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PhD Education / Overview

Year of entry: 2024

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  • Bachelor's (Honours) degree at 2:1 or above (or overseas equivalent); and
  • Master's degree in a relevant subject - with an overall average of 60% or above, a minimum mark of 60% in your dissertation (or overseas equivalent)

Full entry requirements

Apply online

Please ensure you include all required supporting documents at the time of submission, as incomplete applications may not be considered.

Application Deadlines

For consideration in internal funding competitions, you must submit your completed application by 19 January 2024.

If you are applying for or have secured external funding (for example, from an employer or government) or are self-funding, you must submit your application before the below deadline to be considered. You will not be able to apply after this date has passed.

  • For September 2024 entry: 30 June 2024

Programme options

Programme overview.

  • We're ranked in the top ten universities in the UK for Education (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022).
  • Learn with research-active experts in the field of education and work with highly diverse cohorts of students and staff.
  • Contribute to improvements in the overall wellbeing of students, their families and communities throughout the world through research.

The University holds regular open days, where you will have the opportunity to tour the campus and find out more about our facilities and programmes. On this day, you will find out more about the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) and meet academic and admissions staff who will be able to answer any questions you have.

For more information, see Open days.

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2024, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PhD (full-time) UK students (per annum): £6,000 International, including EU, students (per annum): £21,500
  • PhD (part-time) UK students (per annum): £3,000 International, including EU, students (per annum): £10,750

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Your fees will cover the cost of your study at the University, as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision, examinations and graduation (excluding graduation robe hire).

Payment of tuition fees will also entitle you to membership of The University of Manchester library, the Students' Union and the Athletic Union.

Scholarships/sponsorships

There are a range of scholarships, studentships and awards to support both UK and overseas postgraduate researchers, details of which can be found via the links below.

To apply University of Manchester funding, you must indicate in your application the competitions for which you wish to be considered. The deadline for most internal competitions, including School of Environment, Education and Development studentships is 19 January 2024.

All external funding competitions have a specified deadline for submitting the funding application form and a separate (earlier) deadline for submitting the online programme application form, both of which will be stated in the funding competition details below.

For more information about funding, visit our funding page to browse for scholarships, studentships and awards you may be eligible for.

  • ESRC North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP) PhD Studentships 2024 Entry
  • School of Environment, Education and Development Postgraduate Research Studentships 2024 Entry
  • China Scholarship Council - The University of Manchester (CSC-UoM) Joint Scholarship Programme 2024 Entry
  • Trudeau Doctoral Scholarships 2024 Entry
  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (High Income Countries)
  • School of Environment, Education and Development Enhancing Racial Equality (SERE) Studentship 2024 Entry
  • Humanities Doctoral Academy Humanitarian Scholarship 2024 Entry
  • Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (Least Developed Countries and Fragile States)
  • President's Doctoral Scholar (PDS) Awards 2024 Entry

Contact details

Programmes in related subject areas.

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

Regulated by the Office for Students

The University of Manchester is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS aims to help students succeed in Higher Education by ensuring they receive excellent information and guidance, get high quality education that prepares them for the future and by protecting their interests. More information can be found at the OfS website .

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Manchester, including our Degree Regulations and Complaints Procedure, on our regulations website .

phd in higher education uk

UCL logo

Education, Practice and Society MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society offers world-leading doctoral programmes in education and related social sciences. Our MPhil/PhD students undertake research projects, working closely with their supervisors to develop each stage of their research, and undertake a tailored programme of training courses and activities. This programme is available to study both face-to-face and online.

UK tuition fees (2024/25)

Overseas tuition fees (2024/25), programme starts, applications accepted.

  • Entry requirements

The normal minimum requirement is a Master’s degree from a UK university in a subject appropriate to the programme to be followed, or a qualification of equivalent standard appropriate to the programme to be followed awarded by a university (or educational institution of university rank) outside the UK. The majority of our successful applicants hold a Merit at Master’s level, and may have additional relevant experience.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website .

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

*Should you experience any issues with the drop-down below, try de-selecting the country and re-selecting it. If this doesn't work, then you may refer to this page which may help you find the same equivalencies - check the Entry requirements above beforehand. Please note the table is indicative only, revisiting when the dropdown is working to confirm is recommended.

About this degree

The Department of Education, Practice and Society has a range of innovative, research-active staff able to supervise post-graduate research in the following areas: international development; sociology of education; history of education; philosophy of education; higher education; comparative education; post-14 education.

We also have a number of research centres including the Centre for Global Youth; Centre for Research on Learning and Life Chances (LLAKES); Philosophy at the Institute; the Centre for the Sociology of Education and Equity; the Centre for Education and International Development (CEID); the Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES); the Centre for Post-14 Education and Work; the International Centre for Historical Research in Education (ICHRE); and jointly the Centre for Engineering Education.

Who this course is for

The MPhil/PhD is for applicants with a strong interest in an aspect of educational and social research, which may be understood broadly across the life course, in relation to other subject areas and wider social, economic, political and cultural changes. You should normally have completed an MA to merit level and want to develop a specific area of research. You may have a background in education or a cognate area of study. It is suitable for both recent graduates and those progressed in a career.

What this course will give you

IOE is a world-leading centre for research in education and related social science. We host the UK's largest doctoral cohort in these areas. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2023), the institute was ranked first for education for the tenth year running, ahead of Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge. In the UK's recent Research Excellence Framework (2021), we were ranked first for research strength and research power in Education, according to the Elsevier REF 2021 Results Analysis Tool. We attract extensive research funding each year and host many prestigious research centres and projects.

Doctoral students at IOE have access to the wider UCL community as well as the education cluster constituting the UBEL Doctoral Training Partnership . The Institute's programme has been designed to provide comprehensive and broadly based research training and to meet the requirements of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the UK Researcher Development Framework.

Students work closely with their supervisor(s) to develop each stage of research; supervisors also help put together a programme of additional courses and activities to support progress towards completion of the final thesis. 

Doctoral students at the Department of Education, Practice and Society can participate in the department's Research Students Seminar Group which further enriches learning.

The foundation of your career

Students gain experience of planning and implementing research methodologies, academic writing and presentation, management of their own research projects, and engagement with a wide range of researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and other groups relevant to their chosen topic.

The research training at IOE and in the rest of UCL has been excellent. I began this process knowing very little about how to conduct primary research, and I feel this is something that I’ve really been supported in developing. Jonathan James Education, Practice and Society MPhil/PhD Q&A with Jonathan James

Employability

Department of Education, Practice and Society doctoral graduates progress to careers in education, university teaching, educational research, and policy and curriculum development. They can be found in almost every occupational field, and there are a wide variety of career paths.

The Department of Education, Practice and Society pioneers research collaborations with external partners to diversify the contribution that educational research can make academically, professionally and practically for individuals and communities. We also strive to provide solutions to current and emerging pressure points in societies, such as economic change and social injustice, by creating networks and partnerships to support knowledge transfer between education, work and communities.

Teaching and learning

In addition to UCL's Doctoral Skills Development Programme, IOE's Centre for Doctoral Education provides a comprehensive Research Training Programme.

The Core Course aims to meets the needs of early stage doctoral students.

There is a wide range of introductory, advanced methods, advanced theoretical, and generic academic skills courses, as well as student-led workshops and reading groups.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) consists of a piece of supervised research, normally undertaken over a period of three years full-time or five years part-time. Assessment is by means of a thesis, which should demonstrate your capacity to pursue original research based upon a good understanding of the research techniques and concepts appropriate to the discipline. It must also represent a distinct and significant contribution to the subject, whether through the discovery of new knowledge, the connection of previously unrelated facts, the development of new theory, or the revision of older views. It should reflect the exercise of critical judgement with regard to both your own work and that of other scholars in the field.

For those who decide not to pursue the full PhD, or are unable to do so, the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) consists of a piece of supervised research, normally undertaken over a period of three years full-time or five years part-time. Assessment is by means of a thesis, which should represent a contribution to the subject, either through a record of your original work or a critical and ordered exposition of existing knowledge.

You must ensure you have adequate time to devote to this research, at least six hours a day (2-3 days a week part time).

Research areas and structure

There is a wide range of expertise including:

  • Comparative Education, including Education Policy Borrowing
  • Education, Democracy and Diversity : citizenship education; civic participation; social cohesion; nation building; civic and ethnic identities
  • Education and Wellbeing : health; sexual identity; education psychology; behaviour and disaffection; learning, studying and homework
  • Further Education, Post-14 Education, and Post-Compulsory Education
  • Global Youth
  • Higher Education (HE) : academic and professional identities; national, global and international HE; management, governance and leadership
  • Sociology of Education : education policy; gender, ‘race’, and social class; migration, refugees and marginalisation; social justice; human rights
  • History of Education : cultural, social and economic history of education and learning; universities; adult, popular and informal education; historiography and methodology
  • International Development : economics, education, and education planning; education in developing countries
  • Lifelong Learning, and Adult Learning, Literacy and Numeracy
  • Philosophy of Education : disability ethics; personhood; theories of mind; theories of justice
  • Post-Conflict / Peacebuilding Education
  • Professional Development, Vocational Education, and Workplace Learning

Research environment

As a research student in the Department of Education, Practice and Society a wide range of research seminars will be available to you. Each of the research centres in the Department run regular seminars which further enriches learning.

Since October 2014, we have also - in addition to the campus-based mode - offered the option to study online in a distance-learning mode. Choosing the distance-learning mode means that there are no residency requirements and it is not necessary to attend during doctoral study, the viva examination take place in-person at UCL or online. However, you are welcome to visit and use campus facilities including the library, attend seminars etc. In the first year of full-time study (and first two years of part-time study), distance learners take a series of compulsory research methods modules that are studied online. This typically involves provision of materials (articles, eBooks, videos etc.), forums to facilitate discussion of various tasks, and synchronous sessions to discuss the activities. Alongside these you will work with your supervisors on your research (e.g., using Teams/Zoom and email). In addition, there are other resources and training opportunities to support distance-learning students, e.g., sessions to develop generic skills.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is 3 years for full-time.

You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration.

IOE Centre for Doctoral Education provides an extensive Research Training Programme. A mandatory core course is provided that aims to meet the needs of early-stage doctoral students. There is also a wide range of introductory, advanced methods, advanced theoretical, and generic non-credit bearing academic skills courses, as well as student led workshops and reading groups which you can attend.

Full-time MPhil/PhD students are required to fulfil minimum 20 'points' of training activity in their first year, and are encouraged to fulfil the same in their subsequent years of study. This training can be selected from the UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme, IOE faculty's Research Training Programme, the multi-institutional Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network, and from other sources. Each point is worth approximately a half-day of face-to-face training, or an online equivalent. Other activities such as attending and presenting at conferences also count towards research training. Students may undertake additional training beyond these minima, as relevant to their research and/or as agreed with their supervisors.

You are expected to upgrade from MPhil to PhD status towards the end of your first year of study if full-time. Students whose performance is satisfactory will transfer from MPhil to PhD status.

Processes aimed at assisting you during your course of study include the Research Student Log (an online project management tool), and periodic reviews of students' progress.

Upon successful completion of your approved period of registration you may, if necessary, register as a completing research status (CRS) student while you finish writing your thesis.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is 5 years for part-time.

Part-time students are required to fulfil minimum 12 'points' of training activity in each year of study. This training can be selected from the UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme, IOE faculty's Research Training Programme, the multi-institutional Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network, and from other sources. Each point is worth approximately a half-day of face-to-face training, or an online equivalent. Other activities such as attending and presenting at conferences also count towards research training. Students may undertake additional training beyond these minima, as relevant to their research and/or as agreed with their supervisors.

You are expected to upgrade from MPhil to PhD status at around 18 months if part-time. Students whose performance is satisfactory will transfer from MPhil to PhD status.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk . Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team .

Fees and funding

Fees for this course.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees .

Additional costs

Students should take into account any travel, accommodation and expenses involved in their thesis.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs .

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding webpage: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/scholarships/funding-students-postgraduate-research-courses

UCL's Research Excellence Scholarships (RES) are available annually to prospective and existing UCL research students from any country: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/scholarships/research-excellence-scholarship . The UCL, Bloomsbury and East London Doctoral Training Partnership offers studentships annually. More information is found here: https://ubel-dtp.ac.uk/

UBEL, RES and other funding programmes are not available to online and non-resident students.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website .

After choosing a programme to apply for, you should develop a research proposal and identify a potential supervisor. For more information, visit our website to find a supervisor and get in touch with departmental graduate tutors.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

Year of entry: 2023-2024, got questions get in touch.

Education, Practice and Society

Education, Practice and Society

[email protected]

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phd in higher education uk

Higher Education PhD

Key information, full-time - 4 years, part-time - 8 years.

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Why choose this programme

At the Surrey Institute of Education , our aim is to produce the next generation of researchers, ready to address the complex challenges in higher education, and help shape higher education policy and practice at local, national and international levels.

The Institute is one of the largest institutions in the UK dedicated to multidisciplinary research solely within higher education.

We’ve secured research grants from a variety of funders, including the British Academy, the Australia Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Office for Students (OfS), the Leverhulme Trust, the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA), the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) and the Wellcome Trust.

You’ll benefit from our vibrant research culture and you’ll work alongside leading academics who are at the forefront of their respective fields, giving you access to expertise in a range of areas of higher education.

The University of Surrey is 33rd in the UK rankings for overall research quality by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. The research quality of the Surrey Institute of Education was ranked 20th out of 83 submissions for Education. In terms of outputs [research papers and other published works], 43 per cent of the Institute’s outputs were considered world-leading (4*) for their originality, significance and rigour, placing us 11th out of the 83 submissions. For impact, we have been ranked 20th with 100 per cent of impact case studies judged to have outstanding or very considerable impacts in terms of their reach and significance.

Postgraduate Research at Surrey

Frequently asked questions about doing a PhD

What you will study

Our PhD is research-based, so you’ll spend most of your time developing a research question, conducting original research, analysing your results and writing up your findings, all under the guidance of your project supervisors. We’ll also give you tailored research methods training through online and face-to-face tutorials.

Current students are researching topics including:

  • Internationalisation of higher education: Chinese language learning in Pakistan.
  • Promoting English foreign language students’ willingness to communicate through teacher classroom behaviour and strategies in the Saudi context. 
  • Challenges to teaching values: Exploring the effect of changing national context on the professional identity of international academics teaching in UK universities.
  • Students’ experiences: Neoliberal expectations and students’ mental health in British higher education.
  • Enhancing EFL students’ feedback literacy in China’s application-oriented universities.

We will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to shape professional practice and policy, allowing you to pursue a highly fulfilling career in academic, research and learning development positions within the higher education sector. Graduates also can take up roles as researchers for government think-tanks, as well as policy research advisers.

You’ll have a confirmation assessment to review your project formally. If you're a full-time student, this will take place around 12-15 months into your studies or 24-30 months if you’re studying part-time. You’ll be required to submit a written report and successfully complete an oral examination.

Your final assessment will be based on the presentation of your research in a written thesis, which will be discussed in a viva examination with at least two examiners. You have the option of preparing your thesis as a monograph (one large volume in chapter form) or in publication format (including chapters written for publication), subject to the approval of your supervisors.

