Education PhD

Apply for a PhD in Education
How to Apply

Make sure we offer PhD supervision in the area in which you want to work - search our staff research interests (For TESOL research please refer to English PhD).

Before you formally apply please send a pre-application email to and include:

  • The title of your proposal.
  • A brief summary of your proposal (approximately 500 words). This should include aims and objectives, a consideration of relevant literature and an identified research gap, your proposed research design and methodology, the data you anticipate collecting, and potential analysis techniques you will use.
  • The names of two potential supervisors from the department (or one if two cannot be identified).
  • How you intend to fund your studies.
If your pre-application is approved please download and save the Research Proposal Form. Complete all sections of the form telling us what you want to research, how you intend to do it, why it is worth doing and how, with reference to existing practice and research, it constitutes an original investigation.

When you are ready to apply for your place you will need to upload the form to the Research Proposal section of your online application form.

You might be interested in signing up for our 5 week online course 'Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal. The course is offered through FutureLearn where you can register your interest for the next available course.


Prepare your supporting documents - with your application you need to include proof that you meet the academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements:

  • include all relevant certificates/diplomas and transcripts
  • international applicants must provide official copies of their entire course transcripts including explanations of the mark schemes used.
  • supporting documents not in English must be provided with a certified English translation

You must also provide contact details, in the appropriate section of the application, for two academic (not personal) referees who can comment on your suitability for the research degree programme.


Submit your online application

The School of Education has an excellent reputation for being at the forefront of education research of national and international significance.

The School has an excellent track record of developing fruitful local, national, and international collaborations with practitioners, schools, policy-makers, and academic colleagues.

Our Research Degrees

The School of Education offers supervision for the degrees of:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - Full-Time and Part-Time traditional Route
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - Practice Based

We also offer a distance learning PhD - allowing you to gain a University of Leicester research degree wherever you are in the world.

Supervision and Research Areas

We offer PhD supervision in areas compatible with the research interests of our academic staff. Please see our staff research interests.

For supervisors with research interests in TESOL please refer to the supervisor lists under English PhD

Interested in a different research area?

It is important that the area you want to work in is broadly compatible with our research interests - otherwise we may not be able to accept your application.

However, please do not feel we will not be interested if there is not an exact match. It is sometimes possible to be flexible, so please contact us.

Entry Requirements and Fees

Applicants must:

  • hold a UK undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree with at least first class or upper second class honours, or an equivalent qualification from a recognised overseas institution.
  • have a Master’s Degree with a minimum of 60% / Grade B in the dissertation from a UK University or an acceptable equivalent qualification from a recognised overseas institution.
  • have sufficient professional experience to undertake the proposed research.

See academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements

Tuition fees vary according to the applicant's fee status (UK, EU, or international) and the mode of study (full-time, part-time or distance learning).

See current course fees

Studentships and Funding

Funded PhD studentships and other funding opportunities are advertised as they become available.

See current studentships and funding

PhD Description

PhD students complete an independent research project under the guidance of a supervisory team. The research is normally completed over a maximum period of 3.0-3.5 years (full-time) or 6.0-6.5 years (part-time/distance learning).

A fourth year (full-time) or seventh year (part-time/distance learning) or the remaining part of this can be used to prepare the thesis for examination. The thesis should not normally exceed 80,000 words and must make an original contribution to knowledge and contain work of publishable quality. The thesis must then be defended in a viva voce (oral) examination before a degree can be awarded.

PhDs Explained - Description and Requirements

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