The PhD is a three-year research course providing the opportunity to research a topic in depth and to contribute new knowledge to educational research and practice. You will be supervised by two academics from our School or sometimes from other Schools or centres of the University depending on your area of research. You will develop your own programme of training and professional development from a large range of courses available within the university and across our Southeast Network for Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SeNSS DTP) network. Our PhD researchers form a warm and dynamic community and share a spacious workspace in close proximity to other researchers in the school.  

Programme structure

Our PhD programme is available to study on a full-time or part-time basis. The registration dates are 1 October, 1 February or 1 June. We strongly advise applicants to plan to join us in October as the Faculty of Social Sciences training and the School’s seminar programmes run from October to May each year. 

The first year of study (‘probationary period’) must be confirmed within the first twelve months of full time-study (twenty-four months for part-time students), after which data collection can start. A typical pattern for a full-time programme would therefore consist of one year working with your supervisors refining your proposal and data collection instruments while acquiring relevant training, a second year dominated by data collection and analysis, and a final year writing up your thesis.

How to apply

Successful applicants are normally expected to have a Master’s degree. To apply, please prepare the following documents and then submit your application through our online application process

  • Official transcripts and certificates of your higher education qualifications (in English)
  • A Personal Statement
  • A CV detailing your work experience to date
  • Two academic references
  • An official copy of your English language results (if relevant)
  • A Research Proposal of around 2,000 words

Further guidance on writing a research proposal is available. If you wish to speak to someone about your application, then please contact your proposed supervisor or Professor Anna Robinson-Pant. You are requested not to contact more than one proposed supervisor at the same time and to copy your email to Professor Anna Robinson-Pant. For general enquiries, you can contact our Postgraduate Research Admissions Office


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