Progress reviews

In addition to the confirmation process you’ll have six-monthly progress reviews with your supervisors. These meetings are an opportunity to reflect on your progress, discuss successes and challenges and set targets for the next six months. These reviews will be monitored by postgraduate research directors and recorded on your student record.

You’ll also have one formal meeting with your supervisors every month and can expect to have more frequent meetings between these. The regularity of these will depend on the nature and stage of your project.

Professional development

You’ll be invited to engage in regular research activities within the Surrey Institute of Education, giving you a breadth of tangible experience and real-world insight into a higher education institution. There are regular doctoral focused workshops that are co-designed and/or co-determined with the doctoral researchers.

Research support

The professional development of postgraduate researchers is supported by the Doctoral College , which provides training in essential skills through its Researcher Development Programme of workshops, mentoring and coaching. A dedicated postgraduate careers and employability team will help you prepare for a successful career after the completion of your PhD.

phd in higher education uk

Research themes

Our research investigates:

  • Assessment and feedback, including external examiners practice and student engagement with feedback.
  • Educational transitions, including students and academic staff transitions and mobility, in national and international academic contexts.
  • Identities and values in education, including professional identity development of academic staff and students.
  • Language and literacy learning, including students' motivation in learning English language.
  • Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and disciplinary education, including girls’ participation in STEM subjects at the higher education level, and the teaching and learning of STEM and disciplinary subjects.

We’ll encourage you to address some aspect of these themes either at the general higher education level or within specific disciplines in their research proposal. We also welcome applications that may not fit these themes but have a higher education aspect to them.

Our academic staff

Throughout your studies you’ll have at least two supervisors, with at least one from the Surrey Institute of Education , who’ll have expertise relevant to your research project.

Your supervisors will:

  • Give you academic guidance
  • Help in developing your research ideas and plans
  • Consider your theory and methods, and analyse your work
  • Read and comment on your draft work, giving you honest and constructive feedback
  • Provide you with pastoral support and advice, referring you to more specialist services where necessary.

Supervisors may include:

  • Dr Anea Hosein (an expert on young people’s educational and employment pathways)
  • Professor Ian Kinchin (an expert in pedagogies of care and concept- mapping)
  • Professor Naomi Winstone (an expert in feedback literacies)
  • Dr Marion Heron (an expert in literacies and languages).

Research groups and labs

Research facilities.

Postgraduate researchers have a dedicated shared office space. Postgraduate researchers are also welcome to work within the hot-desking areas in the communal office spaces.

Postgraduate researchers also have access to two seminar rooms and the kitchen/community space.

Fengmei Zhu profile image

Fengmei Zhu

PhD student, Fengmei Zhu, is based in the Surrey Institute of Education, carrying out research to improve students’ abilities of understanding, giving and receiving, as well as acting upon feedback to assist learning. Fengmei has conducted part of her research in the UK and is in China gathering more data. Here she explains her experience of studying as a PhD student at the University of Surrey.

Beyza Ucar profile image

Life in Surrey is full of opportunities. There’s a friendly, collaborative community awaiting you, preparing you for professional academic life and contributing towards your development as a researcher. Additionally, the University offers a wonderful campus experience

phd in higher education uk

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a good honours degree in an appropriate discipline.

International entry requirements by country

English language requirements.

IELTS Academic:  7.0 overall or above (or equivalent) with at least 6.0 in each individual category.

These are the English language qualifications and levels that we can accept. 

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses , designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Application requirements

Applicants are advised to contact potential supervisors before they submit an application via the website. Please refer to section two of our  application guidance .

After registration

Students are initially registered for a PhD with probationary status and, subject to satisfactory progress, subsequently confirmed as having PhD status.

Selection process

Selection is based on applicants:

  • Meeting the expected entry requirements
  • Being shortlisted through the application screening process
  • Completing a successful interview
  • Providing suitable references.

Student life

At Surrey we offer the best of both worlds – a friendly campus university, set in beautiful countryside with the convenience and social life of Guildford on your doorstep.

Start date: April 2024

Start date: July 2024

Start date: October 2024

Start date: January 2025

For fees payable in 2023/24, these will increase by 4 per cent, rounded up to the nearest £100 for subsequent years of study. Any start date other than September will attract a pro-rata fee for that year of entry (75 per cent for January, 50 per cent for April and 25 per cent for July).

Overseas students applying for 2023 entry should note that annual fees will rise by 4 per cent rounded up to the nearest £100.

View a complete list of all fees for our research programmes .

Additional costs

There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey.

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course.

Apply online

If you are applying for a studentship to work on a particular project, you should enter the details of the specific project that you wish to apply for rather than your own research proposal.

Read our application guidance for further information on the application process.

To apply online first select the course you'd like to apply for then log in.

1. Select your course

Select the course you wish to apply for.

To apply online sign in or create an account.

Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees. The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF) .

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and procedures , and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2023/24 academic year, as a guide as to what to expect.   Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.

This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer .

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Campus location

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

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University of Surrey Guildford Surrey GU2 7XH

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Higher Education

Research on higher education at Kent focuses on higher education practices and policy, particularly as they relate to innovation, enhancement, accessibility and excellence in teaching, learning, assessment and students’ experiences. Our research also investigates academic practice and how to support, recognise and reward academics, particularly part-time, and early career academics.

Key information

  • Duration 3 to 4 years full-time
  • Start date September, January, May
  • Location Canterbury

The Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) draws on expertise from its core staff as well as researchers across the University, so we can offer high-quality PhD supervision; we work very carefully to match you with a supervisory panel that suits your interests and ambitions. There are further details on the research activities and publications of individual members of staff on the Centre for the Study of Higher Education website .

In addition to regular meetings with supervisors, all research students take part in a tailored research training programme, which can include research methods modules offered by the Centre or by other schools, as appropriate. As well as attending the regular research seminars offered by the Centre, you are encouraged to participate in the seminars, workshops, newer researcher networks and masterclasses offered by the scholarly bodies in the discipline, such as the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE).

About the Centre for the Study of Higher Education

The Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) provides a base for postgraduate provision with a distinctive focus on the field of Higher Education. CSHE is also a focal point for research in this area, supported by seminars and events to which all postgraduate students and staff are warmly welcomed.

We offer three taught postgraduate programmes (PCert, PDip and MA in Higher Education) and a PhD in Higher Education. Taught programmes are tailored to different levels of experience and designed for you to select subject matter according to your own professional interests and role. The emphasis throughout is on developing an understanding of the higher education context, the diversity of provision and the implications for all aspects of academic work in the 21st century.

The PhD programme, offered on a full-time or part-time basis, is designed for those with a professional or scholarly interest in higher education who wish to develop as independent researchers in the field. Students on our programmes come from a wide range of subject backgrounds and bring a rich variety of experiences to their work, resulting in a lively interdisciplinary dimension to taught modules and opportunities for debate.

Please note that we are unable to offer tuition or supervision in relation to other phases of education (e.g. schools)or to School teacher education or teaching English as a foreign language.

Everything you need to know.

Entry requirements, study support.

A good honours degree or Master’s degree in a subject relevant to your proposed research topic. We strongly recommend that you contact the Centre to discuss your plans before making a formal application.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications. 

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications. 

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country  and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our  English language requirements  web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways .

Postgraduate research is a fantastic opportunity and significant investment in your future, enabling you to expand your knowledge, skills and career options – all while making a meaningful impact and contribution to an area you are passionate about.

At Kent, we also recognise the significant financial investment that comes with postgraduate study, and we offer a range of scholarships for our postgraduate researchers, to help keep your mind on your studies, and off your finances.

Scholarships can be broad, or specific to your situation, background or even country – so please do use our scholarships finder to discover the options available to you.

We also have research partnership funding with research councils and government schemes in specific areas of interest that can help you take your research to the next level with additional financial support.

Find out more on our fees and funding page and discover what option is right for you.

Teaching and assessment

Research expertise and resources.

Higher Education is a broad interdisciplinary field, and members of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education research and publish on a range of subjects. Full details can be found on the CSHE staff pages . The Centre for the Study of Higher Education comprises a small core team of specialists in educational research as well as Associate Members from across the University of Kent. Thus the Centre is able to draw on expertise from a range of disciplines, offering joint supervision with other academic schools where it benefits students.

The University library houses a growing collection of books and journals on higher education, many of which can be accessed online. You also have access to the extensive training and other resources provided through the Graduate School.

Research seminars/events

The Centre holds regular research seminars where academic staff and postgraduate students discuss their research and work in progress. Every term we also invite a number of external speakers to give lectures and seminars. Our students have access to lively national and international research networks and conferences through the Centre’s active involvement in the  Society for Research into Higher Education , the European Association for Learning and Instruction, the Staff and Educational Development Association, and other scholarly bodies.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Recent contributions include papers in Studies in Higher Education , Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education , Theory and Method in Higher Education Research ,   Journal of Workplace Learning ,  Journal of Further and Higher Education and  Teaching in Higher Education.

Researcher Development Programme

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the  Researcher Development Programme  for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and team work, and career management skills.

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this Centre and their research interests can be found at the Centre’s website. You are strongly encouraged to contact the Centre to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘ find a supervisor ’ search to search by staff member or keyword.

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the  Centre's website .

Staff research interests

Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘ find a supervisor ’ search to search by staff member or keyword.

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website .

University of Kent logo

Our students are higher education professionals at various stages of their careers, ranging from early career higher education teachers to professional services staff to experienced senior leaders. Throughout, we aim to enhance students’ understanding and capacity for critical analysis of the contexts and practices of higher education.

The MA in Higher Education further encourages students to reflect upon their own professional experiences through critical engagement with topics of academic interest. After completing the MA, recent graduates have gained promotion within their existing roles, taken up new employment or commenced PhD study. Those who have completed PhDs have been promoted in their professional service roles or taken on positions in educational research.

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The 2024/25 annual tuition fees for this course are:

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide .

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact [email protected] .

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from  UKCISA  before applying.

General information

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Additional costs

General additional costs.

Find out more about  general additional costs  that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

  • University and external funds
  • Scholarships specific to the academic school delivering this programme.

phd in higher education uk

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Ready to apply?

Learn more about the  application process  or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.

Need help deciding?

Our friendly team is on hand to help you with any queries you have.

Find the right supervisor for your and your research project.

Experience our stunning campuses.

Everything you need to know about applying to Kent from abroad.

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Supporting your success

We are here to support your postgraduate journey.

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Kent ranked top 50 in The Complete University Guide 2024 .

Support for funding so you can focus on your studies.

Research excellence.

Kent has risen 11 places in THE’s REF 2021 ranking, confirming us as a leading research university.

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It’s easy to study on or off campus at Kent – discover what is right for you.

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PhD in Educational Research - Higher Education

Join our doctorate programme in Educational Research - Higher Education, one of the oldest of its kind in the world. We have been delivering this course successfully for more than 27 years and it continues to evolve as we carry out regular reviews, listen to students’ feedback and react to changes in practice.

This programme has been designed for those currently working in higher education who wish to advance their career and increase their research skills.

You will study with us part-time as you deepen your insight into professional practices and concerns. You will learn how to design research projects, collecting and analysing appropriate data, as well as making an original contribution to knowledge in your chosen area.

Quick overview

What makes this course different.

This is one of the oldest doctorate programmes of its kind in the world, running at Lancaster University for over 27 years. The academics providing modules and supervision on this programme are internationally renowned researchers who also belong to Lancaster’s Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation .

You will study with us for a minimum of four years and become part of our vibrant community of researchers and academics. As a department, we are ranked 6th in the UK by the Times Higher Education world subject rankings table for education 2024.

Support for your research

This course is for anyone working in the higher education sector, including higher education institutions, national agencies, ministries and NGOs. As you conduct your research, you will have ongoing support from our academics as you push deeper into your chosen area of expertise.

You will be able to begin your research right away as you navigate core modules and hone your skills in academic writing. While some of this course is held online, the cohort of students on this programme is kept to a small size to maintain a closer relationship between students and faculty.

Residentials

While much of this programme is distance and online research there are four compulsory residential segments for each of the two years of Part One. During these times you will discuss research issues with other programme participants and the Department’s specialists in higher education.

The cohort of students come from diverse backgrounds spanning different continents. You will gain an insight into real issues affecting the sector, and discover new ideas that can affect and help your research.

Key information

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.

To be accepted onto the programme you must have a current role in a higher education context. The higher education sector is broadly conceived and includes higher education institutions, national agencies responsible higher education (such as quality assurance agencies), ministries responsible for higher education or research, non-governmental organisations working in higher education, networks and associations in higher education, and other institutions. Please also check that you meet the entry requirements.

You will also enjoy this programme if you want to be involved in residentials at Lancaster four times a year, meeting and discussing research issues in person with other programme participants and with the Department’s specialists in higher education. Departmental research events are frequently timed to coincide with these residentials and so you will more easily be able to attend these in person.

The programme is undertaken over a minimum of four years and a maximum of seven years.

Current programme participants and alumni are from a range of higher contexts and roles from all the world’s continents. You will find that the participants’ mix of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives adds to your own understanding of the sector and gives you a rich resource of ideas for your own research.

Please visit our:

  • Recent PhD vivas page to see the range of thesis topics arising from this programme;
  • What our PhD graduates say page to find out more about recent PhD graduates across the Department
  • YouTube DPER playlist to hear what recent graduates say about the programme.

Alumni of the programme have gone on to occupy influential positions in the community of higher education researchers, managers, practitioners and policy makers. For the 20th anniversary of the programme we collected profiles of some Doctoral Programme alumni and current students .

The aim of the programme is to provide an opportunity for higher education professionals to become autonomous researchers and to gain deeper and more critical insight into their own and others' professional practices and concerns.

The programme's objectives are to enable you to:

  • design research projects, and collect and analyse appropriate data;
  • make an original contribution to knowledge in your chosen area/s;
  • produce written work suitable for publication in academic journals;
  • engage others with the outcomes of your research in order to maximise its impact;
  • deploy appropriate theory in a sophisticated way;
  • evaluate dispassionately the work of organisations in the higher education field, and the work of other researchers;
  • demonstrate research-informed leadership for sustained improvement in the higher education field.

On this programme there are four residentials in Year One and four in Year Two, of up to one week. 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.

Cohort 29 - Commencing January 2024 - Residentials .

There are scheduled sessions in Years 3 and 4, usually one day relating to Module C. These are usually scheduled alongside the PhD Study Days which are an optional source of peer support that offer some structure for working on your PhD

Cannot decide between the two higher education programmes offered by Lancaster University’s Department of Educational Research? Use the comparison table on our Which Higher Education PhD programme should I choose? webpage to inform your decision.

Programme Co-ordinator

Alison Sedgwick Tel: +44 (0) 1524 592685

How to Apply

How to apply, apply online, entry requirements, what to include.

Please apply using the My Applications online system.

The next programme start date is January 2024.

The cohort size does not normally exceed 20.

The initial closing date for applications is 30th November 2023. Applications received after this date will be considered with a final deadline of 11 th December.

As this is a PhD by coursework and thesis we do not require a research proposal at this stage: however, we do request a personal statement and writing sample.

