Researchers in the School of Education are committed to investigating and advancing social justice within and through education. You will undertake your doctoral study in a supportive international and interdisciplinary research community.
The school has over 200 years of experience in educational research and draws researchers and teachers whose work addresses current issues affecting educational practitioners, theory, institutions and systems. Our researchers have strong relationships with local and international organisations, and you will work with two supervisors who share interest in your field.
Education research areas include:
- literacies and literacy practices
- education for human flourishing
- education and international politics and development
- education and social justice
- higher, adult and vocational education
- language education
- informal and non-formal education
- learning sciences
- learning through the arts, creative pedagogies and science
- mathematics education
- school leadership and improvement
- teachers' work, professionalism and education policy
Entry to our postgraduate research programme is competitive and having a strong research proposal is therefore very important.
A PhD is awarded on the successful completion of supervised research, verbal examination and final thesis. An MPhil, which is narrower in scope, is awarded on the successful completion of supervised research and submission of a final thesis.
Full-time doctoral students should meet with their supervisors at least 10 times each year. Part-time doctoral students should meet with their supervisors at least 6 times each year.
PhD students must submit and verbally defend a thesis (maximum 100,000 words), demonstrating to the examiners' satisfaction a knowledgeable and original contribution to the field(s) of scholarship and research.
MPhil students must submit a thesis (maximum 60,000 words), presenting the results of their scholarship and research. The thesis must demonstrate to the examiners' satisfaction advanced knowledge in the field(s) of scholarship and research. In some cases, examiners may require a verbal examination of the thesis.
Confirmation of status review
All doctoral students are required to successfully complete a 12,000-word Confirmation of Studies Review within one year of full-time study, or 24 months of part-time study. Confirmation of Status is approved on the basis of the written paper and a verbal defence with an examiner assigned from within the school.
All doctoral students are required to submit an annual review at the end of each academic year.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.
Masters in a relevant discipline with a grade of 2:1 (or higher or international equivalent)
Masters in a relevant discipline with a grade of 2:1 or (higher or international equivalent)
|International and EU equivalents|
We accept a wide range of qualifications from all over the world.
For information on entry requirements from your country, see our country pages.
|IELTS||7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)|
|English language requirements|| |
As well as IELTS (listed above), we also accept other English language qualifications.
This includes TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE, GCSE, IB and O level English.
Meeting our English language requirements
If you need support to meet the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional English course. Presessional courses teach you academic skills in addition to English language. Our Centre for English Language Education is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.
If you successfully complete your presessional course to the required level, you can then progress to your degree course. This means that you won't need to retake IELTS or equivalent.
For on-campus presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations. For online presessional courses, see our CELE webpages for guidance.
International students must have valid UK immigration permissions for any courses or study period where teaching takes place in the UK. Student route visas can be issued for eligible students studying full-time courses. The University of Nottingham does not sponsor a student visa for students studying part-time courses. The Standard Visitor visa route is not appropriate in all cases. Please contact the university’s Visa and Immigration team if you need advice about your visa options.
We recognise that applicants have a variety of experiences and follow different pathways to postgraduate study.
We treat all applicants with alternative qualifications on an individual basis. We may also consider relevant work experience.
If you are unsure whether your qualifications or work experience are relevant, contact us.
|Home / UK||£4,850|
Additional information for international students
If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).
These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).
All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.
This course does not incur additional costs beyond tuition fees and living expenses, but you should factor in other possible expenses for travel and other needs. Many resources for research (such as books, articles and equipment) are accessible for loan within the university. You may apply to the Researcher Academy and School of Education for support with research expenses, conference presentation and attendance, as well as DBS checks if your research requires UK-based fieldwork.
There are many ways to fund your research degree, from scholarships to government loans.
Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.Postgraduate funding
All research students in the School of Education have access to a range of free short courses and research training events offered by the school and the university's Researcher Academy.
First-year PhD students are also required to complete the school's doctoral training programme during the first year of their study.
You may also apply to the Researcher Academy and School of Education for financial support to attend training that is necessary beyond the university.
Researcher training and development
The Researcher Academy is the network for researchers, and staff who support them. We work together to promote a healthy research culture, to cultivate researcher excellence, and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.
Postgraduate researchers at Nottingham have access to our online Members’ area, which includes a wealth of resources, access to training courses and award-winning postgraduate placements.
You will have access to a range of support services, including:
- academic and disability support
- childcare services
- counselling service
- faith support
- financial support
- mental health and wellbeing support
- visa and immigration advice
- welfare support
Our Students' Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or contact the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.
There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:
- international students
- black and minority ethnic students
- students who identify as women
- students with disabilities
- LGBT+ students
SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.
Where you will learn
Jubilee Campus has eco-friendly buildings, alongside green spaces, wildlife and a lake.
This campus is home to our business, education and computer science schools, as well as a sports centre and student accommodation.
You can walk to University Park Campus in around 20 minutes or catch a free hopper bus. Nottingham city centre is 20 minutes away by public bus.
The world is calling for creative and daring approaches to critical educational research. It is exciting to work with a diverse community of doctoral researchers who are undertaking inquiry that opens up new ways of understanding our challenges and possibilities in educational work, and that integrates theory with practice.”
Dr Sarah Amsler, Course Leader
Research Excellence Framework
We are ranked 7th in the UK for research power (2021), according to analysis by Times Higher Education. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a national assessment of the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.
- Vast majority of our outputs were assessed as internationally excellent
- Over half of our outputs were given the highest score of 4*
- 90%* of our research is classed as 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*)
- 100%* of our research is recognised internationally
- 51% of our research is assessed as 'world-leading' (4*) for its impact**
*According to analysis by Times Higher Education ** According to our own analysis.
This content was last updated on 03 November 2022. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.