Institute of Education


Education, Practice and Society MPhil/PhD

Education Practice and Society

Before you apply for a doctoral programme, you should make contact with a potential supervisor: see guidance and find a supervisor.

This MPhil/PhD programme provides a route for students to carry out their own research project, an investigation that will eventually contribute to the field of knowledge within the educational and social sciences. Research students engage with the academic community within the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) and will benefit from the comprehensive IOE Research Training Programme.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration
Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years
Tuition Fees (2017/18)
£6,570 (FT) £3,285 (PT)
£15,570 (FT) £7,785 (PT)
Application deadlines

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.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry Requirements

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.

International students

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 below.

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 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.

Research areas

There is a wide range of expertise in the department, with staff specialising in fields including:
  • Adult Education, and Literacy and Numeracy
  • 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: education and health; education and sexual identity; education psychology; behaviour and disaffection; learning, studying and homework
  • Further Education
  • Global Youth
  • Higher Education: academic and professional identities; national, global and international; higher education management; leadership and management
  • Sociology of Education: education policy; gender, ‘race’, and social class; migration, refugees and marginalisation; social justice; human rights
  • History of Education: the cultural, social and economic history of education; teaching and learning; universities; adult, popular and informal education; historiography and methodology
  • Inclusive Education
  • International Development: economics and international development; education and international development; education planning and international development; education in developing countries
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Music Education
  • Philosophy of Education: disability ethics; music; personhood; theories of mind; theories of justice
  • Post-14 Education
  • Post-Compulsory Education, including Teacher Education
  • Post-Conflict Education/Peacebuilding
  • Private and Elite Education
  • Professional Development/Education
  • Quality Assurance in Education
  • Vocational Education
  • Workplace Learning


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, policy and curriculum development. They can be found in almost every occupational field and there are a wide variety of career paths.


Students will develop general and specialist skills in research methodology, academic writing and presentation, as well as gaining experience of engaging with a wide range of practitioners across different sectors of education.


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?

This IOE MPhil/PhD programme is situated within our Centre for Doctoral Education which offers a comprehensive Research Training Programme. Students have access to the wider UCL community as well as the consortium of schools and colleges constituting the Bloomsbury Doctoral Training Centre which is led by the IOE and includes the School of Oriental and African Studies, Birkbeck, and the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Research students can participate in the Education and Society 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.

Application deadlines

Applications are accepted throughout the year.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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