Alternatively, application forms can be obtained from: Postgraduate Admissions Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Lancaster University LANCASTERLA1 4YL

Telephone: +44 (0)1524 510880 Fax: +44 (0)1524 510857 E-mail: [email protected]

For admission to this version of the programme applicants should normally have:

  • a good honours degree from a British university or CNAA, and a good Master's degree; or
  • qualifications of a comparable standard from a university or recognised degree awarding body in another country.

Applicants should normally have at least three years' experience of teaching, research, staff development, management, administration or related function in the higher education sector. The higher education sector is broadly conceived and includes higher education institutions, national agencies responsible higher education (such as quality assurance agencies), ministries responsible for higher education or research, non-governmental organisations working in higher education, networks and associations in higher education, and other institutions.

In judging applications, special attention is paid to the comments made by referees. Although your referees may be from a professional context, having an academic referee who can comment on your capacity for independent research and study as well as your ability to complete tasks to a deadline is extremely helpful.

Please see the section on ‘what to include’ for more information on the evidence that is required for admission to this programme.

Language proficiency

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 .

Personal statement

Because this is a doctoral programme by coursework and a thesis, we do not require a research proposal from applicants. However, the personal statement should contain the following:

  • A statement of where you are currently employed, and in what capacity;
  • An explanation of how you fulfil the criteria of having at least three years of experience in the higher education sector;
  • A statement of reasons for applying for this programme in particular;
  • A statement of how you will benefit from this programme;
  • Any evidence or examples of achieving goals and meeting deadlines in a comparable area in the past;
  • Any evidence or examples to indicate successful engagement in collaborative tasks (as this is an aspect of the programme's approach);
  • Any evidence or examples of the ability to think and write analytically.

Writing sample

Please provide a piece of writing, in English, that you have produced in the past and which best demonstrates the following characteristics:

  • The ability to respond in a focused way to a specific question, remit or task;
  • The ability to express ideas in an accessible way;
  • The ability to structure a document in a clear and logical manner.

The document must have been produced by you alone. It may be something academic (perhaps for a prior qualification such as a Master's dissertation) or a policy document, a guidance document or some other form (perhaps produced in your professional role) which demonstrates the three characteristics above. If the document is accessible online, you may also provide us with a link to it.

Many students have published journal articles arising from their module assignments and theses.

Recent Alumni Annette Van Rooij and Tony Burke talk about DPER Programme.

View a list of some of the PhD theses from the DPER programme.

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:

  • 24/25 is £5,410 per academic year, for four years minimum, for UK students and £9,670 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.

Find out what our graduates say about studying on our PhD programmes

Structure and modules

The programme is divided into two parts and has a modular structure. Each of the six modules as well as the final thesis is assessed.

Programme staff

The staff who teach and supervise programmes and modules can vary due to staff changes including research and other types of leave.

For general enquiries please contact Alison Sedgwick .

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Kathy Chandler

Dr Kathy Chandler

I am a Lecturer in Technology Enhanced Learning. I research the experiences of students and educators. I am interested in the relationship between people and technology, the affordances of online spaces, how we build communities in those spaces and how we use technology to make high quality education more equitable and accessible. The development of community, trust and a sense of belonging cannot be taken for granted in an online context but must be created. Care in education - something that until recently was positioned in the feminist domain - is increasingly recognized as important for all educators to consider.

Bethan Garrett

Dr Bethan Garrett

Beth's role as a lecturer includes both an academic position in the Department of Educational Research and a member of the team exploring the development, implementation and impact of the Morecambe Bay Curriculum. Her research interests are currently focused on coastal education and beach schools, specifically investigating how these alternative approaches to teaching and learning could subvert social, educational, economic and health disparities. Her work connects with place-based learning, community education and sustainable development. She also retains an interest in psycho-social theories of motivation and how engagement develops through personal, socio-cultural and contextual processes.

Ann-Marie Houghton

Dr Ann-Marie Houghton

My research interests are closely linked to the work of REAP and my university role as Educational Developer. Major themes at present include:

  • Inclusive teaching and learning policy and practice
  • Educational Guidance See also doctoral research
  • Disability and transition to HE and Employment
  • Evaluation of Widening Access initiatives
  • Widening participation policy and practice
  • Educational Equality and Social Exclusion
  • Family Learning within school and community context

Janja Komljenovic

Dr Janja Komljenovic

My research focuses on the political economy of higher education. I am particularly interested in digital markets in higher education, new forms of value in EdTech, and how things are turned into assets. I lead an ESRC-funded research project, 'Universities and Unicorns: building digital assets in the higher education industry'. My approach sits at the intersection of economic sociology, science and technology studies, and higher education research. I have widely published on higher education policy and governance, and higher education markets.

Christopher Marlow

Dr Christopher Marlow

Masculinities and education; performing arts education/training - policy and practice; oracy in education

Jan McArthur

Dr Jan McArthur

My research interests span two themes: education and social justice, and the nature of higher education. I am interested in inter-relationships between education and society, and between theory and practice. I have explored different interpretations of critical pedagogy, and particularly the ways in which conceptualisations of knowledge impact upon social justice. Much of my work is informed by critical theory, and I have a special interest in the work of Theodor Adorno. My recent work has looked at the nature of assessment and feedback the role of failure in learning including the relationship between conceptions of failure and social justice. My latest book Assessment for Social Justice explores the potential to further social justice within and through HE assessment and draws on the critical theory of Axel Honneth.

Malcolm Tight

Professor Malcolm Tight

I have a broad range of research interests in the fields of higher and post-compulsory education. Over the years, these have included research into:

  • changing patterns of academic work
  • the nature of the academic experience
  • the development of higher education research
  • the history and meaning of higher education
  • alternative modes of study
  • the postgraduate and research experience
  • mature and 'non-traditional' students
  • comparative studies
  • patterns of participation
  • the role of learning in adult life

Jonathan Vincent

Dr Jonathan Vincent

My research focuses on the nature and experience of life course transitions for disabled university students and graduates, with particular emphases on education and employment. I am also interested in how belonging in higher education is theorised and experienced.

I typically draw on qualitative, and where possible inclusive, methodologies to uncover rich data from among hard-to-reach populations. I am engaged in a range of ongoing collaborations across the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Finland, Canada, and the United States of America.

PhDs in Educational Research

phd in higher education uk

PhD - Traditional Route

phd in higher education uk

PhD Education and Social Justice

phd in higher education uk

PhD Higher Ed: Research, Evaluation & Enhancement

phd in higher education uk

PhD E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning

International Education and Development PhD

Key information.

phd in higher education uk

The PhD in International Education and Development gives you the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge in the field of development and education and to hone advanced research skills in methodologies appropriate for contexts in low-income countries.

Our doctoral researchers come from all over the world and this PhD will help advance your professional career.

Areas of study

Doctoral researchers will become members of the Centre for International Education (CIE) , a global leader in this field, and will be based in the Department of Education, located in the School of Education and Social Work.

Your supervisors are generally members of CIE and are global in outlook. They all share an understanding that education lies at the heart of development and poverty reduction.  Their r esearch interests include conflict and peace-building, refugee education, gender justice, critical pedagogies, inclusion, governance and global education policy.

You will have opportunities to engage with other research centres in the School and across the University and to work in international and interdisciplinary ways.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described in this prospectus. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to government or regulatory requirements, or unanticipated staff changes, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Masters and P h D events

Meet us on campus or online

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Entry requirements

  • UK requirements
  • International requirements

Please select your country from the list.

Philippines

Saudi arabia, south africa, south korea, switzerland, united arab emirates, my country is not listed.

If your country is not listed, you need to contact us and find out the qualification level you should have for this course. Contact us

English language requirements

Ielts (academic).

Advanced level (7.0 overall, including at least 6.5 in each component).

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course.  Find out more about IELTS

We accept IELTS One Skills Retake.

We do not accept IELTS Online.

Check full details of our English Language requirements and find out more about some of the alternative English language qualifications listed below

Alternative English language qualifications

Proficiency tests, cambridge advanced certificate in english (cae).

176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill.

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency

LanguageCert International ESOL SELT

Advanced level (International ESOL SELT C1 with a minimum of 33 in each component)

LanguageCert International ESOL scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. Find out more about LanguageCert SELT

We only accept LanguageCert when taken at SELT Test Centres. We do not accept the online version.

Pearson PTE Academic

Advanced level (67 overall, including at least 62 in all four skills)

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic)

We do not accept the PTE Academic Online test.

TOEFL (iBT)

Advanced level 95 overall, including at least 22 in Listening, 23 in Reading, 23 in Speaking, 24 in Writing. 

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT)

We do not accept TOEFL (iBT) Home Edition.

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

As/a-level (gce).

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language (Grade 4 or above in GCSE from 2017).

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only:  70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English:  70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education

Grades A - C in English language

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 1119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-6 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades A1-C6 (1-6) in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt english-speaking countries.

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirement. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this, we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries: 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • The British Overseas Territories
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

English language support

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for your degree, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course

  • Visas and immigration

Admissions information for applicants

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, contact us

  • How to apply

If you’d like to join us as a research student, there are two main routes:

  • browse funded projects in this subject area
  • browse our potential supervisors and propose your own research project.

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Sussex

Our supervisors

phd in higher education uk

Prof Janet Boddy

Professor of Child, Youth and Family Studies

[email protected]

View profile of Janet Boddy

phd in higher education uk

Dr Rachel Burr

Senior Lecturer in Education

[email protected]

View profile of Rachel Burr

phd in higher education uk

Prof Barbara Crossouard

Professor of Theory in Education

[email protected]

View profile of Barbara Crossouard

phd in higher education uk

Dr Emily Danvers

Senior Lecturer in Higher Education Peda

[email protected]

View profile of Emily Danvers

phd in higher education uk

Dr Marcos Delprato

Senior Lecturer

[email protected]

View profile of Marcos Delprato

phd in higher education uk

Prof Mairead Dunne

Professor of Sociology of Education

[email protected]

View profile of Mairead Dunne

phd in higher education uk

Prof Louise Gazeley

Professor of Educational and Social Disa

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Dr Christina Hancock

Lecturer in Primary Education

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phd in higher education uk

Dr Sean Higgins

Lecturer in International Education and Development

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phd in higher education uk

Dr Tamsin Hinton-Smith

Senior Lecturer In Higher Education

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Dr Nimi Hoffmann

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Prof Lisa Holmes

Professor in Applied Social Science

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phd in higher education uk

Dr Perpetua Kirby

Lecturer in Childhood and Youth

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Dr Nigel Marshall

Reader in Education

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phd in higher education uk

Prof Linda Morrice

Professor of Education and Migration

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phd in higher education uk

Prof Mario Novelli

Professor Of The Political Economy Of Education

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Dr Keith Perera

Lecturer in Education

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Dr Marcelo Staricoff

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Dr Julia Sutherland

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phd in higher education uk

Prof Simon Thompson

Head of School ESW

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phd in higher education uk

Dr Gunjan Wadhwa

Lecturer in International Education

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phd in higher education uk

Dr Rebecca Webb

Senior Lecturer in Early Years and Primary Education

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phd in higher education uk

Prof Jo Westbrook

Professor of International Educationand Pedagogy

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phd in higher education uk

Dr James Williams

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Funding and fees

How can i fund my course, funded projects and scholarships.

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals. Don’t miss out on scholarships – check the specific application deadlines for funding opportunities. Note that funded projects aren’t available for all our PhDs.

£3,000 scholarships available to environmental influencers bringing about real-world behaviour change

Find out more

Cash scholarships available for students who have demonstrated sporting excellence

University of Sussex Stuart Hall Doctoral Scholarship

Applying for USA Federal Student Aid?

If any part of your funding, at any time, is through USA federal Direct Loan funds, you will be registered on a separate version of this degree which does not include the possibility of distance learning which is prohibited under USA federal regulations. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid .

Part-time work

We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.

Find out more about careers and employability

How much does it cost?

Fees for self-funding students.

Home students: £4,786 per year for full-time students

Channel Islands and Isle of Man students: £4,786 per year for full-time students

International students: £21,500 per year for full-time students

Home PhD student fees are set at the level recommended by United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) annually, rising in line with inflation. Overseas fees are subject to an annual increase - see details on our tuition fees page

Additional costs

Note about additional costs.

Please note that all costs are best estimates based on current market values. Activities may be subject to unavoidable change in response to Government advice. We’ll let you know at the earliest opportunity. We review estimates every year and they may vary with inflation. Find out how to budget for student life .

Empirical research costs

On top of your PhD fees and living costs, you may also need to cover some research and training costs, relevant to your research project. These costs will depend on your research topic and training needs, but may include: - travel (to archives, collections or scientific facilities) - a laptop - overseas fieldwork costs (travel and accommodation, and language training) - conference costs (travel, registration fees and accommodation) - laboratory consumables and workshop materials - participant costs - transcription or translation costs - open-access publication costs. If you have a scholarship from one of the UK Research Councils, your scholarship should cover these types of costs. You'll receive details of how to claim this additional funding. If you're self funded, or if your scholarship doesn’t cover these costs, check with the Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator in your School for details of School or Doctoral School funding that may be available.

  • Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex

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PhD Information Sessions

Visit campus and chat to staff and students. Book your place

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Admissions enquiries

If you haven’t applied yet:

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5 routes to getting a Doctorate

While most of those studying for a PhD take the PhD by thesis pathway, there are five viable routes to achieving a Doctorate degree

PhD by thesis

This is the most common means of getting a Doctorate degree. Over the three or four years of research at university, your PhD supervisor will support you as you aim to produce a thesis based on your research proposal .

A thesis is typically 60,000-90,000 words in length - although this can vary between institutions. For instance, the University of Glasgow's College of Social Sciences expects a thesis to be 70,000-100,000 words including references, bibliography and appendices, while the University of Cambridge has set an upper limit of 80,000 words.

Once completed, you'll need to defend your PhD thesis in front of a panel of examiners during your viva voce .

PhD by publication

This route involves submitting previously published work - such as books, book chapters and journal articles, which together form a coherent body of work and show evidence of an original contribution to a particular field of study.

It's often taken by mid-career academics that haven't had the opportunity to undertake a standard Doctorate degree.

Generally, a minimum of five to eight published pieces are required, but this varies between institutions and depends on their length. The published work will be assessed to the same rigorous standards as a traditional PhD by thesis.

You must also provide a written supporting statement, which can range from 5,000 to 20,000 words, and present your work to an academic committee. A supervisor will assist you with selecting which publications to submit and with the supporting statement.

Some universities accept only their own graduates for a PhD by publication, while others restrict this route to their academic staff. In general, you should have graduated from your first degree at least seven years ago to be eligible.

For example, The University of Manchester has published its own Guidance for the PhD By Published Work , with eligibility only extending to current members of staff.

Professional Doctorate

Geared primarily towards current professionals in vocational sectors such as healthcare , teaching and education , and engineering and manufacturing , this type of Doctorate degree includes a significant taught component and a smaller research project.

Professional Doctorates are often taken on a part-time basis and can last between two and eight years. Like their standard PhD counterparts, they usually begin in October or January.

