Which Higher Education PhD programme should I choose?

Cannot decide between the two higher education programmes offered by Lancaster University’s Department of Educational Research?

Use this table to compare the PhD in Higher Education: Research, Evaluation and Enhancement (HEREE) and the PhD in Educational Research - Higher Education (DPER).

FeatureHEREEDPER
Working in HE? Yes. This programme is exclusively designed for higher education professionals of whatever sort, for example: academics; managers; administrators; educational developers; student learning specialists. Yes. This role is very broadly defined – for example teaching, research, professional services; leadership and management, educational/academic development.
Mode of delivery 100% online. 100% online from January 2021. Previously, there was a residential element to the programme.
Length of programme 4 years part-time. Start date, October each year. 4 years part-time. Start date, January each year.
Fee The same in both programmes. The same in both programmes.
Syllabus in Part 1 (first two years) Broadly similar 3 core modules in the first two years (although with different names). Two support modules in both programmes but one is integrated into the core modules in HEREE. Broadly similar 3 core modules in the first two years. (although with different names). Two support modules in both programmes and both taught separately in DPER.
Syllabus in Part 2 (final two years) One support module (not assessed) plus 45,000 word thesis based on research project, supported by individual supervisor. One support module (assessed) plus 45,000 word thesis based on research project, supported by individual supervisor.
Final assessment The same in both programmes: submission thesis and oral examination (viva voce) by internal and external examiners. The same in both programmes: submission thesis and oral examination (viva voce) by internal and external examiners.
Award PhD (mode of delivery not specified on certificate). PhD (mode of delivery not specified on certificate).
Assignments Based on a “publish-as-you-go” philosophy, so the 3 core assignments in Part 1 (the first two years) are modelled on journal articles and we encourage submission for publication when passed. Based on a “publish-as-you-go” philosophy, so the 3 core assignments in Part 1 (the first two years) are modelled on journal articles and we encourage submission for publication when passed.
Tutors All tutors are active, successful researchers themselves and are specialists in their fields. All tutors are active, successful researchers themselves and are specialists in their fields.
Supervisors (academic support in Part 2); Conferencing software is used for synchronous discussion as the research and thesis writing progresses. Supervisors offer detailed advice and feedback. Conferencing software is used for synchronous discussion as the research and thesis writing progresses. Supervisors offer detailed advice and feedback.
Cohort support The programme is designed to foster peer support amongst each year’s cohort, and sub-groups of it using Moodle and other social platforms. Graduates report this to be a really attractive part of the programme, enhancing learning and progress. The programme is designed to foster peer support amongst each year’s cohort, and sub-groups of it using Moodle and other digital platforms.
Pedigree Based on the long-running DPER programme, HEREE was established in 2012. DPER has been running successfully for 25 years and has very many doctoral graduates.

We offer innovative, specialist postgraduate programmes that are consistently rated as excellent by students, external examiners as well as internal and external reviewers.