Structure and modules

The programme has a modular structure with three core modules and three support modules.

Part One

Part One (years 1 and 2) consists of five modules that offer participants guided study in key areas of Higher Education Research, Evaluation and Enhancement.

Compulsory Core

  •     EDS845: Enhancing Higher Education: Policy and Change Processes
  •     EDS844: Evaluative Practice in Social Policy Domains: Higher Education
  •     EDS842: Enhancing Learning Teaching and Assessment at University


Compulsory Support

  •     EDS843: Researching Higher Education
  •     EDS841: Connecting Research and Practice

Part Two

Part Two (Years 3 and 4) - participants carry out an original piece of research under the supervision of a member of staff and produce a thesis (45,000 words) with the benefit of a sixth support module:

  •     EDS846: Writing and defending a thesis

You can watch a video of Paul Trowler talking about the Enhancing Higher Education: Policy and change process module and read more about the module in Supporting Learning Online: "Policy and Change Processes in Higher Education" - A Doctoral Programme Module.

An Australian student from Cohort 1 commented:

"I essentially chose to study a PhD by distance as I wanted to study at a UK institution.... I spent a good 6 months researching programs across Australia and the UK as there is nothing comparable to your program in Australia nor the UK, in terms of both expertise and structure. I am thoroughly enjoying my PhD studies at Lancaster. [T]he taught modules are invaluable. I have always had an interest in education but have never had the opportunity to be exposed to the theories and methodologies associated with the discipline. While daunting at times, I am finding the experience challenging and exhilarating.

[The lecturers] have been outstanding in the two modules I am currently enrolled in. Questions are responded to promptly and there is a great online space for discussion amongst peers in a supportive and non-judgemental way. The readings are manageable and provide an excellent introduction to key methodologies and theorists within the discipline. While I am guilty of being more of a lurker than a participant, there is a wonderful online culture that has been cultivated. I specifically wanted to mention the feedback provided… in relation to an ethics proposal/project outline I submitted. I could tell [the lecturer] had actually read my documents and the feedback I received was constructive, specific and invaluable."