While you won't typically be looking to get an academic job , your research is expected to contribute to theory as well as professional practice. Projects often revolve around a real-life issue that affects your employer.

Several professional Doctorates, such as the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy), are accredited by a professional body - for instance, the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and The British Psychological Society (BPS) - and may also lead to a professional qualification .

Common titles for graduates of professional Doctorate degrees include:

  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
  • Doctor of Engineering (EngD)
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD).

Unlike many professional Doctorates, the EngD is typically offered as a full-time course and is aimed at young engineering graduates with little or no professional experience.

Explore what's currently available at Find a Professional Doctorate .

Integrated PhD

This four-year qualification, also known as the New Route PhD, involves studying a one-year research Masters degree (MRes) before progressing onto a three-year PhD.

Offered by a select number of universities across the UK, integrated PhDs are supported by the government and the British Council through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) . Visit Research Council funding for further information on research and funding for different types of PhD.

The integrated PhD involves a combination of taught materials, practical experience and advanced research. This allows you to learn subject-specific methodologies, while building the transferable skills that will enable you to become a leader in your chosen profession.

Institutions can also develop personalised integrated PhD programmes to meet each student's needs. For example, universities may offer you the opportunity to gain a postgraduate certificate (PGCert) in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education - perfect if you're considering a career as a higher education lecturer .

As PhDs are based primarily on independent research rather than time spent in lectures and seminars, distance learning has always been a viable route for many Doctoral students.

PhDs by distance learning offered by course providers such as The Open University are therefore a good option to consider if you've got family or work commitments or are an international student - as this gives you the chance to undertake Doctoral research without having to live close to your chosen institution. It's also a suitable mode of study if your subject requires you to be based in a specific location away from the university.

For the most part, you'll be in touch with your supervisor by phone, email or Skype/Zoom. You'll need to bear in mind that even if you opt for this form of research, you'll generally still need to attend university for one or two weeks of each academic year for meetings and to receive research skills training. Your final examination may be undertaken either face-to-face or virtually.

With online PhDs, you can usually register as a full or part-time student. The level of fees you pay varies between institutions - some charge the same as for a standard PhD while others offer a reduced rate.

Check that any funding you plan to apply for is available to distance learning students, as this isn't always the case.

Search for distance learning PhDs .

Find out more

  • Explore what is a PhD?
  • Sort out funding for postgraduate study .
  • Consider what to do after completing your PhD .

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  • Teaching, learning and quality

Higher education in facts and figures: 2021

Last updated on Wednesday 14 Jun 2023 at 2:52pm

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About this data.

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An overview of the data on students, staff and university finances from our member institutions.

Highlights 

Record proportions of the most disadvantaged students began a full-time undergraduate course in the UK in 2020, across all four nations of the UK.

In 2020, median graduate salaries were £10,000 higher in England than non-graduate salaries.

In 2019−20, 15.8% of undergraduate students and 40.5% of postgraduate students at UUK member institutions were from outside the UK.

In 2019−20, nearly half of total expenditure was spent directly on teaching and research activities.

phd in higher education uk

What data have we used? 

Most data we’ve used refers to just our member institutions. This covers 140 universities and higher education providers in the UK. 

The data we have used for each chart is clearly labelled and mostly comes from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) records, which covers a wider set of providers. The below charts show the proportion of student, staff and finance data within each of the public HESA records that is represented by Universities UK members.

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In 2019−20, there were 2,413,155 students at UUK member institutions; an increase of 3.1% compared to 2018−19. Of these students:

  • 79.6% studied full time
  • 74.5% were undergraduates
  • 5.8% were from EU countries
  • 16.3% were from other non-EU countries
  • 56.9% were females
  • 59.9% were mature students (aged 21 and over)

Students by mode of study and country of institution, 2019–20

The number of students studying full time has increased by 3.1% since 2018–19. Part-time numbers have decreased slightly (down 0.2% on 2018–19). In 2019−20, part-time students accounted for 36.9% of postgraduate students and 14.7% of undergraduate students.

Students by level and mode of study, 2019–20

In 2019–20, four fifths of students were studying full-time. 69.2% of students were studying for a first degree either full or part time, and a quarter (25.5%) were postgraduates. 'Other undergraduates' (which includes those studying for foundation degrees, diplomas in higher education, or Higher National Diplomas among others) were the most likely to be studying part time, followed by postgraduate taught students.

Applicants, acceptances and UK 18-year-old entry rates, 2011 to 2020

For the 2020 cycle, the total number of people applying for UK full-time undergraduate higher education courses increased by 3.2% on 2019, while total acceptances increased by 5.4%. The UK 18-year-old entry rate was also at record levels, with 37.0% of this group starting a full-time undergraduate course.

Entry rates of the most disadvantaged 18-year-olds by domicile, 2011 to 2021

Record proportions of the most disadvantaged students began a full-time undergraduate course in the UK in 2020 across all four nations of the UK. The charts below show the proportion of 18-year-olds from the areas considered to be in the top fifth most disadvantaged areas who began a course.

Students by age and ethnicity, 2019–20

In 2019−20, mature students (aged 21 and over) accounted for 57.5% of the student population at UUK member institutions. This includes 44.3% of students studying for their first undergraduate degree. Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students accounted for 25.1% of students living permanently in the UK.

Students by sex, subject area and level of study, 2019–20

In 2019−20, undergraduate student numbers were highest in the subjects of business, subjects allied to medicine and social sciences. Postgraduate numbers were highest for business, subjects allied to medicine and education. Psychology had the highest proportion of female students at 81.1% with the lowest found in computing, and engineering and technology at 19.8% each.

Students by domicile and level of study, 2019–20

In 2019−20, 5.5% of undergraduates were from EU countries, while 10.3% were from outside the EU. Percentages for postgraduates were 6.8% and 33.7% respectively.

vector map of the UK

In 2019-20, UUK members awarded 761,215 qualifications.

  • 61% were undergraduate qualifications and 39% were postgraduate
  • 80% of graduates were in employment or unpaid work 15 months after graduation
  • 19% of graduates were in further study
  • Median salaries for graduates were £9,500 higher than non-graduates
  • 5.3% of non-graduates were unemployed compared to 3.7% of graduates

Qualifications awarded by level and mode of study, 2019–20

In 2019−20, more than half (53.6%) of qualifications awarded by UUK member institutions were first degrees. 85.8% of qualifications awarded were for full-time study.

Graduate outcomes by activity, 2018–19

In 2019−20, 80% of graduates who responded to HESA's Graduate Outcomes survey were in employment or unpaid work. 19% of survey respondents were in further study, including those who were also in employment.

Unemployment rates and median salaries in England, 2020

In 2020, median salaries for England-domiciled graduates were £9,500 higher than median non-graduate salaries. The graduate unemployment rate was 3.7%, compared to 5.3% for non-graduates, while the high-skill employment rate was 53.9 percentage points higher for postgraduates than non-graduates, and 41.5 percentage points higher for graduates than non-graduates.

vector map of the UK

In 2019−20, there were 409,055 staff at UUK member institutions, of these:

  • 53.0% were academic staff 
  • 12.7% were from EU countries
  • 9.5% were from non-EU countries
  • 54.2% were female
  • 30.7% were aged under 35 years old
  • 14.4% were Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff.

Staff by nationality and employment function, 2019–20

In 2019−20, over a fifth (22.2%) of staff at UUK member institutions had a non-UK nationality. Half (48.9%) of academic staff with a 'research only' function had a non-UK nationality.

Academic staff by nationality and cost centre, 2019−20

In 2019−20, non-UK staff accounted for nearly half (47.2%) of academic staff in engineering and technology compared to 13.3% in education.

Academic staff by sex, mode of employment and age, 2019–20

In 2019−20, 46.6% of academic staff at UUK member institutions were female, while 34.0% of staff were working part-time. 29.0% were 35 or under.

Professors by sex and ethnicity, 2015–16 to 2019–20

Although the number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), professors has increased by nearly a third (32.2%) since 2015−16, they only accounted for 10.0% of professors in 2019−20. Over half (58.6%) were white males.

vector map of the UK

In 2019–20, the total reported income of UUK member institutions was £39.8 billion. Just over half of this income (£20.7 billion) was related to teaching, 15% was related to research (£6.1 billion), and 11% was related to knowledge exchange activity (£4.5 billion).

In 2019–20, our members' total expenditure was £36.4 billion. Nearly half (£17.5 billion) was spent on direct teaching and research activity, and over a tenth (£3.8 billion) was spent on libraries, IT and museums.

Income and size of higher education institutions, 2018–19 to 2019–20

In 2019−20, three quarters of UUK members had an annual income of £100 million or more, with a similar proportion having at least 10,000 students.

Income by source, 2019–20

In 2019−20, the total reported income of UK higher education institutions was £39.8 billion. Around half (£20.7 billion) of this income was sourced through tuition fees.

Teaching, research and knowledge exchange income by source, 2019–20

In 2019−20 around a third (32.3%) of teaching income was from international students from outside the EU. A third of research income came from research councils (33.6%), and nearly a quarter (23.3%) came from outside of the UK. In 2019−20, over a third of knowledge exchange income came from collaborative research involving public funding. This includes collaboration with at least one non-academic partner, which can include businesses, the third sector, and the public. The estimated current turnover of spin-off or start-up firms based on providers' intellectual property, or started by staff, students or graduates increased significantly in 2019−20. Businesses associated with UUK members had an estimated turnover of £7.9 billion with the majority coming from staff start-ups (£2.8 billion) and student start-ups (£2.6bn).

phd in higher education uk

International Facts and Figures 2021

International Facts and Figures is our annual snapshot of the international dimensions of UK higher education.

Operating expenditure of UK higher education institutions, 2019–20

In 2019–20, the total reported operating expenditure of UUK member institutions was £36 billion. Nearly half of this was spent directly on teaching and research activities. Other areas of spending include those that support teaching and learning, such as libraries and IT, maintaining campuses, providing financial support to students and student facilities.

Academic employment function

A HESA field relating to staff with academic contracts. Categories are divided according to whether the contract is ‘teaching only’, ‘research only’ (no more than six hours of teaching per week), ‘teaching and research’, and neither teaching nor research. For more information visit HESA's website .

Cost centre

Cost centre is a financial concept which groups staff members to categories of spending. They enable analysis between the student, staff and finance streams. The cost centre groups are separate to the JACS/HESA codes due to the groupings and are therefore non-comparable. The reason they can't be compared and the breadth of the elements in this field is to replicate the way in which resources (including staff) can be split over multiple courses and the differences in the way individual higher education providers allocate them. For more information visit HESA's website .

A student’s permanent country of residence. This differs from nationality (see below).

The number of university entrants divided by the estimated base population.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is the designated data body for English higher education.

High-skill employment

Occupations at this level are generally termed ‘professional’ or ‘managerial’ positions and are found in corporate enterprises or governments. Occupations include senior government officials, financial managers, scientists, engineers, medical doctors, teachers and accountants.

Knowledge exchange activities

Activities that bring together academic staff, users of research and wider groups and communities to exchange ideas, evidence and expertise. Information on knowledge exchange activities is collected by HESA through their Higher Education Business and Community Interaction (HEBCI) survey. For more information visit HESA's website . 

Level of study

Whether a student studies at undergraduate or postgraduate level. With these groupings, there are other levels such as ‘first degree’, ‘other undergraduate’, ‘postgraduate (research)’ and ‘postgraduate (taught)’. For more information visit HESA's website .

Mode of study

Whether a student studies full or part time.

Nationality

A HESA field that records the legal nationality of staff. For more information visit HESA's website .

Participation of Local Areas (POLAR) is a widening participation measure which classifies local areas or ‘wards’ into five groups, based on the proportion of 18-year-olds who enter higher education aged 18 or 19 years old. These groups range from quintile 1 areas, with the lowest young participation (most disadvantaged), up to quintile 5 areas with the highest rates (most advantaged).

Professorial staff

HESA codes each staff contract. Professor level is defined as ‘senior academic appointments which may carry the title of professor, but which do not have departmental line management responsibilities’. Other senior contracts include leadership and management responsibilities. These contracts may also be held by people who hold the title of professor. It is likely that the methodology undercounts the number of professors because many will fall into more senior levels, eg heads of department.

The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation for 2016 is a widening participation measure that identifies small areas of multiple deprivation across Scotland and classifies them into five groups. These groups range from quintile 1 – areas identified as the most disadvantaged, to quintile 5 – areas identified as the most advantaged. 

HESA Standard Rounding Methodology

We have applied HESA’s Standard Rounding Methodology to all analysis of HESA data:

  • Counts of people are rounded to the nearest multiple of five
  • Percentages are not published if they are fractions of a small group of people (fewer than 22.5)
  • We have applied the methodology after making calculations, which sometimes means numbers in tables may not sum up to indicated totals

For more information, visit HESA's website . 

HESA sources in this report are copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited. 

Neither the Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited nor HESA Services Limited can accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from data or other information obtained from Heidi Plus.

phd in higher education uk

Higher education in numbers

Key facts and figures about UK higher education.

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PhD English Language and Applied Linguistics (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)/ MA by Research

On campus: Annual tuition fee 2024 entry: UK: £4,778 full-time; £2,389 part-time International: £21,840 full-time Distance learning PhD: Annual tuition fee 2024/25: £12,330 part-time  More detail .

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Carry out your research with one of the UK’s leading English Language departments, renowned for its expertise in Corpus Research, Cognitive Linguistics and Psycholinguistics, and Discourse Analysis and Stylistics, from anywhere in the world. 

We offer both and campus-based and distance learning PhD courses. There are two distance learning PhD programmes in English Language and Applied Linguistics: a standard programme and a modular programme. There is no assessed taught component, but students follow online research training modules. Both distance learning options are part-time, while the campus programme can be either full-time or part-time.

All programmes have regular contact with your supervisor. On the distance learning programmes, this contact is by email and/or video conference and allow you to remain in your resident country while pursuing your research. This is particularly beneficial if you are interested in relating your research to your current work. 

The Standard PhD

The standard programme requires a traditional 80,000-word thesis. The work is examined at the end of the programme, as with other PhD programmes. Students identify and refine a thesis topic and research design in consultation with their supervisor and send drafts of the various chapters for comment as they work through the programme. As with all PhDs, progress is monitored throughout the registration period.

Distance Modular PhD

The modular programme requires three modules: two shorter research papers (Module 1 - 12,000 words, Module 2 - 20,000 words) and a final thesis of 50,000 words (Module 3). The work is examined in three phases, at the end of each module. The final product (in terms of total quantity and quality of work) is therefore similar to the standard PhD; however the modular option provides an incremental, continuously assessed route allowing students to progress through explicitly marked stages to a PhD. Students identify a topic they wish to work on and to which all their written work should be related; the nature of the assessment means however that the topic may not be as tightly focused as that in a traditional PhD.

Virtual Open Day: Postgraduate opportunities in English Language and Applied Linguistics - 28 April 2020, 14:00-15:00

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Join us online to watch a range of staff and student videos, and take part in our online chat where staff from the Department will be answering your questions about postgraduate study.

Find out more and register

Postgraduate scholarships available

phd in higher education uk

The College of Arts and Law is offering a range of scholarships for our postgraduate taught and research programmes to ensure that the very best talent is nurtured and supported.

