Before you apply for a doctoral programme, you should make contact with a potential supervisor: see guidance and find a supervisor.
The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) 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.
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
The normal minimum requirement is an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university, or an equivalent professional qualification. The majority of our successful applicants also hold a Master's degree with Merit (or equivalent), and would have relevant experience.
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Advanced
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
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.
Select your country:
The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) has specialised, research-active staff who are able to supervise students in education and related social sciences, including leadership, management, and teaching and learning in all phases of education, from early years through schooling and post-compulsory education to professional and lifelong learning. Other areas of expertise include health, the lifecourse and economics.
Applicants to the IOE Education MPhil/PhD programme will be accepted into one of the six departments within the IOE: Culture, Communication and Media; Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment; Education, Practice and Society; Learning and Leadership; Psychology and Human Development; or Social Science. Applicants are strongly encouraged to look at the departmental websites to find out more information about the work of each department, and to identify one or more potential supervisors for their work. Applicants may wish to apply to those departments’ own MPhil/PhD programmes directly; the programme they follow once enrolled will be identical.
The IOE Centre for Doctoral Education provides a comprehensive Research Training Programme.
Full time MPhil/PhD students are required to fulfil 20 units 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 IOE Research Training Programme, each unit being worth approximately one hour of face-to-face training, or an online equivalent. Part time students fulfil 10 units of training activity a year. Students may take additional training courses from the Programme, as relevant to their research and/or as agreed with their supervisor.
The Core Course aims to meets the needs of early stage doctoral students.
There is also a wide range of introductory, advanced methods, advanced theoretical, and generic academic skills courses, as well as student led workshops and reading groups.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
IOE doctoral graduates progress to a diverse range of careers in research, policy, management and practice, within education, cultural sectors and related areas of social science.
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 IOE is a leading centre for education and social science research. Students will have the opportunity to network with other doctoral students from around the world, as well as with world-leading academics within their field of study. There is also the opportunity to build connections with students from other departments across UCL. The IOE hosts several seminar series as well as both national and international conferences. In addition, students are encouraged to take part in conferences elsewhere, expanding networking opportunities.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is a world-leading centre for research in education and related social sciences. We host the UK's largest doctoral cohort in these areas. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2017), the institute was ranked first for education for the fourth year running, ahead of Harvard, Stanford and Melbourne. In the UK's recent Research Excellence Framework (2014), we topped the league tables for education research, with more world-leading researchers in education than any other UK University. We attract research funding of over £20 million each year, hosting many prestigious research centres and projects.
Doctoral students at the IOE have access to the wider UCL community as well as the education cluster constituting the Bloomsbury Doctoral Training Centre. 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 are required to take one core module in their first year, and are then able to choose from a selection of introductory and advanced courses from the comprehensive Research Training Programme offered by the IOE Centre for Doctoral Education.
Department: Institute of Education
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Education
78% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.