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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education SchoolPostgraduate study

Research Degrees

Doctoral study is for motivated individuals who wish to pursue an interest within the broad fields of education that align with the interests and expertise of our research centres.

Visit Education research page to find out more

Please note that we are unable to support proposals outside these areas. If you would like to discuss your ideas in more detail, and find a potential supervisor who is interested in your research topic and can support your application, you can visit sesdoctorate.co.uk. Alternatively, you can also contact Dr Christian Bokhove (Admissions Selector and Deputy Doctoral Programmes Director) or Dr Michaela Brockmann (Doctoral Programmes Director).

We offer two routes to a research degree in Education. Both our PhD and Integrated PhD programmes lead to the same award. Any route to a PhD requires you to undertake research of appropriate scale and scope that will make an original contribution to our knowledge of Education.

Direct entry to the PhD is possible if you have a substantial and detailed proposal for an original piece of research in the field of Education. You should also be able to demonstrate that you possess a number of foundational research skills through previous research experience. This may be through a substantial research project undertaken as part of a Master’s degree, and should be supported by detailed academic references. In your application we are looking for you to show how your existing skills and detailed research proposal indicate that you are research ready, so that you are able to embark on your proposed study from the start of the course, with support from your supervisory team and additional skills development identified through a training needs analysis.

The Integrated PhD is especially suitable if you feel that both your foundational research skills and your research proposal would benefit from being developed and strengthened before embarking on your proposed PhD research project. To this end the Integrated PhD provides a period of focused and systematic research training at the start of the course. In your application we are looking for you to demonstrate how you are research capable. You can do this through submitting a clear proposal for a suitable research project, and indicating how previous study and experience enable you to build on the training offered during the initial phase of the Integrated PhD so that you can undertake your research project with support from a supervisory team and opportunities for more advanced skills development identified through a training needs analysis. It’s not essential to have a Master’s degree in order to apply for a place on our Integrated PhD but applicants who have a Master’s degree in Education, or especially in another discipline, may feel the initial training phase can help to provide a secure foundation for their research.

You can find detailed information on the relevant programme pages. Your choice of programme depends on your qualifications and research experience. In order to help you make the right decision concerning which programme is right for you, please download our guide to academic qualification entry requirements.

Guide to academic qualification entry requirements

After 15 years of working in the education sector, I started my PhD at the University of Southampton. While doing research on computational thinking, I am interested in anything related to human thinking. Southampton Education School is the place that helped me to grow both personally and professionally.

I have really valued the welcoming attitude of the Education School. I am part of the Centre for Research in Inclusion (CRI) and as PhD students we get the opportunity to access groundbreaking research in inclusion from CRI researchers as well as having the opportunity to present on our own research. Such collegiality is very special and helps us to grow our own research through discussion with others who are leaders in the field (the tea and cake was also a bonus).

I was motivated to pursue a PhD after my Masters' Degree in Education Management and Leadership at the University of Southampton because of the very supportive community of both academic and non-academic staff in the department. Being in the Education School has been an interesting and rewarding journey for me as I have made remarkable improvements in my PhD journey. I have developed the necessary academic skills that help me in writing my thesis. I have been able to achieve that through the wonderful support I receive from the Education school community and from the rich seminars and workshops available.

I am in the first cohort to undertake the iPhD programme in the School of Education and feel I have really benefitted from this approach. By the end of the first year, which involved a range of taught modules, I had a clear idea of my study topic and have been able to incorporate some of this work into my final thesis. I have felt very supported by my supervisors throughout the process, but particularly in the light of the challenges which continue to arise from the impact of Covid-19.

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