Students at residential

PhD in Educational Research - Higher Education


This PhD in Educational Research - Higher Education is part-time structured programme that is undertaken through directed study and residential-based learning over 4 years.  Participants focus on their final research thesis from the third year onwards.  It is a well-established and successful route to a professional doctorate, having been delivered successfully for over 20 years.


The programme supports you in undertaking and completing a PhD in a way which employs these key advantages:

  • You study within a cohort of fellow participants who act as critical friends and an informal support network during the programme and, if you wish, a continued network throughout your career;
  • You are supported at regular residentials which enable your cohort to meet and socialise, engage in one-to-one tutorials and participate in workshops;
  • This support is provided by a world leading group of researchers/practitioners which gives you structured access to the culture of contemporary research;
  • Participants regularly publish papers from their assignments, allowing you to 'publish-as-you-go' on the programme; 
  • Module tutors give you detailed formative feedback on your work before formal submission, as happens when submitting a journal article. This formative feedback helps you to improve your academic writing very quickly;
  • There is ongoing research training which supports your work on your assignments and thesis;
  • You gain a PhD, rather than an EdD, from completing the programme;
  • When you come to campus you have the opportunity to participate in person in our extensive programme of research events.

This is one of two doctoral programmes taught by researchers from the Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation.  On this programme there are four residentials per year of up to one week. This gives you the opportunity to learn and discuss your work in person with your cohort and with well-qualified and experienced tutors across the Department of Educational Research. 

The programme's residential-based design benefits from building a mutually supportive spirit among a group of people with overlapping professional and academic interests. Our current participants tell us that this is one of the most successful and valuable elements of the programme.  You can read more about alumni and current students on the page about the Doctoral Programme 20th Anniversary event held in September 2014.

Attendance at the residentials is mandatory, and between residentials you are offered resources and advice so that you can continue your research and study in a structured way. We have considerable experience of e-learning in the Department and the Doctoral Programme is also well-resourced in this regard.