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Lancaster University: Educational Research (Independent Study)

Institution Lancaster University View institution profile
Department Educational Research
Telephone 01524 510880
Study type Research


This programme provides the opportunity to gain deeper insight into education research, discover how to become an autonomous researcher, and benefit from a strong research culture and excellent support as you work towards your PhD or MPhil.

Our internationally respected PhD programme connects you with a thriving and friendly community of research-active staff, and with our three departmental research hubs: the Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation,the Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education, and the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning. You will benefit from their extensive and diverse research experience and the broad spectrum of departmental interests, and as a PhD student you will have the opportunity to be a contributing member of this community of highly-regarded researchers.

Undertaken full-time over a minimum of three years or part-time over a minimum of four years, the programme has attracted a large number of students over more than 25 years and you should find that it delivers a very human, inclusive and rich learning environment that's also supportive and sociable.

You are able to participate in research seminars, a reading group, postgraduate group meetings and in the research and evaluation projects led by our academics, when available. You'll also have the potential to benefit from our active and mutually beneficial relationship with a network of local schools and colleges.

You'll undertake research into an issue or concern of your choosing and write a thesis, which is produced under the detailed supervision of a subject expert and this provides the opportunity to contribute new knowledge to the scholarly community.

Although you will work independently, our supervision includes regular face-to-face meetings at Lancaster or virtual meetings at a distance. Most students commence in October in order to make use of our Faculty's research training courses but we also offer the option of entry in January where this is more suitable for the student. Likely outcomes include career progression, a move into an academic post, and the satisfaction of intellectual curiosity.

Your PhD is awarded on completion of your supervised research, a viva examination and approved thesis.

Since the first Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 1992 the Department has consistently been judged to be one of the best in the UK. The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) placed us in the top six research-intensive Education departments in the UK, with 78% of our research activity graded as world leading or internationally excellent and 92% of our academic staff submitted. Our department is ranked 54th in the world by the Times Higher World Rankings 2018.

If you are interested in applying we strongly encourage you to read the Search for a Supervisor information on our departmental web pages to match your research interests to the supervision specialisms that are available in the department.

Doctor of Philosophy - PhD

Lancaster University

The University 
Lancaster University is home to a dynamic postgraduate community and offers a wealth of both taught and research study options across a wide range of subject areas. Studying at Lancaster is all about broadening your horizons, finding new perspectives and discovering new experiences. By living and studying with students and staff from over 130 countries students join a global community and have the opportunity to make international connections.

We are proud to be highly ranked in three major UK league tables. We are ranked 11th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022, …

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