Learn more about our scholarships

At Birmingham, Postgraduate Taught and Postgraduate Research students also have the opportunity to learn graduate academic languages free of charge, to support your studies.

  • Graduate School Language Skills

phd in higher education uk

The staff are extremely friendly and approachable which makes for a really productive atmosphere in the department. I also really value the range of expertise across the department. Helena

Why study this course?

  • World-leading research : The University of Birmingham is ranked equal 10th in the UK amongst Russell Group universities in the Research Excellence Framework exercise 2021 according to the Times Higher Education. Additionally, the University of Birmingham is ranked in the top 50 for the study of English Language and Literature in the 2023 QS World University Rankings. These rankings are compiled annually to help prospective students identify the leading universities worldwide in a particular subject.
  • Distance learning experience : The Department has many years of experience in delivering high quality distance learning programmes at postgraduate level. Staff also have expertise in supervising doctoral research at a distance. Through the University library, you will have electronic access to a wide range of applied linguistic research journals and e-books.
  • Exceptional student support : While the programmes are rigorous in their standards and expectations, they also provide excellent support and a high degree of flexibility. You will receive the same level of support and supervision as our on-campus students.
  • Research resources :  Our English Language programmes benefit from the 450 million-word Bank of English corpus, an invaluable collection of authentic language data. All students and researchers working within English Language also have free access a variety of language corpora, and, where necessary, training in how to use them. Additionally, the Main Library houses an extensive collection of books on English language and linguistics, including English language teaching, and subscribes to 250 periodicals in the fields of English language and literature.

The postgraduate experience

The College of Arts and Law offers excellent support to its postgraduates, from libraries and research spaces, to careers support and funding opportunities. Learn more about your postgraduate experience .

Content and assessment for the Modular PhD

Module 1 - Subject-focused work, to include some research training and preparation related to the subject, such as empirical work, literature searches, and research methodology.

The 12,000-word assessment may be divided into 3 x 4,000 papers or combinations amounting to the total (60 credits). Pass/Fail.

Module 2 - Structured research and writing on the research topic. It may be linked in a linear way to Module 1, or the connection may be looser.

The 20,000-word assessment may be divided into one or two papers amounting to the total (120 credits). Pass/Fail

Module 3 - The thesis (maximum 50,000 words - 360 credits). Pass/Fail

The assessed work from Modules 2 and 3 should be of publishable quality.

Each assessment (i.e. each module) is submitted and passed before the student can proceed to the next. One re-submission of each module is permitted. The external examiner is consulted when each module is completed. Like all PhD theses at Birmingham, a Modular PhD is examined in a viva voce examination which takes place after the submission of Module 3.

We charge an annual tuition fee:

On campus PhD/MA by Research: Annual tuition fee 2024 entry:

  • UK: £4,778 full-time; £2,389 part-time *
  • International: £21,840 full-time

The above fees quoted are for one year only; for those studying over two or more years, tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

* For UK postgraduate research students the University fee level is set at Research Council rates and as such is subject to change. The final fee will be announced by Research Councils UK in spring 2024.

Distance learning PhD:

  • Fees for students joining between September 2023 and August 2024 are as follows: £11,730 part-time
  • Fees for students joining between September 2024 and August 2025 are as follows: £12,330 part-time

Tuition fees will be payable each year for between four years (minimum registration) and six years (maximum registration). Students who go into Writing Up after four or five years will pay a nominal continuation fee (the same as for the full-time PhD).

Eligibility for UK or international fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about  fees for international students .

Paying your fees

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about  postgraduate tuition fees and funding .

How To Apply

Application deadlines.

Postgraduate research can start at any time during the year, but it is important to allow time for us to review your application and communicate a decision. If you wish to start in September, we would recommend that you aim to submit your application and supporting documents by 1 July 2023.

Additional guidance for applicants to the PhD Distance Learning study mode.

Before you make your application

Please refer to our six-step process on applying for PhD, MA by Research and MRes opportunities for Arts subject areas, which includes detailed advice on research proposals and how to write them.

You may also wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

  • How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate research programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the research programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page . Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Our Standard Requirements

Our requirements for postgraduate research are dependent on the type of programme you are applying for:

  • For MRes and MA by Research programmes, entry to our programmes usually requires a good (normally a 2:1 or above) Honours degree, or an equivalent qualification if you were educated outside the UK, usually in a relevant area.
  • Applicants for a PhD will also need to hold a Masters qualification at Merit level or above (or its international equivalent), usually in a relevant area.

Any academic and professional qualifications or relevant professional experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases, form an integral part of the entrance requirements.

If you are applying for distance learning research programmes, you will also be required to demonstrate that you have the time, commitment, facilities and experience to study by distance learning.

If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated here, please contact the admissions tutor.

International students

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band is equivalent to:

  • TOEFL: 88 overall with no less than 21 in Reading, 21 Listening, 22 Speaking and 21 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced - minimum overall score of 176, with no less than 169 in any component

Learn more about international entry requirements

International Requirements

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 14/20 from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of the Licenciado or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Argentinian university, with a promedio of at least 7.5, may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Applicants for PhD degrees will normally have a Maestria or equivalent

Applicants who hold a Masters degree will be considered for admission to PhD study.

Holders of a good four-year Diplomstudium/Magister or a Masters degree from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 2.5 will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students with a good 5-year Specialist Diploma or 4-year Bachelor degree from a recognised higher education institution in Azerbaijan, with a minimum GPA of 4/5 or 80% will be considered for entry to postgraduate taught programmes at the University of Birmingham.

For postgraduate research programmes applicants should have a good 5-year Specialist Diploma (completed after 1991), with a minimum grade point average of 4/5 or 80%, from a recognised higher education institution or a Masters or “Magistr Diplomu” or “Kandidat Nauk” from a recognised higher education institution in Azerbaijan.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 75% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with a CGPA of 3.0-3.3/4.0 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Students who hold a Masters degree from the University of Botswana with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 (70%/B/'very good') will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Please note 4-year bachelor degrees from the University of Botswana are considered equivalent to a Diploma of Higher Education. 5-year bachelor degrees from the University of Botswana are considered equivalent to a British Bachelor (Ordinary) degree.

Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

A Licenciatura or Bacharelado degree from a recognised Brazilian university:

  • A grade of 7.5/10 for entry to programmes with a 2:1 requirement
  • A grade of 6.5/10for entry to programmes with a 2:2 requirement

Holders of a good Bachelors degree with honours (4 to 6 years) from a recognised university with a upper second class grade or higher will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.  Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good post-2001 Masters degree from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students with a minimum average of 14 out of 20 (or 70%) on a 4-year Licence, Bachelor degree or Diplôme d'Etudes Superieures de Commerce (DESC) or Diplôme d'Ingénieur or a Maîtrise will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Holders of a bachelor degree with honours from a recognised Canadian university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. A GPA of 3.0/4, 7.0/9 or 75% is usually equivalent to a UK 2.1.

Holders of the Licenciado or equivalent Professional Title from a recognised Chilean university will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Applicants for PhD study will preferably hold a Magister degree or equivalent.

Students with a bachelor’s degree (4 years minimum) may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. However please note that we will only consider students who meet the entry guidance below.  Please note: for the subject areas below we use the Shanghai Ranking 2022 (full table)  ,  Shanghai Ranking 2023 (full table) , and Shanghai Ranking of Chinese Art Universities 2023 .

需要具备学士学位(4年制)的申请人可申请研究生课程。请根据所申请的课程查看相应的入学要求。 请注意,中国院校名单参考 软科中国大学排名2022(总榜) ,  软科中国大学排名2023(总榜) ,以及 软科中国艺术类高校名单2023 。  

Business School    - MSc programmes (excluding MBA)  

商学院硕士课程(MBA除外)入学要求

School of Computer Science – all MSc programmes 计算机学院硕士课程入学要求

College of Social Sciences – courses listed below 社会科学 学院部分硕士课程入学要求 MA Education  (including all pathways) MSc TESOL Education MSc Public Management MA Global Public Policy MA Social Policy MA Sociology Department of Political Science and International Studies  全部硕士课程 International Development Department  全部硕士课程

  All other programmes (including MBA)   所有其他 硕士课程(包括 MBA)入学要求

Please note:

  • Borderline cases: We may consider students with lower average score (within 5%) on a case-by-case basis if you have a relevant degree and very excellent grades in relevant subjects and/or relevant work experience. 如申请人均分低于相应录取要求(5%以内),但具有出色学术背景,优异的专业成绩,以及(或)相关的工作经验,部分课程将有可能单独酌情考虑。
  • Please contact the China Recruitment Team for any questions on the above entry requirements. 如果您对录取要求有疑问,请联系伯明翰大学中国办公室   [email protected]

Holders of the Licenciado/Professional Title from a recognised Colombian university will be considered for our Postgraduate Diploma and Masters degrees. Applicants for PhD degrees will normally have a Maestria or equivalent.

Holders of a good bachelor degree with honours (4 to 6 years) from a recognised university with a upper second class grade or higher will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.  Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Bacclaureus (Bachelors) from a recognised Croatian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 4.0 out of 5.0, vrlo dobar ‘very good’, or a Masters degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a Bachelors degree(from the University of the West Indies or the University of Technology) may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. A Class II Upper Division degree is usually equivalent to a UK 2.1. For further details on particular institutions please refer to the list below.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Masters degree or Mphil from the University of the West Indies.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised institution with a minimum overall grade of 6.5 out of 10, or a GPA of 3 out of 4, and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Bakalár from a recognised Czech Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 1.5, B, velmi dobre ‘very good’ (post-2004) or 2, velmi dobre ‘good’ (pre-2004), or a good post-2002 Magistr (Masters), will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised institution with a minimum overall grade of 7-10 out of 12 (or 8 out of 13) or higher for 2:1 equivalence and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters/ Magisterkonfereus/Magister Artium degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of the Licenciado or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Ecuadorian university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Grades of 70% or higher can be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Magister/Masterado or equivalent qualification, but holders of the Licenciado with excellent grades can be considered.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 75% from a recognised institution. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Bakalaurusekraad from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 4/5 or B, or a good one- or two-year Magistrikraad from a recognised university, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree with very good grades (grade B, 3.5/4 GPA or 85%) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. 

Holders of a good Kandidaatti / Kandidat (old system), a professional title such as Ekonomi, Diplomi-insinööri, Arkkitehti, Lisensiaatti (in Medicine, Dentistry and Vetinary Medicine), or a Maisteri / Magister (new system), Lisensiaatti / Licenciat, Oikeustieteen Kandidaatti / Juris Kandidat (new system) or Proviisori / Provisor from a recognised Finnish Higher Education institution, with a minimum overall grade of 2/3 or 4/5, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters/Maîtrise with a minimum overall grade of 13 out of 20, or a Magistère / Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies / Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures Specialisées / Mastère Specialis, from a recognised French university or Grande École to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a Magister Artium, a Diplom or an Erstes Staatsexamen from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 2.5, or a good two-year Lizentiat / Aufbaustudium / Zweites Staatsexamen or a Masters degree from a recognised university, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good four-year Ptychio (Bachelor degree) with a minimum overall grade of 6.5 out of 10, from a recognised Greek university (AEI), and will usually be required to have completed a good Metaptychiako Diploma Eidikefsis (Masters degree) from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

4-year Licenciado is deemed equivalent to a UK bachelors degree. A score of 75 or higher from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC) can be considered comparable to a UK 2.1, 60 is comparable to a UK 2.2.  Private universities have a higher pass mark, so 80 or higher should be considered comparable to a UK 2.1, 70 is comparable to a UK 2.2

The Hong Kong Bachelor degree is considered comparable to British Bachelor degree standard. Students with bachelor degrees awarded by universities in Hong Kong may be considered for entry to one of our postgraduate degree programmes.

Students with Masters degrees may be considered for PhD study.

Holders of a good Alapfokozat / Alapképzés or Egyetemi Oklevel from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 3.5, or a good Mesterfokozat (Masters degree) or Egyetemi Doktor (university doctorate), will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with a 60% or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of the 4 year Sarjana (S1) from a recognised Indonesian institution will be considered for postgraduate study. Entry requirements vary with a minimum requirement of a GPA of 2.8.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a score of 14/20 or 70% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution, with 100 out of 110 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Students who hold the Maitrise, Diplome d'Etude Approfondies, Diplome d'Etude Superieures or Diplome d'Etude Superieures Specialisees will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees (14-15/20 or Bien from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 12-13/20 or Assez Bien is considered comparable to a UK 2.2).

Students with a Bachelor degree from a recognised university in Japan will be considered for entry to a postgraduate Masters degree provided they achieve a sufficiently high overall score in their first (Bachelor) degree. A GPA of 3.0/4.0 or a B average from a good Japanese university is usually considered equivalent to a UK 2:1.

Students with a Masters degree from a recognised university in Japan will be considered for PhD study. A high overall grade will be necessary to be considered.

Students who have completed their Specialist Diploma Мамаң дипломы/Диплом специалиста) or "Magistr" (Магистр дипломы/Диплом магистра) degree (completed after 1991) from a recognised higher education institution, with a minimum GPA of 2.67/4.00 for courses requiring a UK lower second and 3.00/4.00 for courses requiring a UK upper second class degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate Masters degrees and, occasionally, directly for PhD degrees.  Holders of a Bachelor "Bakalavr" degree (Бакалавр дипломы/Диплом бакалавра) from a recognised higher education institution, with a minimum GPA of  2.67/4.00 for courses requiring a UK lower second and 3.00/4.00 for courses requiring a UK upper second class degree, may also be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/50

Holders of a good Postgraduate Diploma (professional programme) from a recognised university or institution of Higher Education, with a minimum overall grade of 7.5 out of 10, or a post-2000 Magistrs, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a score of 16/20 or 80% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in Libya will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of a Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved score of 70% for 2:1 equivalency or 65% for 2:2 equivalency. Alternatively students will require a minimum of 3.0/4.0 or BB to be considered.

Holders of a good pre-2001 Magistras from a recognised university with a minimum overall grade of 8 out of 10, or a good post-2001 Magistras, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes

Holders of a good Bachelors degree from a recognised Luxembourgish Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 16 out of 20, or a Diplôme d'Études Supérieures Spécialisées (comparable to a UK PGDip) or Masters degree from a recognised Luxembourgish Higher Education institution will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees (70-74% or A or Marginal Distinction from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 60-69% or B or Bare Distinction/Credit is considered comparable to a UK 2.2).

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised Malaysian institution (usually achieved with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average minimum of 3.0) will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a good Bachelors degree from the University of Malta with a minimum grade of 2:1 (Hons), and/or a Masters degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree (Honours) from a recognised institution (including the University of Mauritius) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2:1).

Students who hold the Licenciado/Professional Titulo from a recognised Mexican university with a promedio of at least 8 will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.

