route could give  an advantage  to the UK’s competitor markets.

Data collated by IDP backed this sentiment by indicating that close to half of applicants – some 45% – would likely change or consider changing their study destination if the post-study work period was shortened.

Stakeholders have previously expressed concern surrounding the timeline of the review, with the chair of the MAC Brian Bell reporting to have said he expects the review to take between six and nine months.

“That timeline is, I expect, a little problematic for government, given that it wants things to adapt sooner rather than later and given that this is an election year,” said Jamie Arrowsmith, director of Universities UK International, speaking at the Scottish Universities International Group conference in February.

Arrowsmith said that any efforts by government to rush this timeline, could “undermine the legitimacy of what the MAC is able to do”.

At the time, Arrowsmith said he hoped the review would include a full consultation with the sector, giving the opportunity to argue for the wider benefits of the policy and implications of any further restrictions.

Meanwhile, Cleverly has requested the review be carried out with the support of Sir Steve Smith, the government’s international education champion.

Smith should be invited to provide “expert advice and evidence on international education, on the government’s policies and strategies in relation to international students, and on the views and insights of the British higher education sector that assist this commission,” he continued.

Update (13:58m March 12): information about the terms of reference for the MAC’s review has been added to this article.

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Guernsey Press

Review to assess whether graduate visas ‘undermine’ higher education system

Home Secretary James Cleverly said he wanted to ensure that the graduate route was ‘not being abused’.

phd education uk

The Home Secretary has asked a committee that advises ministers on migration issues to evaluate whether the graduate visa route is “undermining the integrity and quality” of the higher education system.

In a letter to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), James Cleverly asked the body to assess if the graduate visa route – which allows overseas graduates to stay in the UK for two or three years after graduation – is supporting the UK to attract and retain “the brightest and the best”.

In December, the Government announced that it would ask the MAC to review the graduate visa route.

It comes after university leaders warned last month that the Government could “damage” the economies of towns and cities with policies which deter international students from coming to the UK.

Universities UK (UUK) suggested that uncertainty over the Government’s commitment to the UK’s post-study work offer is affecting the decision-making of prospective students.

In his correspondence to Professor Brian Bell, chairman of the MAC, the Home Secretary said the review into the graduate visa route could include any possible evidence of it “not being fit for purpose”.

He also asked for the review to analyse whether the route is “undermining the integrity and quality of the UK higher education system, including understanding how the graduate route is or is not, effectively controlling for the quality of international students”.

Mr Cleverly has asked the MAC to report back by May 14 and he said the Government will consider the committee’s analysis “with a view to implementing any changes in due course”.

“It was only 2021 that the Government published an updated international education strategy which contained the explicit aim of increasing the number of international students and diversifying recruitment, an agenda that is now undermined at every turn.

“Higher education is a huge British success story, an area where the country truly is world leading.

“It is impossible to imagine the Government going out of its way to make Britain less inviting to investment in almost any other sector and yet every negative headline and policy reform that makes Britain less attractive to international students damages both the higher education sector and UK PLC and only benefits competitor nations.

“The graduate route is a key component of the offer that UK universities can make to international applicants and its value should be recognised and not eroded.”

“However, we are deeply concerned by the accelerated timetable, which appears to be driven by political – not policy – concerns. The Government should give the MAC the time it needs to properly review the graduate visa, allowing the committee to consider the full range of evidence and engage in meaningful consultation, rather than asking them to rush their response.

“It is also important to recognise that the purpose of the graduate route is not primarily to address UK labour market shortages but to enhance the competitiveness of the UK as a study destination. Post-study work matters for many international students, allowing those who have invested in our country the opportunity to find work and contribute to the UK economy.

“Having publicly recommitted to the graduate route on its current terms in May 2023, any further changes would be extremely damaging to our reputation as a welcoming destination for international students, and risks undermining a UK success story that generates more than £20 billion a year in export earnings for the economy.”

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  27. Review to assess whether graduate visas 'undermine' higher education

    Universities UK (UUK) suggested that uncertainty over the Government's commitment to the UK's post-study work offer is affecting the decision-making of prospective students. In his correspondence to Professor Brian Bell, chairman of the MAC, the Home Secretary said the review into the graduate visa route could include any possible evidence ...