This programme provides the opportunity to gain deeper insight into education research, discover how to become an autonomous researcher, and benefit from a strong research culture and excellent support as you work towards your PhD or MPhil.
Our internationally respected PhD programme connects you with a thriving and friendly community of research-active staff, and with our three departmental research hubs: the Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation,the Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education, and the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning. You will benefit from their extensive and diverse research experience and the broad spectrum of departmental interests, and as a PhD student you will have the opportunity to be a contributing member of this community of highly-regarded researchers.
Undertaken full-time over a minimum of three years or part-time over a minimum of four years, the programme has attracted a large number of students over more than 25 years and you should find that it delivers a very human, inclusive and rich learning environment that's also supportive and sociable.
You are able to participate in research seminars, a reading group, postgraduate group meetings and in the research and evaluation projects led by our academics, when available. You'll also have the potential to benefit from our active and mutually beneficial relationship with a network of local schools and colleges.
You'll undertake research into an issue or concern of your choosing and write a thesis, which is produced under the detailed supervision of a subject expert and this provides the opportunity to contribute new knowledge to the scholarly community.
Although you will work independently, our supervision includes regular face-to-face meetings at Lancaster or virtual meetings at a distance. Most students commence in October in order to make use of our Faculty's research training courses but we also offer the option of entry in January where this is more suitable for the student. Likely outcomes include career progression, a move into an academic post, and the satisfaction of intellectual curiosity.
Your PhD is awarded on completion of your supervised research, a viva examination and approved thesis.
In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 100% of our research impact was rated outstanding and 90% of our research was rated as world leading or internationally excellent. Since the first Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 1992 the Department has consistently been judged to be one of the best in the UK.
Our department is ranked joint 61st in the world by the Times Higher Education World Subject Rankings 2022.
If you are interested in applying we strongly encourage you to read the Search for a Supervisor information on our departmental web pages to match your research interests to the supervision specialisms that are available in the department.
2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) usually a taught Master's degree, or its equivalent.
We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for information.
If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.
As part of your application you will also need to provide a viable research proposal. Guidance for writing a research proposal can be found on our writing a research proposal webpage.
English Language Requirements
We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.
We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 6.0 in the reading and writing elements and 5.5 in the speaking and listening elements. We also consider other English language qualifications.
If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.
Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fees and Funding
The tuition fee for students with UK fee status is set in line with the standard fee stipend provided by the UK Research Councils. The fee stipend for 2024/25 has not yet been set. For reference, the fee stipend for 2023/24 was full-time £4,712 and part-time £2,356.
The international fee for new entrants in 2024/25 is full-time £21,082 and part-time £10,541.
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small College Membership Fee which supports the running of college events and activities.
For students starting in 2023, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2024 have not yet been set.
Computer equipment and internet access
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
Application fees and tuition fee deposits
For most taught postgraduate applications there is a non-refundable application fee of £40. We cannot consider applications until this fee has been paid, as advised on our online secure payment system. There is no application fee for postgraduate research applications.
For some of our courses you will need to pay a deposit to accept your offer and secure your place. We will let you know in your offer letter if a deposit is required and you will be given a deadline date when this is due to be paid.
Fees in subsequent years
If you are studying on a programme of more than one year’s duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. Read more about fees in subsequent years.
Scholarships and Bursaries
Details of our scholarships and bursaries for 2024-entry study are not yet available, but you can use our opportunities for 2023-entry applicants as guidance.
Check our current list of scholarships and bursaries.
- E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning (by course work and thesis) PhD
- Education and Social Justice (by Distance Learning) MA
- Education and Social Justice (thesis and coursework) PhD
- Educational Research - Higher Education (thesis and coursework) PhD
- Higher Education: Research, Evaluation and Enhancement PhD
The information on this site relates primarily to 2023/2024 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
Our Students’ Charter
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.