Lancaster's acclaimed PhD programme in Educational Research is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the 20th cohort starting in January.

A pioneering initiative when first launched in 1995, the programme has been very successful with more than 100 students gaining PhDs over two decades. Many have since become national or international figures in higher education, research, policy and practice. The ground-breaking programme has gained an international reputation and a unique place in higher education research. More than 70 students, past and present, gathered at Lancaster for a conference in September where they shared their experiences, research ideas and professional pathways. The day included keynote talks from alumni Ray Land, Professor of Higher Education at Durham University and Linda Drew, Professor and Deputy Director at Glasgow School of Art. The conference also allowed participants to develop their own research ideas.

Paul Ashwin, Head of the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster, was delighted with the conference. He said: 'It went extremely well and proved a fascinating day for everyone who took part. The importance of continued and developing research, even in the midst of a busy career, became a major theme. The PhD programme has developed a national and an international reputation for excellence. It was great to see so many alumni at the conference who have forged high-profile careers as a result of their experience at Lancaster and who have continued to push forward valuable research. 

The course is a part-time, structured PhD programme over four to five years. It is aimed at academics, academic managers, educational developers and others working in higher and further education. The programme is supported and assessed through modules which involve directed study and residential teaching. They study within a cohort who act as 'critical friends' and an informal network during the programme and afterwards http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/edres/study/docprog/docprog.php