PhD in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning
Join our part-time Doctoral Programme in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning to carry out your own research and achieve a PhD.
We have designed this programme for anyone in the world who wants to develop their research practice in this area. Although you will mainly learn online, you will also benefit from two short face-to-face residential meetings (one in the first year and one in the second year) where you will get to know your tutors and fellow students, and take part in a range of interactive sessions. These are valuable core elements of the programme.
Download the TEL Programme Enquiry Handbook (2024).
Who is this programme for?
The programme is purpose-built for professionals responsible for educating or training others in any sector. You will want to study to an advanced level and carry out a piece of research of the highest possible standard in an aspect of your professional practice. We have been running this pioneering programme for 15 years and have had students from a whole spectrum of backgrounds - from computing to law, nursing to higher education. We have found it is very relevant for people wanting to develop distance or blended learning in programmes they manage.
Whatever your background, you will be eager to work towards a PhD and focus on researching educational uses and practices of technology enhanced learning in educational settings and sectors. You’ll finish the programme with new insights, new opportunities, and new career possibilities.
Meet some of our Alumni on the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning People webpages.
What makes this course different?
This is not an online version of an existing programme. Our programme was developed as an online programme for part-time professionals who will be studying mainly at a distance. You will be part of a cohort which means you’ll join our online learning community, receiving ongoing feedback from tutors and other students.
We have designed a two-year structured set of modules which introduce research themes in educational uses and practices of technology enhanced learning.
You will decide the focus of your research, but we will be here to advise you every step of the way. For example, past students have researched the use of a virtual learning environment for legal training, technology to assist the elderly at home, and the use of Twitter for early career researchers.
What is Technology Enhanced Learning?
‘Technology enhanced learning' (TEL) 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'. Many other terms are used around the world to describe this quickly growing and highly impactful phenomenon.
Our programme focuses on 'networked learning' – connections within an online learning community on the Internet. Joining us, you will explore human aspects of technology in learning, the values underpinning the use of technology, and how technology and learning shape each other.
What is e-Research?
E-Research is an emerging field which involves applying advanced technologies to existing research methods and approaches. Our programme examines trends in this field and explores how to use technologies for research into technology enhanced learning.
E-Research aims to advance and augment rather than replace traditional research methodologies. Improving knowledge in this area helps researchers perform research more creatively, efficiently and collaboratively across long distances, and share their research outcomes.
Although you will join us predominantly online, the residentials are compulsory, and they are an important part of your study. There are two four-day residential meetings in Part One of the programme, one in the first year and another in the second.
You will join us on campus in Lancaster to get to know your tutors and meet other students. At the same time, we will introduce you to wider thinking about e-Research and TEL research, as well as discussing modules, the virtual learning platform and associated technologies.
The first year residential dates for our 2024 intake are 8th - 11th April 2024
The second year residential dates for our 2024 intake are still to be confirmed
The first year residential dates for our 2023 intake are 27th - 30th March 2023
The second year residential dates for our 2023 intake are 9th - 12th April 2024
Further information about timetables, accommodation, travel and visas is available on our Residentials web page.
How to Apply
The next start date is January 2024 (CH17).
For admission to this programme applicants should normally have:
- a good honours degree from a British university or CNAA, and a good taught Master's degree; or
- qualifications of a comparable standard from a university or recognised degree awarding body in another country.
Preference will be given to applicants who have degrees in cognate areas (normally social science).
Applicants will need to have an acceptable fluency in written and spoken English.
For students whose first language is not English, an English Language Test Certificate will be required, that is, IELTS Academic with an overall score of 6.5 with at least 6.0 for reading and writing.
Further information can be found at: English Language Requirements.
Please apply using the online system.
The next start date is 1st January, 2023.
Typical Cohort Number: 30
As this is a PhD by coursework and thesis we do not require a research proposal at this stage, but you should explain why you wish to join the programme and how you hope to benefit from it.
Paper application forms can be obtained from: Postgraduate Admissions Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Lancaster University LANCASTER LA1 4YL
Telephone: +44 (0)1524 510880 Fax: +44 (0)1524 510857 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fees and funding
The fee for each cohort is set annually by the University and represents the part-time fee for that academic year. Once a student is on the programme the fee will be increased in line with inflation for each subsequent year of the course.
The course fee for:
- 23/24 is £5,010 per academic year, for four years minimum, for UK students and £8,970 per academic year, for four years minimum, for international students.
Fees are subject to a small increase each academic year.
To help finance your postgraduate study at Lancaster, you can apply for funding from charities and other funders: further details are available on the Fees and Funding webpage.
Applicants from the European Union can read more information about Research Fees (from Lancaster University) following the 2016 Referendum.
When you apply you will need to indicate your likely source of funding for your fees. If you are not self-funding you should investigate possible sources of finance as soon as you can for the full period of your study. Many students have been supported by their employing institutions.
Structure and modules
The programme is divided into two parts and has a modular structure in Part 1. All modules are compulsory and they are assessed along with the thesis proposal and the final thesis.
- Part One (years 1 and 2) consists of four modules that offer participants guided study in key areas of technology enhanced learning research.
- Part Two (years 3 and 4 minimum) - participants carry out an original piece of research under the supervision of a member of staff and produce a thesis with a maximum limit of 50,000 words.
Online and Distance learning
The Educational Research Department has considerable experience of supporting online and distance learners and we aim to make all our students feel that they are full members of the Department and part of the postgraduate community. Wherever possible we facilitate online participation at events and seminars organised by the Department.
All students have access to Moodle which is our Virtual Learning Environment. Many resources, for example, journal articles; required for postgraduate study, will be available online through the OneSearch facility offered by the Library. Additionally, the Library provides extra services for Distance Learners.
Visit our Computer requirements for studying online page for further information.
Rebecca Marsden is the Online Learning Support Officer for the Department of Educational Research and she can be contacted with queries about online learning.
The Academic skills webpages provide a wide range of online study opportunities across a range of topics. These include digital skills, referencing, research training and critical thinking.
Current Programme staff
The staff who teach and supervise programmes and modules can vary due to staff changes including research and other types of leave.
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If you have any questions, or would like further information about this programme, please contact the Programme Co-ordinator, Alice Jesmont.
Tel: +44 (0) 1524 592893