Students who have completed a Maestria from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree, licence or Maîtrise and a Masters degree, with a score of 14/20 or 70% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Students with a good four year honours degree from a recognised university will be considered for postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. PhD applications will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with 60-74% or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Doctoraal from a recognised Dutch university with a minimum overall grade of 7 out of 10, and/or a good Masters degree, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree (minimum 4 years and/or level 400) from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised institution with a minimum GPA of B/Very Good or 1.6-2.5 for a 2.1 equivalency, and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters, Mastergrad, Magister. Artium, Sivilingeniør, Candidatus realium or Candidatus philologiae degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with a CGPA of 3.0/4 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised university in the Palestinian Territories will be considered for postgraduate study. Holders of Bachelors degree will normally be expected to have achieved a GPA of 3/4 or 80% for 2:1 equivalency or a GPA of 2.5/4 or 70% for 2:2 equivalency.    

Holders of the Título de Licenciado /Título de (4-6 years) or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Paraguayan university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Grades of 4/5 or higher can be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent.  The Título Intermedio is a 2-3 year degree and is equivalent to a HNC, it is not suitable for postgraduate entry but holders of this award could be considered for second year undergraduate entry or pre-Masters.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Título de Maestría / Magister or equivalent qualification, but holders of the Título/Grado de Licenciado/a with excellent grades can be considered.

Holders of the Licenciado, with at least 13/20 may be considered as UK 2.1 equivalent. The Grado de Bachiller is equivalent to an ordinary degree, so grades of 15+/20 are required.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Título de Maestría or equivalent qualification.

Holders of a good pre-2001 Magister from a recognised Polish university with a minimum overall grade of 4 out of 5, dobry ‘good’, and/or a good Swiadectwo Ukonczenia Studiów Podyplomowych (Certificate of Postgraduate Study) or post-2001 Magister from a recognised Polish university with a minimum overall grade of 4.5/4+ out of 5, dobry plus 'better than good', will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Licenciado from a recognised university, or a Diploma de Estudos Superiores Especializados (DESE) from a recognised Polytechnic Institution, with a minimum overall grade of 16 out of 20, and/or a good Mestrado / Mestre (Masters) from a recognised university, will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree from a recognised Romanian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 8 out of 10, and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree/Diploma de Master/Diploma de Studii Academice Postuniversitare (Postgraduate Diploma - Academic Studies) or Diploma de Studii Postuniversitare de Specializare (Postgraduate Diploma - Specialised Studies) to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Диплом Специалиста (Specialist Diploma) or Диплом Магистра (Magistr) degree from recognised universities in Russia (minimum GPA of 4.0) will be considered for entry to taught postgraduate programmes/PhD study.

Students who hold a 4-year Bachelor degree with at least 16/20 or 70% will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.   

Students who hold a Maitrise, Diplome d'Etude Approfondies,Diplome d'Etude Superieures or Diplome d'Etude Superieures Specialisees will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. A score of 14-15/20 or Bien from a well ranked institution is considered comparable to a UK 2.1, while a score of 12-13/20 or Assez Bien is considered comparable to a UK 2.2

Students who hold a Bachelor (Honours) degree from a recognised institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 (or a score of 60-69% or B+) from a well ranked institution will be considered for most our Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees with a 2:1 requirement.

Students holding a good Bachelors Honours degree will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a good three-year Bakalár or pre-2002 Magister from a recognised Slovakian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 1.5, B, Vel’mi dobrý ‘very good’, and/or a good Inžinier or a post-2002 Magister from a recognised Slovakian Higher Education institution will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Diploma o pridobljeni univerzitetni izobrazbi (Bachelors degree), Diplomant (Professionally oriented first degree), Univerzitetni diplomant (Academically oriented first degree) or Visoko Obrazovanja (until 1999) from a recognised Slovenian Higher Education institution with a minimum overall grade of 8.0 out of 10, and/or a good Diploma specializacija (Postgraduate Diploma) or Magister (Masters) will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students who hold a Bachelor Honours degree (also known as Baccalaureus Honores / Baccalaureus Cum Honoribus) from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most Masters programmes will require a second class upper (70%) or a distinction (75%).

Holders of a Masters degree will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a Bachelor degree from a recognised South Korean institution (usually with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average 3.0/4.0 or 3.2/4.5) will be considered for Masters programmes.

Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with 7 out of 10 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and will usually be required to have completed a Masters degree, with 60-74% or a CGPA 3.30/4.0 or higher for 2:1 equivalency from a recognised institution to be considered for entry. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Kandidatexamen (Bachelors degree) or Yrkesexamen (Professional Bachelors degree) from a recognised Swedish Higher Education institution with the majority of subjects with a grade of VG (Val godkänd), and/or a good Magisterexamen (Masters degree), International Masters degree or Licentiatexamen (comparable to a UK Mphil), will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good "PostGraduate Certificate" or "PostGraduate Diploma" or a Masters degree from a recognised Swiss higher education institution (with a minimum GPA of 5/6 or 8/10 or 2/5 (gut-bien-bene/good) for a 2.1 equivalence) may be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree, with a GPA of 3.0/4.0, 3.5/5 or 75% from a recognised institution to be considered. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

Holders of a good Bachelor degree (from 75% to 85% depending upon the university in Taiwan) from a recognised institution will be considered for postgraduate Masters study. Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.  Most taught Masters programmes require a minimum of an upper second class degree (2.1) Students who have completed a Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.

Holders of a good Masters degree from a recognised institution will be considered for entry to our postgraduate research programmes.

Holders of a good Masters degree or Mphil from a recognised university will be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes.

Students with a Bachelors degree from the following universities may be considered for entry to postgraduate programmes:

  • Ateneo de Manila University - Quezon City
  • De La Salle University - Manila
  • University of Santo Tomas
  • University of the Philippines - Diliman

Students from all other institutions with a Bachelors and a Masters degree or relevant work experience may be considered for postgraduate programmes.

Grading Schemes

1-5 where 1 is the highest 2.1 = 1.75 2.2 = 2.25 

Out of 4.0 where 4 is the highest 2.1 = 3.0 2.2 = 2.5

Letter grades and percentages 2.1 = B / 3.00 / 83% 2.2 = C+ / 2.5 / 77%

Holders of a postdoctoral qualification from a recognised institution will be considered for PhD study.  Students may be considered for PhD study if they have a Masters from one of the above listed universities.

Holders of a Lisans Diplomasi with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0/4.0 from a recognised university will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.

Holders of a Yuksek Diplomasi from a recognised university will be considered for PhD study.

Students who hold a Bachelor degree from a recognised institution will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Most Masters programmes will require a second class upper (2.1) or GPA of 3.5/5.0

Applicants for postgraduate research programmes should hold a good Bachelors degree / Диплом бакалавра (Dyplom Bakalavra), Диплом спеціаліста (Specialist Diploma) or a Dyplom Magistra from a recognised Ukrainian higher education institution with a minimum GPA of 4.0/5.0, 3.5/4, 8/12 or 80% or higher for 2:1 equivalence and will usually be required to have completed a good Masters degree to be considered for entry to postgraduate research programmes. Applicants with lower grades than this may be considered on an individual basis.

The University will consider students who hold an Honours degree from a recognised institution in the USA with a GPA of:

  • 2.8 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for entry to programmes with a 2:2 requirement 
  • 3.2 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for entry to programmes with a 2:1 requirement 

Please note that some subjects which are studied at postgraduate level in the USA, eg. Medicine and Law, are traditionally studied at undergraduate level in the UK.

Holders of the Magistr Diplomi (Master's degree) or Diplomi (Specialist Diploma), awarded by prestigious universities, who have attained high grades in their studies will be considered for postgraduate study.  Holders of the Fanlari Nomzodi (Candidate of Science), where appropriate, will be considered for PhD study.

Holders of the Licenciatura/Título or an equivalent professional title from a recognised Venezuelan university may be considered for entry to a postgraduate degree programme. Scales of 1-5, 1-10 and 1-20 are used, an overall score of 70% or equivalent can be considered equivalent to a UK 2.1.  Applicants for PhD level study will preferably hold a Maestria or equivalent qualification

Holders of a Bachelors degree from a recognised Vietnamese institution (usually achieved with the equivalent of a second class upper or a grade point average minimum GPA of 7.0 and above) will be considered for postgraduate study at Diploma or Masters level.  Holders of a Masters degree (thac si) will be considered for entry to PhD programmes.

Students who hold a Masters degree with a minimum GPA of 3.5/5.0 or a mark of 2.0/2.5 (A) will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees.   

Students who hold a good Bachelor Honours degree will be considered for Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. 

We specialise and welcome applications from prospective research students interested in corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics, and stylistics and discourse analysis.

A summary of our key research areas, and staff working within those, can be found below. General queries which are not subject-specific (including fees, scholarship enquiries and paperwork) are best directed to the  College of Arts and Law Graduate School .

  • Applied linguistics and second language acquisition  
  • Corpus linguistics
  • Discourse and analysis and stylistics
  • Sign language and gesture
  • Cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics
  • Iconicity and figurative language
  • Sociolinguistics and language variation and change
  • Quantitative linguistics and data visualisation

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for your future career, but this can also be enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University and the College of Arts and Law.

The University's Careers Network  provides expert guidance and activities especially for postgraduates, which will help you achieve your career goals. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated  careers and employability team  who offer tailored advice and a programme of College-specific careers events.

You will be encouraged to make the most of your postgraduate experience and will have the opportunity to:

  • Receive one-to-one careers advice, including guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique, whether you are looking for a career inside or outside of academia
  • Meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs and employer presentations
  • Attend an annual programme of careers fairs, skills workshops and conferences, including bespoke events for postgraduates in the College of Arts and Law
  • Take part in a range of activities to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to potential employers and enhance your CV

What’s more, you will be able to access our full range of careers support for up to 2 years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: English Language and Linguistics

Birmingham's English Language and Linguistics postgraduates develop a broad range of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers, particularly in relation to verbal and written communication. They also develop crucial skills in organisation, time management, analysis and interpretation of information.

Many of our graduates enter roles for which their programme has prepared them, such as becoming a language analyst or data scientist. Others use their transferable skills in a wide range of occupations including teaching, research administration and events.

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Scholarships and funding

Would you like to turn your dream of studying in the uk into a reality.

Deciding to study in the UK is an investment in your future. A prestigious degree from the UK is a valuable and transformative experience and will take your education - and your employability - to the next level.

There are many funding options available for international students who want to study in the UK. They range from part-funding, for example paying part of your fees, to full-funding which covers programme fees, living expenses, and return flights to the UK.

You can search for the right scholarship for you on the course and scholarships finder below.

Postgraduate funding

The UK government runs a variety of scholarship programmes to financially support international students who are looking for help funding their studies in the UK.

The three main UK government scholarships on offer are:

GREAT Scholarships

GREAT Scholarships are scholarships to UK universities across a variety of subjects, for students from 15 countries. Applications for 2024-25 are open.

Chevening Scholarships

Chevening Scholarships offers fully funded master's degrees in the UK. Learn more about one of the UK's most prestigious scholarships.

Commonwealth Scholarships

Commonwealth Scholarships are UK university scholarships given to talented individuals with the potential to make a positive impact on the global stage.

Wider UK government funding

The UK government offers hundreds of scholarships, bursaries and additional financial support to students from a large number of countries.

You can visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website to find out more about the funding available if you are studying in the UK as a postgraduate student, including whether or not you are eligible to apply for a scholarship. Just scroll down to the relevant section of the webpage.

UKCISA is the UK’s national advisory body serving the interests of international students and those who work with them.

Hear from international scholars What's involved in receiving a UK scholarship?

Tips for choosing a scholarship, international scholars in the uk.

Thinking of applying for a scholarship? Here are some top tips from international students who have received a scholarship to study in the UK.

GREAT scholarships

Nadine, university of kent.

What are GREAT scholarships and who is eligible? Watch as Nadine, a GREAT scholar, and Maria from the University of Kent explain everything you need to know.

Commonwealth scholarships

Commonwealth scholars.

Are you a high-achieving student living in the Commonwealth? Watch as scholars Suahib and Hamna explain all you need to know about Commonwealth scholarships.

Chevening scholarships

Chevening scholars.

If you have a vision to make the world a better place, the Chevening scholarships might be for you. Watch to learn more about the programme.

Being a GREAT scholar

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Ismet tells us about receiving his GREAT Scholarship for Sustainable Futures, and why he chose the University of Essex.

Being a Commonwealth scholar

Olaoluwa, nigeria.

Olaoluwa has received a Commonwealth shared scholarship. See her impressions on studying in the UK and receiving this life-changing scholarship.

Postgraduate studentships

Many universities offer fully-funded postgraduate studentships for PhD programmes. Find out more .

Institution-specific scholarships

Many UK higher-education institutions offer their own scholarship programmes.

These are offered based on a number of factors, which can be broadly split out into the following categories:

  • Academic, merit and excellence scholarships - These are usually awarded to students with a strong academic background, including achieving strong grades in their school exams. 
  • Performance-based scholarships - These are usually awarded to those who have exceptional ability in an extracurricular activity such as sports, music or performing arts like drama or dance.
  • Subject-specific scholarships - These are often offered by individual departments for students studying a particular course or subject.
  • Equal access or sanctuary scholarships - These scholarships can take the form of a tuition fee reduction or waiver or maintenance award and are offered to refugees and asylum seekers who have fled persecution from their home countries.
  • Disability scholarships - These scholarships support international students with a disability, long-term mental health condition, learning difficulty or other special needs. 

Always check out different institutions’ websites to discover what is available, and take a look at specialist websites like Postgraduate Studentships and Prospects for curated information that covers different institutions.

Application advice Six top tips on applying for a scholarship

Read our essential advice on how to apply for a scholarship, from eligibility criteria to tailoring your application.

Global scholarships

A.S. Hornby Trust Scholarship

Scholarships for English language teachers to develop their English language skills

Selected countries - see website >

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan

Master's and doctoral courses (for study in the UK and distance learning), plus academic, professional and medical fellowships

Commonwealth countries >

Scholarships for one-year master's courses across a range of subjects at a variety of UK universities.

British Council scholarships for women in STEM

Scholarships for women undertaking master's degrees in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics course at one of 19 UK universities.

Americas, South Asia and South East Asia >

Global Wales Scholarships for International Students

Global Wales offers a variety of scholarship opportunities for international students.

USA; India; Vietnam and EU countries >

Country-specific scholarships

Young Cell Scheme

Postgraduate master's studies in the EU

Kosovo - see website >

Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust Scholarships

Doctoral studies, research, visiting fellows and Scottish summer school

Pakistan - see website >

Marshall Scholarship

Master's and doctoral courses at any university in the UK

USA - see website >

Science and research funding

Marshall Sherfield Fellowships

Post-doctoral research in science and engineering at any university in the UK

Euraxess UK

Research placements in the UK

Global - see website >

Royal Society grants

Postdoctoral science research

Undergraduate funding

While undergraduate scholarships and bursaries for EU and international students studying in the UK are less common than they are for postgraduate studies, they do exist. You just need to know where to look for them.

Funding for EU and international undergraduate students in the UK can generally be split into two categories: those offered by UK universities themselves and those offered by third parties - usually governments or organisations in your home country.

You can visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website to find out more about the funding available if you are studying in the UK as an undergraduate student, including whether or not you are eligible to apply for a scholarship. Just scroll down to the relevant section of the webpage.

