MPhil option available
This course has an MPhil option
PhD student loans
The UK Government will be introducing PhD loans of up to £25,000 to UK nationals, residing in England, for postgraduate research programmes starting in the academic year 2018-19. Read more here.
About the course
The Education department strives to be the most innovative in London. Based on the oldest teacher training colleges in the British Commonwealth – each with a radical history - we offer research-led programmes for teachers, youth and community workers, other education professionals and those with an interest in the academic study of Education and schooling. Our research is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, the Higher Education Academy and many other organisations and charities. We are committed to working locally and globally and the impact of our research reflects that aspiration. In the 2014 REF 60% of the Education Department's research was world leading or internationally excellent and 90% of our impact was graded as internationally excellent. Staff specialisms include: Pedagogy and Professional Education; STEM Education; Social Justice, Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Education.
Applications are welcomed from well qualified candidates interested in developing high level research skills and applying them to theoretical and practical educational issues. Areas of study include (but are not restricted to):
- Pedagogy and learning
- Specific curriculum areas, including: science, mathematics, English and physical education
- ICT and education
- Teachers’ (and related professionals’) professional learning
- Students’ perspectives on schooling
- The nature and value of educational theory
- Social justice and education
- Educational leadership and management
- Equity and inclusion in education
- The impact if education policies on educational practice and outcomes
Please see individual staff research profiles for more detail on potential areas of study.
The award of the PhD is based on examination of a thesis of 70,000 to 80,000 words that is the original work of the student. The examination involves (i) assessment of the thesis by experts (usually 2 in number) in the area of study, one of whom (at least) is external to Brunel University London, and (ii) an oral examination (the viva voce examination) which is conducted by the examiners who have assessed the thesis.
MPhil degree option
An MPhil involves the exploration of a research topic and is typically studied over a shorter period of 1 year for a full-time student and 2 years for a part-time student. MPhil students are required to demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights informed by the forefront of their discipline, field of study or professional practice.
Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)
Research degrees evolve in different ways according to discipline. Find out about what progress might look like at each stage of study here: Research degree progress structure
PhD+ Award – An internship to work in the industry or perform a research outreach or enterprise activity.
PhD Plus is a career development scheme designed to provide an opportunity for excellent PhD students to undertake work experience and mentoring, and to facilitate their transfer into a career area of their choice. The awards are targeted at exceptional PhD students who have submitted their thesis within the expected submission date and will provide up to three months’ funded support for the period after submissions of their thesis and before the confirmation of the award. The precise number awards each year will depend on the quality of the applicants, up to a maximum 8 awards. The maximum amount to be awarded will be in line with RCUK rates for research training support grants: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/skills/training/
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Entry criteria 2018/19
The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree. All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis.
As part of our application process for entry on our research degree (MPhil and PhD) programmes, we ask you to provide a 500-1,000 word research statement, excluding any references/bibliography you may include, setting out your research motivation, ideas and aspirations. Learn how to prepare a research statement here.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU entry requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English language requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.
If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.
Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.
We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.
Facts and figures
Brunel University London REF2014 Submission: Education. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The results of the REF2014 have been made public in December 2014, replacing the previous REF conducted in 2008. The next REF will be undertaken in 2020.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - A Guide for PhD Students
Study environment for research students
Find out more: Study environment for research students
Excellent research support and training
Extensive training and support is offered to all research students by the Graduate School, with regular Masterclasses and individual advice on academic issues as part of the Researcher Development Programme. Read more about the available Research Support and Training.
Brunel's library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 e-books, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject Information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs.
- state-of-the-art research information management tools including a research publication and grant database
- one of the largest UK’s full text repository
- an integrated data management system
- analytical tools such as Altmertic and InCites
- Open Access centrally managed fund
Fees and funding
Fees for 2018/19 entry
Full time: £4,260 / Part time: £2,130
Full time: £16,200 Part time: £8,100
Full time: £4,195 Part time: £2,097
Full time: £15,750 Part time: £7,875
We offer a range of PhD studentships, partial scholarships, and academic prizes, to help with your research fees. Explore external funding, particularly the Research Councils, as well as other support.
Additional course related costs
Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase.