Students at residential

PhD in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning


This structured part-time Doctoral Programme in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning leads to a PhD. The programme combines a limited number of face-to-face residential meetings with carefully designed 'online' learning activities and peer collaboration. It is available to anyone in the world wishing to develop their e-learning research and practice.


This PhD doctoral progamme is designed specifically for professionals, for people who wish to study to an advanced level and carry out a piece of research of the highest possible standard in an aspect of their professional practice.

The PhD in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning builds on the expertise of the members of the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning in the Department of Educational Research and their long experience in running Masters Degrees in advanced learning technologies and networked e-learning.  You can find out more about the programme by downloading the TEL Programme Enquiry Handbook (2021)

What is Technology Enhanced Learning?

The term 'technology enhanced learning' encompasses all uses of information and communications technologies in learning and teaching. It is also sometimes referred to as 'e-learning', 'online learning' and 'advanced learning technology'.

Our programme aligns with a particular aspect of technology enhanced learning, which is 'networked learning' in which there is promotion of connections between learners, one-to-one, or one-to-many; connections between learners and teachers; and connections between members of groups and communities and the social networking that takes place on the Internet. This view of technology enhanced learning as 'networked learning' puts an emphasis on the 'human' aspects of technology in learning, and highlights the need to consider the educational and training values that underpin the use of technology. It questions a simple view of technological determinism and understands technology and learning as each shaping the other.

What is e-Research?

The term 'e-research' indicates an emerging field in which advanced technologies are applied to existing research methods and approaches. This Programme will examine some of the trends in this new field and will lead participants in the use of accessible technologies for carrying out research into technology enhanced learning.

The term e-Research encapsulates research activities that use a spectrum of advanced ICT capabilities and embraces new research methodologies emerging from increasing access to:

  • Broadband and mobile communications networks, research instruments and facilities, sensor networks and data repositories;
  • Software and infrastructure services that enable secure connectivity and interoperability;
  • Application tools, that encompass discipline-specific tools and interaction tools.

E-Research capabilities serve to advance and augment, rather than replace traditional research methodologies, but there is a growing dependence on e-Research capabilities. Improved access to knowledge and information will enable researchers to perform their research more creatively, efficiently and collaboratively across long distances and disseminate their research outcomes. Using e-Research, researchers can work seamlessly from desk-to-desk within and between organisations. E-Research advances rather than replaces traditional research methodologies.