Research degrees

We are one of the leading Education departments in the UK, with an excellent reputation for research and teaching. We are active in a wide range of research projects across our research interests, and in recent years we have been successful in obtaining research funds from a variety of local, national and international funding bodies.

Our PhD is designed to equip professional educators with a wide range of research skills, knowledge, understanding and expertise in their chosen field of research. We offer 3 different types of PhD:

We offer a campus-based or practice-based PhD in Education, and we also offer a PhD by distance learning, ideal for those based away from Leicester or those who wish to combine studying for a research degree with their professional and personal commitments.

The information on these pages applies both to our campus-based PhD and our distance learning PhD, except where specified.

Why Leicester?

As a research degree student at Leicester you are a part of a vibrant research community. Campus-based doctoral students run their own thriving research methods discussion group. Our annual summer school brings together doctoral students from all over the world, and students present and discuss their work at our annual postgraduate research conference. The conference is a highlight of the year, buzzing with ideas and animated discussion.

In addition to events tailored to doctoral students, postgraduate students are welcomed at discussion fora and research events led by academic staff, including our 'Food for Thought' research seminars, our Special Interest Group meetings and our annual School of Education conference.

HEA Social Sciences developing pedagogies project

As supervisors and tutors, we also undertake research into our own practice. We are particularly proud that for the last two years we have been funded by HEA Social Sciences to undertake two key projects to develop effective pedagogies for supporting doctoral students. Our focus has been on developing doctoral students’ understanding of criticality through peer assessment. 

In the first phase of the project, students developed research posters, which they displayed in an online gallery. All participants engaged in providing formative feedback to other students, and then developed and improved their own posters on the basis of the feedback received. The improved versions were then presented in person at the postgraduate research conference.

Personalised academic support

Each doctoral student is allocated a main and a secondary supervisor, with expertise and scholarship in an area relevant to the student's research focus. Students and supervisors work closely together to identify the research issue to be investigated and to develop the project and the thesis. Before applying, you are advised to familiarise yourself with the areas of expertise offered by our team of supervisors, and to ensure that the topic you are proposing is consistent with the specialist areas we offer.

University facilities

The University Library provides an excellent range of on-site and electronically-accessible resources for all research students, and includes a dedicated area for postgraduates. The School of Education also provides workrooms for doctoral students.