UCL Graduate degrees


Learning and Leadership MPhil/PhD

Our MPhil/PhD programme provides a route for students to carry out their own research project: an investigation that will contribute to the field of knowledge within the field of education and beyond. Research students engage with the academic community both within our department and the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) and benefit from participation in the comprehensive IOE Research Training Programme. This programme is available to study both face-to-face and online.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2019

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Application dates

Tuition fees (2019/20)

UK/EU: £6,960 (FT) £3,475 (PT)
Overseas: £16,490 (FT) £8,260 (PT)

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.

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 Learning and Leadership (DLL) is a large specialist research and teaching department focused on:

  • how children learn through the processes of teaching
  • the role of leadership

DLL is home to Centre for Educational Evaluation and Accountability (EEA), Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy (HHCP), Centre for Educational Evaluation and Accountability, London Centre for Leadership in Learning and The International Literacy Centre.

Research areas

The department has an international reputation for its research concerning learning, teaching and leadership, including:

  • Curriculum leadership and innovation
  • Diversity, children’s rights
  • Early literacy, numeracy and science
  • Early years and primary / elementary education
  • Education policy and system reform
  • Inspection and accountability
  • Urban education
  • Play, creativity and the arts
  • Professional learning and research informed practice
  • School improvement
  • School and educational leadership
  • Special educational needs and inclusive education
  • Teacher development and wellbeing
More information can be found on the department website: Learning and Leadership MPhil/PhD

Degree structure

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 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.


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

IOE Centenary Doctoral Scholarships

Deadline is 5 April 2019

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 are found in a wide range of occupational fields. Career paths include education professionals in a wide range of settings, university research and lecturing, policy development and senior officer roles in government and NGOs, policy and professional roles in both the wider public sector (including health, youth work, international development) as well as in the private sector (including business and retail).


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


The Department of Learning and Leadership has a wide range of research seminars, where students can join discussion of our ongoing projects, as well as being the base for national and international conferences. Staff members are also significant figures in international conferences such as BERA and ECER. There are also opportunities to work with education practitioners and organisations beyond the IOE.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This MPhil/PhD programme sits within the IOE's ESRC-recognised Centre for Doctoral Education. Students have access to the wider UCL community as well as the consortium of schools and colleges constituting the Bloomsbury Doctoral Training Centre (DTC), which is led by the IOE and includes the School of Oriental and African Studies, Birkbeck, and the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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: Learning & Leadership

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 for this programme are accepted throughout the year.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Contact information