Postgraduate study in arts and the social sciences

PhD in Education and Social Justice


This unique PhD in Education and Social Justice (by thesis and coursework) is a part-time structured PhD programme that is undertaken entirely online, over 4 years. It provides a well-defined and supported route to a PhD for people around the world. The programme is designed so that participants can study entirely from home and whilst in full- or part-time employment


Tutors are internationally renowned researchers/practitioners, based in one of the best Education Departments in the UK, in a University ranked in the top 200 world-wide and top 10 in the UK. The Department has an established and excellent reputation for doctoral provision; the PhD in Education and Social Justice is a new addition to our suite of doctoral programmes, one of which has been running since 1995. There are close links between the Education and Social Justice doctoral programme and the Department's Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education.

We have designed the programme to enable issues, theories, methods and evaluations to be applied specifically to the particular concerns, contexts and priorities of the organisations and environments in which participants are working. The programme builds a mutually supportive spirit among participants who all have overlapping professional and academic interests. This means that participants benefit tremendously from studying within a cohort of students who act as critical friends and an informal support network during the programme, and a continued network throughout their careers.

What our students say about the programme

  • "The support by staff has been outstanding. Since the beginning of my programme staff have always been friendly, willing to answer questions and advise me when needed. They have equipped me with the skills and knowledge I will need to be successful academically." (Current student from Western Europe)
  • "The ESJ Doctoral Programme offers a research route that is both intellectually stimulating and academically rigorous. The different modules in the first 2 years served to explore the concept of social justice from a range of perspectives and offered opportunities for me to apply theory to my own context. All of this set me up nicely for my thesis proper in years 3 and 4 and I was even able to publish a few articles out of it! I would highly recommend the programme for anyone with a research interest in social justice and education." (Current student from the United Kingdom)
  • "My experience in the ESJ program has been overwhelmingly positive. I have enjoyed everything from the relevant and contemporary content, to the knowledgeable and supportive staff and faculty, to the expectations for rigorous study and research, to the valuable peer cohort interactions. A truly wonderful doctoral program, particularly for meeting the needs of working professionals!" (Current student from North America)