Postgraduate research


Teaching in a classroom

Help to shape the future of education through our research degrees at Southampton. Explore new ideas that can have an impact on practice as you develop your professional skills.


Join our community of researchers and challenge current national and international thinking in education. We welcome applications from those looking to further their interest in the fields of education, such as: mathematics, science and health education, leadership, inclusion and work-related learning.

Research paths

You can choose from 2 postgraduate research options:

  • PhD
  • Integrated PhD (iPhD)


On our PhD programme, we'll support you through expert joint supervision. You will typically work with 2 supervisors who are active research members of staff with expertise in your area of interest.

At the start of your PhD, your supervisor will discuss any training and support needs you may have to develop specific research skills, and, if appropriate, you will be able to attend relevant modules of our research training programme.

After agreeing on an appropriate development plan, you will meet regularly with your supervisors for academic support and supervision. You will also be able to participate in the research seminars and specialist workshops run at a school or faculty level.

Integrated PhD (iPhD)

We recommend the iPhD to students who:

  • do not have a master’s degree that included a significant research element
  • need to strengthen their foundational research skills and research proposal before carrying out a research project leading to a PhD thesis

This is an intensive programme with 2 phases:

Skills development

During the first 12-18 months (full time) or 24-30 months (part time), you'll take part in a substantial programme of seminars, workshops and lectures. You must attend the University for taught sessions, usually for half a day per week.

We will develop your foundational research skills and subject-specific knowledge of education, alongside a wide range of transferrable skills. You will further develop and strengthen your initial research proposal, and also write and present a research report related to a key aspect of your proposed research project. Much of the work that you undertake for assessment during this first phase can be turned into material for drafting parts of your PhD thesis.

PhD thesis

In the second phase, you will complete a research project leading to the production of a PhD thesis. We will expect you to have passed a range of research and education modules before progressing onto the thesis.

We'll assess you through:

  • written assignments
  • presentation
  • annual reports
  • confirmation of candidature through submission of an interim thesis
  • final thesis
  • viva voce

You must complete your annual progress reports and interim thesis, examined by viva, for confirmation of your PhD candidature in order to arrive at the final thesis stage of your PhD.

Main areas of research

Research at the School of Education is structured in 3 research centres or groups, providing all research-active members of the school, whether internationally renowned professors or first-year PhD students, with a creative environment for discussion.

Our centres support members (including PhD students nearing completion) in the publication process and carry out commissioned and funded research for a wide variety of organisations.

We have research centres for:

  • research in inclusion
  • leadership, effective education and policy
  • mathematics, science and health education


Our research seminar series offers a forum for the presentation of current research being undertaken both by our department and externally, to develop our own research, and to share ideas.

We adopt a deliberately inclusive approach, offering insight into local, national and international research projects in all phases of education.

Similar research degree topics


Doctoral Programme Director

For questions about Southampton Education School doctoral programmes, please contact Dr Charis Voutsina.


iPhD Director and PGR Admissions Selector

For questions about PGR admissions and the iPhD programme, please contact Dr Andri Christodoulou.