You can also visit the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service in the UK (UCAS)’s page about scholarships, grants, and bursaries: EU and international students for more detailed information on what to look out for and where.

Cost of studying in the UK

Studying in the UK is good value for money. Find out how much you can expect to pay to study and live in the UK, and how to make the most of your budget.

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PhDs: is doctoral education in trouble in the UK?

While overseas students still flock to the uk for phds, concerns are growing over weakening domestic demand, a decline in ukri-funded starters and whether universities can afford to train the next generation of researchers.

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Geologists stand before an eruption on Mt. Etna in November 2002, and take readings

With a  near-record 113,000 postgraduate research students  based in the UK, including 46,350 foreign PhD candidates, Britain’s doctoral education landscape would seem to be thriving. Buoyed by an extra £109 million from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to support PhD and mid-career researchers in 2023-24, and Horizon Europe membership secured, there might appear little cause for concern.

But there are signs that things are not as rosy in UK doctoral education as some imagine. In November, the Student Loans Company  noted  the “first potential yet small decline in the take-up of postgraduate doctoral student loans”, with sums borrowed in 2022-23 down by 12.3 per cent.

There are also indications that funded PhD studentships will not be as plentiful over the next few years. The biggest single funder of PhDs – the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which sponsored nearly half of the 4,900 UKRI-backed doctoral students who began their studies in 2022-23 –  announced  last year that the number of its Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) would fall from 75 to “about 40” from 2024, leading to about 1,750 fewer funded places over the next five years. In addition, the Arts and Humanities Research Council is reducing its PhD studentships by nearly a third , from 425 to 300 per year by the end of the decade, and the Wellcome Trust is severely reducing its support for PhD students under its  new strategy  to focus on longer grants for early- and mid-career scientists.

Things could get a lot worse in the next few years, with the Institute for Fiscal Studies  warning  that tax cuts announced in chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement  would lead to budget reductions of about 3.4 per cent a year in “unprotected departments”, of which one might be the new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

“It’s going to be tough going with an election and a spending review, whichever party wins,” predicted Rory Duncan, UKRI’s former director of talent and skills, who is now pro vice-chancellor (research and innovation) at Sheffield Hallam University .

If universities were forced to tighten research spending, support for PhD students could be an early casualty because doctoral researchers – while sometimes seen as a source of cheap labour – are big loss-makers for institutions, explained Professor Duncan. “If you look at Trac [Transparent Approach to Costing] data, the cost recovery for doctoral students is very low – the lowest for any type of research activity,” he said, pointing to data that showed UK universities incurred  losses of £1.4 billion educating PhD students in 2021-22 , claiming back just 46.6 per cent of the cost of training researchers.

In the money: P hD funding

graph showing UKRI doctoral studentships (£m), 2022-23

Thanks to UK universities’ success in attracting higher paying international students, the sector has been able to cover such losses – which amount  to £5 billion a year for research  overall – but that balancing act is “becoming much more challenging due to government rhetoric” over foreign students, continued Professor Duncan. “There is huge pressure on the research sector and it’s becoming harder and harder to do research – which includes supporting PhD students,” he said.

That will be bad news for the UK’s “science superpower” ambitions as the country’s innovation model had leaned heavily on having high PhD numbers, continued Professor Duncan. “For many years the UK has been a leader for investing in PhD training – it’s always been a top-three nation, alongside Germany and the US, for PhDs. Others, like Japan, have taken different routes and changed their support to focus on mid-career scientists, which has a very detrimental impact on research quality,” he added.

But the level of the UK’s investment in PhD training seems to be waning – at least, if judged on the numbers of doctoral students trained in recent years. A recent Freedom of Information request by  Times Higher Education  found the overall numbers of doctoral students starting UKRI-funded training  fell from 6,835 in 2018-19 to 5,580 in 2021-22  – an 18 per cent drop – with reported figures for 2022-23 lower still at 4,900, though UKRI said this tally could increase as universities continued to submit data for that year. The decline in UK student numbers was even sharper, falling from 4,815 new candidates in 2018-19 to 3,420 in 2021-22 – down by 29 per cent – and to 2,840 in 2022-23.

Wrong numbers:  falling PhD figures

Graph showing total UKRI-funded students commencing studies by academic year, 2018-2022

For Douglas Kell, a former executive chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, such reductions are distinctly at odds with the government’s desire to attract an extra 150,000 researchers into the workforce by 2030.

“Cutting funded PhD numbers under any circumstances, especially in a knowledge economy, is simply short-termist and absolute madness,” said Professor Kell, now based at the University of Liverpool , who observed that these “further cuts extend those that have already been going under this administration for more than a decade. We need massive increases in those who are technically and intellectually qualified, not cuts.”

However, UKRI’s collective talent funding – which supports both PhD studentships and mid-career fellowships – is due to increase by only 5 per cent in 2024-25, so funded places could “go down in the absence of additional investment”, warned Professor Duncan, citing the continued need to increase tax-free doctoral stipends in line with inflation .

Group interests: talent funding

Graph showing UKRI collective talent funding (£m), 2022-2024

The hefty increases to UKRI’s stipend – £18,622 in 2023-24, up by 20 per cent from 2021-22 – might still not be enough to fix a bigger issue facing doctoral education, according to Robert Insall, professor of computational cell biology at UCL. “A lower proportion of the most brilliant students are doing PhDs – those who are really ambitious and who might become future leaders in their field,” said Professor Insall. “Even if you increased the stipend by 10 per cent again, it might not be enough to make it acceptable. Its level was acceptable a few years ago but now it just isn’t.”

The gloom hanging over UK higher education and research might explain why “the attractiveness of a PhD has gone downhill” for high-flyers who might have previously considered a research career in academia, continued Professor Insall. “The government is not selling British academia and the media is painting it as a very troubled place, so students and potential PhDs see that,” he said.

For its part, UKRI seems alert to the challenge of keeping the PhD attractive, with plans for a new “core offer” around professional and career development set to be unveiled this year. According to chief executive Dame Ottoline Leyser, this would “provide  consistent talent offers  that are still responsive to the needs of individuals and disciplines” and “strengthen the crucial link between career diversity and excellent research and innovation, better enabling people to follow their ideas across disciplines and sectors”.

Concerns over the direction of travel remain, but the fact that the UK is still a key destination for postgraduate students, behind only the US, suggests its doctoral model is far from broken, said Giulio Marini, visiting professor of education at the University of Hong Kong , whose research has focused on how PhD graduates fare in global job markets. “The UK is highly attractive, and it seems it will remain so – Brexit was not helpful, but now that the UK is back into European funding schemes I would not worry too much,” he said.

However, its international popularity among foreign PhD students might serve UK universities but not the UK economy in the long run if restrictive immigration rules push them to leave after a few years, warned Dr Marini. “If PhDs do not continue to live in the UK, their economic contribution will be limited. In that situation, UK universities are really ‘making brains for other countries’, which is not good policy.”

Is there a doctor in the house?: P hD population

Graph showing number of doctorates per 1,000 of aged 25-34 population, 2020

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phd in higher education uk

Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Education Sciences - Educational Leadership Option

  • College of Education

Do you aspire to work in academia or research with a focus on leadership in educational contexts? Our online Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) is a scholarly doctorate leading to roles as university faculty, postdoctoral scholars, social research scientists, or educational professionals outside traditional settings. Students enjoy the flexibility of completing their studies online. Exams and defense are all completed remotely. Students will be required to participate in synchronous online program activities 5-6 times per semester.

At a Glance

Credits and tuition cost (2023-2024).

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  • Education Sciences - Educational Leadership Option (Ph.D.)

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Doctorate in education sciences - educational leadership option overview, hear from program leaders, connect with a program representative, what you'll learn.

Designed for the working educational professional who wants to gain expertise for a research-intensive career, this rigorous, online program can be completed in as little as four years. Coursework covers three major areas: leadership (5 courses), research design and methods (5 courses), and a specialization area of your choice (4 courses).

Course Examples

  • EDL 700 Knowledge Base
  • EDL 701 Leadership in Educational Organizations I
  • EDL 703 Leading Organizational Change
  • EDL 702 Leadership for Organizational Learning
  • EDL 704 Politics of Educational Leadership

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How to Apply

Application requirements.

On the UK Graduate School application, select the degree : Doctoral, Program: Education Sciences, Option: Educational Leadership 

Standard graduate application requirements apply.

  • Professional Resume : This should provide your name, contact information, postsecondary education (all degrees, years awarded, institution names, emphasis area), work experiences, professional certifications, professional memberships, publications, research experiences, and Honors/Awards.
  • Personal Statement : Submit an up to 2-page personal statement addressing the following prompts. The paper should be double-spaced, in Times New Roman 12-point font.    Why do you want to complete a Ph.D. in educational leadership studies?    Why have you chosen to apply to this particular program?    What are your interests as it relates to research in the area of educational leadership?    How does this program align with your career goal as an academician or researcher?
  • DEI Statement : Please provide a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) statement. The statement should address multiple facets of how your values and experiences advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in your work. Your statement should reflect the relative importance of these issues to your work and reveal your personal commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The DEI statement should be one double-spaced page, with 1-inch margins and 12-point Times New Roman.
  • Academic Recommendation  ( Only email address required. Our system will ask them to upload their letter. ): A recommendation from someone who has earned a doctoral degree and serves in an academic institution is preferred. This recommender should be able to speak to your ability to successfully navigate doctoral-level coursework and complete independent research.
  • Professional Recommendation  ( Only email address required. Our system will ask them to upload their letter. ): Recommender should be able to speak to your creativity, ability to navigate systems, and critical thinking skills.
  • On-Demand Writing Assessment : Each applicant participates in an on-demand writing task as part of the application process. Please schedule a date here .

Admissions Criteria

Standard graduate admission requirements apply.

  • A graduate degree (M.A. or equivalent) from an accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.5
  •  Complete EPE 558 or EDP 558 before August 15th of the year of admission to Educational Leadership Studies. Increasingly, EPE 558 and EDP 558 are being offered online. Applicants and students should check with those departments to determine offerings each semester -OR-
  • Show proof of completion of the following Open Learning Initiative entitled “Statistical Reasoning,” found here: https://oli.cmu.edu/courses/statistical-reasoning-copy/ . It’s self-paced and free for independent learners.  

Program Contact

Distance learning, licensure & authorization.

Where you live matters when completing distance education activities. If you will live outside of Kentucky while completing your program, please check the Distance Learning Authorization & Licensure page to confirm that the program can be offered in your state or country, and if relevant, that it meets professional licensure requirements in your state. Please note: Admission and enrollment in a fully-online program can NOT lead to the issuance of a J-1 or F-1 student visa. 

Student Support

Once you become a student, you will have access to a wide variety of academic support services to maximize your success. These services are available completely online to meet the needs of our online students.

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Study Postgraduate

Mphil/phd in education (2024 entry).

a group of MPhil/PhD in Education students

Course code

30 September 2024

3 years full-time; 5 years part-time

Qualification

Education Studies

University of Warwick

Find out more about our MPhil/PhD in Education.

Education Studies at Warwick includes three overarching strands: Learning, Society and Cultures. These strands group academics with a shared interest in educational research and scholarship, providing a space for meaningful and multi-disciplinary collaborations across the Department and beyond. The Department’s ethos is that educational research and scholarship exist to find solutions to questions of ‘what works’ in terms of policy and practice, but also to problematise existing policy and practice by posing new questions about the purposes and the future of education, in the UK and globally. The University of Warwick's Doctorate in Education welcomes world-class applicants with a commitment to educational research and challenge. The Department of Education Studies was ranked 6th in the UK for Education ( The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 ).

Course overview

The PhD is designed as a programme combining advanced research methods training and individual, supervised research, leading to an 80,000 word thesis. The thesis is expected to be a substantial original contribution to knowledge and, in principle, to have the potential to be developed into peer-reviewed publication.

Teaching and learning

The PhD programme has an Advanced Research Methods training element that is compulsory, and all students complete an Upgrade examination (a written portfolio and oral examination) in order to progress from MPhil to PhD. The research methods training takes place via online mode on Saturday mornings spread out over the first year. Students work with their supervisors on their independent projects throughout the course. We have research student work rooms within the department with desktop computers available.

Specific departmental guidance is available on preparing applications to the Department of Education Studies and on Preparing a Research Proposal .

What does it mean to study and research Education?

Education provides us with an essential foundation for a fulfilling life in a thriving and equitable society – it underpins how we act and see the world and is the engine of social and cultural change and reproduction.

Education gives the basis for innovation in thought, culture and technology; it nurtures a sense of citizenship and social participation; it underpins our political and economic robustness; and is the foundation of the knowledge and skills that society shares.

Education is fundamentally about human development, knowledge and social justice. Education is something that everyone experiences: it is life-long and society wide; it is local as well as global; it takes place in the home, in prisons, in refugee centres, in places of worship, in the workplace, on the sports field, in the theatre, in the pub as well as in the classroom.

Education, like Politics, is inherently interdisciplinary – it is an applied field of study which draws on a range of disciplines including: sociology, psychology, history and philosophy. It is necessarily pluralist and eclectic, drawing upon a range of theoretical, conceptual and methodological perspectives.

Therefore, in studying and researching Education we work to understand the fundamental questions about why we educate, how we educate, who we educate and what purpose education serves.

Find out more about us on our website.

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements.

2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in Education, any relevant Social Sciences or Humanities discipline, or another relevant discipline if justified.

A Master’s degree in Education, any relevant Social Sciences or Humanities discipline, or another relevant discipline if justified.

English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirements Link opens in a new window . This course requires the following:

  • With a minimum of 6.5 in the Writing component.

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements page Link opens in a new window .

Additional requirements

There are no additional entry requirements for this course.

Our research

Our main research themes are:

  • Special educational needs and disability
  • Early years’ education
  • Philosophy of mind and thought
  • Educational leadership and development
  • Drama and theatre education
  • Creative and arts-based learning
  • Sociology of arts and religion
  • Modern Islamic pedagogies
  • Education inequalities and social justice
  • Sociologies of childhood and fatherhood
  • Education policy
  • Feminist and gender pedagogy
  • Higher education
  • International development

Full details of our research interests are listed on the Education Studies webpages Link opens in a new window .

You can also read our general University research proposal guidance.

Find a supervisor

It is advisable to locate a potential supervisor using the link below and to discuss with them the area you'd like to research.

We have over 20 full-time academic staff members with many research strengths who could be your supervisors. Explore our Staff Research Directory where you will be able to filter by research interests. Co-supervision with other departments may be possible.

You can also see our general University guidance about finding a supervisor. Link opens in a new window

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Find your research course fees

Fee Status Guidance

The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.

If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website .

