The PhD in the School of Education and Lifelong learning is a three-year full-time or six year part-time programme 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, and sometimes in collaboration with supervisors from other Schools or Research Centres in the University, depending on your research focus. You will develop your own personalised programme of research 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 as full-time or part-time study. 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 (the ‘probationary period’) must be confirmed within the first twelve months of full time-study (twenty-four months for part-time study), after which doctoral students can proceed to collect data. A typical pattern for a full-time programme would therefore consist of one year working with your supervisors  to refine your proposal and data collection instruments while acquiring relevant training and understanding of your field, a second year consisting of data collection and analysis, and a final year to draft and finalise your thesis. For the part-time programme, the schedule is similar and expanded proportionally to six years.

Before you apply

Before you apply, please read:

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 Nalini Boodhoo  (the School’s PGR Admissions Director). You are requested not to contact more than one proposed supervisor at the same time and to copy your email to Professor Nalini Boodhoo. For general enquiries, please contact our Postgraduate Research Admissions Office.

MRes Social Science Research Methods

Give yourself the edge by studying at an internationally renowned centre for impactful research. Whether you’re a recent graduate with an interest in research, or are already in practice with a research question that you wish to investigate, this MRes will push you towards the forefront of your field. Throughout the course, you’ll develop the knowledge and skills you need to successfully complete a piece of Master’s level research.

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