What Will You Study

Gain deeper insight into education research, become an autonomous researcher, and benefit from a strong research culture and excellent support as you work towards your PhD or MPhil.

Our internationally respected PhD programme connects you with a thriving and friendly community of research-active staff, and with our three departmental research hubs: the Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation, the Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education, and the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning. You will benefit from their extensive and diverse research experience and the broad spectrum of departmental interests, and you’ll become a contributing member of this community of highly-regarded researchers.

Undertaken part-time or full-time over a minimum of four years, this traditional route has attracted a large number of students over 25 years and you will find that it delivers a very human, inclusive and rich learning environment that’s also supportive and sociable.

You are able to participate in research seminars, a reading group, postgraduate group meetings and in the research and evaluation projects led by our academics, when available. You’ll also benefit from our active and mutually beneficial relationship with a network of local schools and colleges.

You’ll undertake research into an issue or concern of your choosing and write a thesis, which is produced under the excellent and detailed supervision of a subject expert and will contribute new knowledge to the scholarly community.

Although you will work independently, our supervision includes regular face-to-face meetings at Lancaster or at a distance. Most students commence in October in order to make use of our Faculty’s research training courses but we are able to be flexible over start dates. Likely outcomes include career progression, a move into an academic post, and the satisfaction of intellectual curiosity.

Your PhD is awarded on completion of your supervised research, a viva examination and approved thesis.

Since the first Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 1992 the Department has consistently been judged to be one of the best in the UK. The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) placed us in the top six research-intensive Education departments in the UK, with 78% of our research activity graded as world leading or internationally excellent and 92% of our academic staff submitted.

If you are interested in applying we strongly encourage you to read our Search for a Supervisor page to match your research interests to the supervision specialisms that are available in the department.