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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

  1. Registration
  2. Induction
  3. Candidature
  4. Confirmation
  5. Research
  6. Writing up
  7. Give notice of intention to submit a thesis / portfolio
  8. Submission for examination
  9. Examination (Viva Voce)
  10. Examiners report
  11. Final submission of thesis / portfolio
  12. Graduation

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

  • Thesis
  • Viva Voce

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

How to pay

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

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

Apply for this programme

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