Additional course costs

Please contact your academic department for information about department specific costs, which should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

phd in higher education uk

Scholarships and financial support

Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.

phd in higher education uk

Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

Our Postgraduate Taught courses

  • Childhood in Society (MA)
  • Drama and Theatre Education (MA)
  • Drama Education and English Language Teaching (MA)
  • Education (MA)
  • Educational Innovation (MA)
  • Educational Leadership and Management (MA)
  • Foundation Research Methods in Education (PGA)
  • Global Education and International Development (MA)
  • Islamic Education (PGA)
  • Islamic Education: Theory and Practice (MA)
  • Leading Educational Change and Improvement (PGA)
  • Psychology and Education (MA)

Our Postgraduate Research courses

  • Doctorate in Education (Ed.D)
  • Education (MPhil/PhD)

How to apply

The application process for courses that start in September and October 2024 will open on 2 October 2023.

For research courses that start in September and October 2024 the application deadline for students who require a visa to study in the UK is 2 August 2024. This should allow sufficient time to complete the admissions process and to obtain a visa to study in the UK.

How to apply for a postgraduate research course  

phd in higher education uk

After you’ve applied

Find out how we process your application.

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Applicant Portal

Track your application and update your details.

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Admissions statement

See Warwick’s postgraduate admissions policy.

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Join a live chat

Ask questions and engage with Warwick.

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Postgraduate fairs.

Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in-person around the UK. These events give you the chance to explore our range of postgraduate courses, and find out what it’s like studying at Warwick. You’ll also be able to speak directly with our student recruitment team, who will be able to help answer your questions.

Join a live chat with our staff and students, who are here to answer your questions and help you learn more about postgraduate life at Warwick. You can join our general drop-in sessions or talk to your prospective department and student services.

Departmental events

Some academic departments hold events for specific postgraduate programmes, these are fantastic opportunities to learn more about Warwick and your chosen department and course.

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Warwick Talk and Tours

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Why Warwick

Discover why Warwick is one of the best universities in the UK and renowned globally.

9th in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2024) Link opens in a new window

67th in the world (QS World University Rankings 2024) Link opens in a new window

5th most targeted university by the UK's top 100 graduate employers Link opens in a new window

(The Graduate Market in 2023, High Fliers Research Ltd. Link opens in a new window )

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This information is applicable for 2024 entry. Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.

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Education & Science

Higher education in the UK - Statistics & Facts

Oxford retains top spot, grades, subjects and debt, key insights.

Detailed statistics

Number of students enrolled in the United Kingdom 2009-2022

Share of population aged 30-34 that are university graduates in the EU and UK 2021

Share of population aged 15-64 that are university graduates in Europe 2022

Editor’s Picks Current statistics on this topic

Current statistics on this topic.

Universities with the highest number of students in the UK 2021/22

Educational Institutions & Market

Percentage of undergraduate degrees awarded each grade in the UK 2011-2022

Education Level & Skills

Number of higher education institutions in the UK 2016-2022

Related topics

Recommended.

  • Education in Europe
  • Education in the UK
  • Higher education graduation in the U.S.

Recommended statistics

  • Premium Statistic Number of students enrolled in the United Kingdom 2009-2022
  • Premium Statistic University applicants in the United Kingdom 1994-2022
  • Basic Statistic Percentage of undergraduate degrees awarded each grade in the UK 2011-2022
  • Premium Statistic Number of university enrolments in the UK 2021/22, by subject
  • Premium Statistic Leading EU countries studying in the UK 2021/22
  • Premium Statistic Leading non-EU countries studying in the UK 2021/22
  • Basic Statistic Average annual salary of graduates and non-graduates in England 2007-2022

Number of students enrolled in higher education in the United Kingdom from 2009/10 to 2021/22 (in millions)

University applicants in the United Kingdom 1994-2022

Number of university applicants in the United Kingdom from 1994 to 2022 (in 1,000s)

Percentage of first degree qualifiers obtaining each classification in the United Kingdom from 2011/12 to 2021/22

Number of university enrolments in the UK 2021/22, by subject

Number of university enrolments in the United Kingdom in 2021/22, by subject group

Leading EU countries studying in the UK 2021/22

Leading European Union countries of origin for higher education students studying in the United Kingdom in 2021/22

Leading non-EU countries studying in the UK 2021/22

Leading non-European Union countries of origin for higher education students studying in the United Kingdom in 2021/22

Average annual salary of graduates and non-graduates in England 2007-2022

Average annual salary of graduates and non-graduates in England from 2007 to 2022 (in 1,000 GBP)

Universities

  • Basic Statistic Leading U.K. universities ranked by the Complete University Guide 2024
  • Basic Statistic Number of higher education institutions in the UK 2016-2022
  • Premium Statistic Universities with the highest number of students in the UK 2021/22
  • Premium Statistic Annual expenditure of universities in the UK 1993-2022

Leading U.K. universities ranked by the Complete University Guide 2024

The Complete University Guide's top twenty universities in the United Kingdom in 2024, by overall score (max = 1000)

Number of higher education institutions in the United Kingdom from 2016/17 to 2021/22

Universities with the highest number of students in the United Kingdom in 2021/22

Annual expenditure of universities in the UK 1993-2022

Annual expenditure of higher education institutions in the United Kingdom from 1993/94 to 2021/22 (in billion GBP)

Student Finance

  • Basic Statistic Government spending on higher education in the UK 2009-2023
  • Basic Statistic Average student loan debt in the UK 2000-2023
  • Basic Statistic Outstanding debt of student loans in the UK 2013-2023
  • Premium Statistic Tuition fees as a share of higher education income in the UK 2008-2022

Government spending on higher education in the UK 2009-2023

Public sector expenditure on tertiary education in the United Kingdom from 2009/10 to 2022/23 (in billion GBP)

Average student loan debt in the UK 2000-2023

Average student loan debt on entry to repayment in the United Kingdom from 1999/00 to 2022/23, by country (in 1,000 GBP)

Outstanding debt of student loans in the UK 2013-2023

Outstanding debt of student loans in the United Kingdom from 2013/14 to 2022/23, by country (in billion GBP)

Tuition fees as a share of higher education income in the UK 2008-2022

Income from tuition fees as a share of all Higher Education Institution income in the United Kingdom from 2008/09 to 2021/22

International Comparisons

  • Premium Statistic International student share of higher-ed population worldwide in 2022, by country
  • Basic Statistic Higher education spending per student worldwide by country 2020
  • Basic Statistic Degrees earned in higher education U.S. 1950-2032
  • Basic Statistic Share of population aged 15-64 that are university graduates in Europe 2022
  • Basic Statistic Share of population aged 30-34 that are university graduates in the EU and UK 2021
  • Basic Statistic Share of population that are university graduates in the EU 2002-2022, by age
  • Premium Statistic Number of degree graduates in the EU 2021, by field of study

International student share of higher-ed population worldwide in 2022, by country

Countries with the largest amount of international students as a share of the total higher education population in 2022

Higher education spending per student worldwide by country 2020

Expenditure on higher education per student in OECD countries worldwide in 2020 (in U.S. dollars)

Degrees earned in higher education U.S. 1950-2032

Number of higher education degrees earned in the United States from 1950 to 2032 (in 1,000s)

Share of those aged between 15 to 64 with tertiary educational attainment in Europe, by country

Share of those aged between 30 to 34 with tertiary educational attainment in the European Union and United Kingdom in 2021, by country

Share of population that are university graduates in the EU 2002-2022, by age

Share of those with tertiary educational attainment in the European Union from 2002 to 2022, by age group

Number of degree graduates in the EU 2021, by field of study

Number of tertiary education graduates in the European Union in 2021, by broad field of study

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phd in higher education uk

  • Education, training and skills
  • Further and higher education, skills and vocational training
  • Further and higher education courses and qualifications

Higher education student statistics UK: 2020 to 2021

Details of student enrolments and qualifications obtained by higher education (HE) students at HE providers in the UK for the academic year 2020 to 2021.

National Statistics

https://www.hesa.ac.uk/news/25-01-2022/sb262-higher-education-student-statistics

These statistics on student enrolments and qualifications obtained by higher education (HE) students at HE providers in the UK are produced by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Information is available for:

  • undergraduate and postgraduate study
  • full-time and part-time study
  • country of domicile
  • subject area
  • demographics and disadvantage
  • degree classifications

Earlier higher education student statistics bulletins are available on the HESA website .

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COMMENTS

  1. PhD in Higher Education: Research, Evaluation and Enhancement

    PhD in Higher Education: Research, Evaluation and Enhancement This distinctive PhD in Higher Education: Research, Evaluation and Enhancement (by thesis and coursework) is a part-time structured PhD programme that is undertaken entirely online, minimally over 4 years.

  2. PhD Education (2024 entry)

    PhD Education / Overview Year of entry: 2024 View tabs View full page Overview Entry requirements Application and selection Programme details Careers Degree awarded PhD Duration 3 years Entry requirements Bachelor's (Honours) degree at 2:1 or above (or overseas equivalent); and

  3. Education, Practice and Society MPhil/PhD

    IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society offers world-leading doctoral programmes in education and related social sciences. Our MPhil/PhD students undertake research projects, working closely with their supervisors to develop each stage of their research, and undertake a tailored programme of training courses and activities. This programme is available to study both

  4. Higher Education PhD research course

    Higher Education PhD Full-time - 4 years Start dates: April 2024 July 2024 October 2024 January 2025 Part-time - 8 years Start dates: April 2024 July 2024 October 2024 January 2025 Research brochure Register for updates Webinars and events Overview Themes and facilities Entry requirements Fees and funding Apply Why choose this programme

  5. Higher Education

    The Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) draws on expertise from its core staff as well as researchers across the University, so we can offer high-quality PhD supervision; we work very carefully to match you with a supervisory panel that suits your interests and ambitions.

  6. PhD in Educational Research

    PhD in Educational Research - Higher Education Join our doctorate programme in Educational Research - Higher Education, one of the oldest of its kind in the world.

  7. How to apply for a PhD in the UK

    How to apply for a PhD in the UK Applying for a PhD is not quite as daunting as you might think. A postgraduate student recruitment officer from the University of Sussex shares his tips for putting together a PhD application Ben Osborne Postgraduate student recruitment manager at the University of Sussex January 18 2022 ADVERTISEMENT

  8. International Education and Development PhD

    Fees will become available once set by United Kingdom Research and Innovation. International students: £21,500 per year for full-time students. Home PhD student fees are set at the level recommended by United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) annually, rising in line with inflation.

  9. Doctorate in Education (EdD) (2024 Entry)

    The programme is a combination of foundation and advanced research methods, and optional modules within Education Studies. Then you will complete a 50,000-word thesis with the guidance of a specialist supervisor. You may be eligible to use your previous studies as accredited prior learning towards this course.

  10. PhD programmes in Education in United Kingdom

    Find the best PhD programmes in the field of Education from top universities in United Kingdom. Check all 130 programmes. Explore; Decide; Apply; Explore. View disciplines. ... Higher Education 7. Instructional Design 2. Literacy Education 9. Primary Education 0. School Counselling 2. Secondary Education 0. Special Education 2.

  11. 5 routes to getting a Doctorate

    This four-year qualification, also known as the New Route PhD, involves studying a one-year research Masters degree (MRes) before progressing onto a three-year PhD. Offered by a select number of universities across the UK, integrated PhDs are supported by the government and the British Council through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

  12. Top 20 UK Universities for PhD Study in 2024

    United Kingdom UKRI Funding The seven UK Research Councils provide government studentships for PhD research in different subject areas. Our simple guide explains how this funding works, what you can get and how to apply successfully. PhD Loans for Doctoral Students - A Guide for 2023 United Kingdom Student Loans Funding

  13. 15 Online PhDs in Education by universities in United Kingdom

    View All 15 Online Ph.D. Degrees Home Countries United Kingdom Education Education degrees By studying a degree in Education you will master how to facilitate learning for others, explore teaching methods, psychology, and educational philosophy.

  14. PhD in UK: Deadlines, Colleges, Fees 2023, Jobs and Salaries

    Types of PhD in UK There are majorly five types of PhDs offered by universities in UK: Standard, Integrated, Professional, Distance Learning, and Ph.D. by Publication. Standard Ph.D. is a more common choice than others among international students. All 4 types of Ph.D. in the UK are discussed in brief as follows: Standard Ph.D.:

  15. Higher education in facts and figures: 2021

    What data have we used? Most data we've used refers to just our member institutions. This covers 140 universities and higher education providers in the UK. The data we have used for each chart is clearly labelled and mostly comes from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) records, which covers a wider set of providers.

  16. The changing landscape of doctoral education in the UK

    Introduction. In 2020-21, there were 150 institutions in the UK offering doctoral programmes; in that academic year, 104,965 students were enrolled in such programmes and 21,000 doctoral candidates graduated (Higher Education Statistics Agency, Citation 2022).This made the UK the fourth-largest producer of doctoral graduates across the globe (Taylor, Citation 2021).

  17. PhD English Language and Applied Linguistics via distance learning

    Why study this course? World-leading research: The University of Birmingham is ranked equal 10th in the UK amongst Russell Group universities in the Research Excellence Framework exercise 2021 according to the Times Higher Education.Additionally, the University of Birmingham is ranked in the top 50 for the study of English Language and Literature in the 2023 QS World University Rankings.

  18. Study abroad fully funded

    3. Research grants: Research grants are financial awards given to university students so they can do in-depth studies and learn more about specific topics in their courses. These are offered globally and can be provided by institutions, government bodies or private organisations. 4. Work-study programmes: Some universities offer programmes in which students can work and gain experience while ...

  19. Scholarships and funding

    Many universities offer fully-funded postgraduate studentships for PhD programmes. Find out more. Institution-specific scholarships. Many UK higher-education institutions offer their own scholarship programmes. These are offered based on a number of factors, which can be broadly split out into the following categories:

  20. PhDs: is UK doctoral education in trouble?

    A recent Freedom of Information request by Times Higher Education found the overall numbers of doctoral students starting UKRI-funded training fell from 6,835 in 2018-19 to 5,580 in 2021-22 - an 18 per cent drop - with reported figures for 2022-23 lower still at 4,900, though UKRI said this tally could increase as universities continued to submi...

  21. Doctorate in Education Sciences

    On the UK Graduate School application, select the degree: Doctoral, Program: Education Sciences, Option: Educational Leadership . Standard graduate application requirements apply.. Professional Resume: This should provide your name, contact information, postsecondary education (all degrees, years awarded, institution names, emphasis area), work experiences, professional certifications ...

  22. MPhil/PhD in Education (2024 Entry)

    30 September 2024 Duration 3 years full-time; 5 years part-time Qualification MPhil/PhD Led by Education Studies Location University of Warwick Find out more about our MPhil/PhD in Education. Education Studies at Warwick includes three overarching strands: Learning, Society and Cultures.

  23. Higher education in the UK

    United Kingdom Higher education is undertaken by an increasing number of people across the globe, and with one of the most prestigious and established university systems anywhere in the world,...

  24. Higher education student statistics UK: 2020 to 2021

    Details of student enrolments and qualifications obtained by higher education (HE) students at HE providers in the UK for the academic year 2020 to 2021. Higher education student statistics UK ...

  25. Knowledge or science-based economy? The employment of UK PhD graduates

    This is unsurprising in a stratified higher education sector such as the UK, where science and Russell Group first-degree graduates similarly enjoy enhanced labour market rewards (Britton et al. Citation 2016). PhD holders who are Male or holding a Master's degree also occupy research roles at a higher rate on leaving academia.