The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) offers world-leading doctoral programmes in education and related social science. Our MPhil/PhD students undertake research projects, working closely with their supervisors to develop each stage of their research, and complete a tailored programme of training courses and activities. This programme is available to study both face-to-face and online.
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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
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
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. International Preparation Courses
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, economics, technology, international development and religion.
Applicants to the IOE Education MPhil/PhD programme must apply to 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 the UCL Social Research Institute.
Applicants should 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. Even though applicants apply directly to the MPhil/PhD programmes in those departments, the programme they follow once enrolled will be identical.
About this degree
The IOE 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 more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
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 & Wellbeing team: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees-and-funding.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Full tuition fees and accommodation (Up to 4 years)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
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 and 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 science. We host the UK's largest doctoral cohort in these areas. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2021), the institute was ranked first for education for the eighth 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: Institute of Education
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.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.