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.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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 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 Education, 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
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 Progamme, the IOE faculty’s Research Training Programme, the multi-institutional Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network, and from other sources. Each point is worth approximately one hour 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 as 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 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.
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.
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 (2019), the institute was ranked first for education for the sixth year running, ahead of Harvard, Stanford and Oxford. 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 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.
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
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.