Education, Practice and Society MPhil/PhD
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 Department of Education, Practice and Society is one of the largest at the IOE, with research-active staff specialising in a wide range of areas, described above.
Within the department, there is also a wide range of country expertise that includes Africa (e.g. sub-Saharan Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda), Asia (including Central, East, South and Southeast Asia), Europe, South America (e.g. Brazil, Peru), and the US.
In addition, students benefit from the research work carried out at the centres based in the department, a number of which are funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). More details about staff research and publications are available on the department website.
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 Educationm Post-14 Education, and Post-Compulsory Education, including Teacher 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; 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; music; personhood; theories of mind; theories of justice
- Post-Conflict / Peacebuilding Education
- Private and Elite Education
- Professional Development, Vocational Education, and Workplace Learning
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 hours 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 meet the needs of early stage 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.
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.
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 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.
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 (2016), the institute was ranked first for education for the third 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.
Doctoral students at the Department of Education, Practice and Society can participate in the department's Research Students Seminar Group which further enriches learning.
Department: Education, Practice & Society
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: Education, Practice & Society
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.