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. Students will work closely with supervisor(s) to develop each stage of research. Supervisors will also help put together a programme of additional courses and activities to support progress towards the completion of the thesis.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2021/22)
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 Students website.
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. Students without a Master’s degree who have completed the UCL PGDip in Social Science Research Methods, obtaining a grade B or above in any two or more modules, may also be considered for admission to this programme.
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 Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment has specialist, research active staff able to supervise postgraduate research in the areas described below. We also work with local schools, as well as national and international educational publishers. We have strong links with overseas institutions, including ones based in the USA, Egypt, Sweden, Lebanon, Kazakhstan and Singapore, as well as national organisations such as the National College for Teaching and Leadership and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.
The department can provide postgraduate supervision in mathematics, science, geography, business, history and RE education, as well as assessment issues, educational assessment, the impact of testing in schools and international assessment, education policy and politics, qualifications development, accreditation and regulation and comparative studies), initial teacher education, curriculum development and general secondary teaching.
The department has a number of research centres:
The Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research is a specialist research centre offering world-leading research and scholarship in the areas of teachers’ work, teaching and teacher education.
The Centre for Holocaust Education aims to increase the effectiveness of teaching and learning about the Holocaust in the classroom.
The Centre for Teacher and Early Years Education working in partnership to improve quality in early years teacher education in China.
The Centre for the Study of Education in Muslim Contexts (CEMC) - addressing the need for critical, academically sound research and debate about education in Muslim contexts
The Development Education Research Centre (DERC) is recognised as one of the world's leading research centres for development education, global learning and global citizenship.
About this degree
In addition to UCL's Doctoral Skills Development Programme, the IOE's Centre for Doctoral Education provides a comprehensive Research Training Programme.
Full-time MPhil/PhD students are required to fulfil 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, the 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. Part-time students fulfil 12 units of training activity a year. 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.
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.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
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 in the Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 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 Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment comprises five thriving research centres, as well as a collection of other special interest groups. There is a wide range of seminars which provide networking opportunities. Students within the department are encouraged to present at the two annual conferences for IOE doctoral students, host reading groups in their subject specialism and go to conferences outside the university.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The UCL Institute of Education (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 (2020), the institute was ranked first for education for the seventh year running, ahead of Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge. In the UK's most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014), we were number one for education research strength, with more world-leading researchers in education than any other UK University. A quarter of UK education research is carried out at the IOE and we are home to 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 ESRC 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.
Department: Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment
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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.