Education MPhil and PhD
Qualifications and durations
The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme will enable you to conduct supervised research into your chosen topic and produce a written thesis (typically 20,000 - 40,000 words). You can complete the MPhil in 1 to 3 years (full-time) or up to 4 years (part-time).
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme comprises a more significant piece of research which will enable you to contribute to the academic community through a larger written thesis (typically up to 90,000 words). You can complete your PhD in 2 to 4 years (full-time) or up to 6 years (part-time).
The Department of Education also offers the Doctor of Education (EdD) programme.
The Doctor of Philosophy degree provides the opportunity to research a topic in depth and to contribute to new knowledge to the world. You will be required to conduct supervised research at the leading edge of the educational field and write up as a substantial thesis.
The PhD 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 conversant with 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.
From application to completion of your submission and viva, 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 have an expectation of 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 final stage of the PhD degree is the oral or viva voce examination, in which you are required to defend your thesis to a Board of Examiners. The thesis must provide evidence of originality of mind and critical judgement about your chosen aspect of education, and must contain material which is worthy of publication.
Current student projects
Take an insight into what some of our current students are researching »
South West Doctoral Training Centre
This programme is recognised as being part of the following ESRC-funded South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC) pathways:
- Education (discipline-specific pathway)
- Health & Wellbeing (interdisciplinary pathway)
- Global Political Economy: Transformations & Policy Analysis (interdisciplinary pathway)
- Environment, Energy & Resilience (interdisciplinary pathway)
- First or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject, from a recognised university.
English Language requirements
Certificates must be dated to within two years of the start of the programme of study.
- IELTS 7.0 (with not less than 6.5 in each of the four components)
- TOEFL 600 (paper-based test) or 250 (computer-based test) with a score of not less than 4 in TWE or 100 (internet-based test) with not less than 24 in each of the components.
- Two references are required. At least one of these should be an academic reference.
Read details for how to apply to study.
Potential sources of funding
- ESRC funding will not be available for 2013/14 - details for 2014/15 will follow.
- Studentships and Scholarships and How to apply for research postgraduate funding
- Guide to searching for postgraduate funding
- July 2013 for applicants able to self-fund.
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 6753
Main areas of research
Our research is focussed around three main areas of educational enquiry: Educational Policy, Globalisation and Organisation, Learning as Cultural and Social Practice, and Education and Sustainability. Within these, staff research interests lie in such areas as: economic globalisation, skill and inequality; higher education; international education, citizenship and globalisation; educational management and school improvement; learning and identity in practice; discourse; childhood and youth studies; special educational needs; learning assessment and professional development; environmental education; international development; philosophy of education; English language teaching; learning and teaching and sports coaching.
The Department hosts four leading Research Centres:
About the Department
The Department of Education is a thriving, largely postgraduate community which has links with a wide range of educational institutions, schools, colleges, universities, local authorities and government departments, not only locally, but also in other parts of the UK and around the world.
In all three of the most recent national research assessment exercises the Department was awarded the highest numerical rating (5) for the excellence of its research. In 2001 an official external inspection of the Department’s teaching by the QAA awarded an ‘excellent’ score of 23 out of 24.
Notable features of the Department include: wide ranging experience and expertise of lecturers and research staff in the development of research projects, both nationally and internationally; a research environment which encourages students on all courses to focus on research activities; access for postgraduate students to seminars and research activities; strong links with schools locally, nationally and internationally; dynamic relationships with a range of other organisations, nationally and internationally.
Facilities and equipment
The Department has excellent modern facilities for learning and teaching. Full-time research students have a fully-equipped room reserved for their use within the Department.
International and industrial links
The Department has strong links with the International Baccalaureate Organisation, with many schools in the UK and overseas, and with a range of official bodies and government Departments.
The Department’s students come from a wide range of backgrounds in teaching, educational management, policymaking, sports coaching and other related fields.