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.
Our PhD in Education is available for full time and part time study.
Applications are welcomed from well qualified candidates interested in developing high level research skills and applying them to theoretical and practical educational issues, including. 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.
All PhD students are assigned a personal supervisory team comprising of a Principal Supervisor, a Second Supervisor and Research Development Adviser. Students undergo annual reviews which determine whether or not they are permitted to progress to the following year.
- Full time students are expected to complete their studies within 3 years
- Part time students are expected to complete their studies within 6 years
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.
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
Fees for 2016/17 entry
Fees per year for 2016/17: Full time: £4,121, Part time: £2,060
Fees per year for 2016/17: Full time: £15,400, Part time: £7,770
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Criteria 2016/17
The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree and additionally, for a PhD, a Master’s degree or equivalent.
All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study. This applies even if English is the native language of your home country. An appropriate level of English language competence is also expected as listed below. Find out which alternative English language qualifications we accept. Applicants may also be required to attend compulsory in-sessional English language support.
The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis.
IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any section)
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)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.
Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.