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We offer research awards for either full or part-time study.

The Faculty of Education currently offers the following PhD and EdD research awards either by full or part-time study.

Students registered on these courses conduct an educational or social research project. This is reported in a thesis which forms the basis of the assessment for the award. For the PhD, the thesis is expected to be approximately 80,000 words. The Doctor of Education comprises both taught modules and a thesis of 40-60,000 words.

Students are supported by a small team of supervisors (usually two tutors - a Director of Studies, who is largely responsible for their supervision, and a supervisor who offers additional expertise and support). In addition, students are required to participate in introductory sessions on research methods and issues. There is also a programme of formal research seminars with invited guest speakers, and informal discussion groups where researchers and other students within the institution talk about their projects over coffee and sandwiches.

The Faculty of Education has a dedicated Research Centre that accommodates the research staff and acts as a base for full and part-time students. There is also a Research Degrees Co-ordinator for the whole of the Research Degrees Programme who is available to all students to provide guidance and/or advice. Students also have access to the excellent facilities of the MMU library and IT resources.

Course Full Time  Part Time
PhD 36 months 72 months
EdD n/a 72 months

Under exceptional circumstances students may make an application for a reduction or extension to these time periods.

Funding is available from ESRC via our membership of the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (WRDTP). For details see:





The PhD is an independent course of studies undertaken by research and scholarship under guidance from a supervisory team.

The final thesis is expected to be approximately 80,000 words. The period of study for the PhD fulltime is 36 months, and for part-time is 72 months.

Full-Time Studentships

We are sometimes able to offer full-time studentships for home and EU applicants onlyFurther information can be found on the Graduate School web site.


Potential applicants would be expected to have a good first degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent experience and hold a Master's degree in a relevant area. In addition we expect students for whom English is not their first language to demonstrate a IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent. A conditional offer can be made where applicants fulfil this condition before starting.

Places on our PhD programme will be awarded based on the quality of the application, availability of an appropriate supervisory team, and successful interview.

Further details on the application process can be found here. Informal enquiries can be sent to

The Proposal

The proposal for study should be approximately 2,500 words, and should be sent with the application form. Proposals significantly longer than this may not be considered. There is no specific format for the proposal but it will typically address the following:

  • The Focus for the Study - here you may describe the broad issues and themes that interest you as the focus for the research.
  • The Reason for the Study - why is the study significant, for whom is it important, what is the key motivation for undertaking the study?
  • The Aim(s) of the Study - what is it that you hope to achieve?
  • Research Question(s) - these questions will most likely change and be refined over time, however, it is useful to present here some indicative questions that you consider to be important to explore and that will help shape and define the development of the research design.
  • Indicative Methodology and Methods - we understand that your approach may well change over time, however, as a starting point, what methodologies do you think will be most appropriate for you in achieving your aims and exploring your research questions? Will it be broadly quantitative or qualitative? Take note, that the work of the Research Centre is predominantly qualitative in orientation. When quantitative approaches are used, they are part of a mixed methods approach employing qualitative methods as well. You will get a good idea of the range of methodologies employed by staff through a careful reading of the work of the research centres and individual staff profiles.
  • Indicative Literature to be Reviewed - the literature will emerge as the research progresses, however, what have you read already that leads you to consider that the focus, aims and research questions are significant and worthy of in-depth research? What further kinds of literature will you need to explore and which authors seem to be key to understanding the issues?
  • Indicative Fieldwork Site(s) - what kind of data will you collect and where are you likely to carry out the fieldwork? Do you have easy access to the kinds of organization, communities and so on that are necessary for the collection of data?
  • Ethics - what principles and procedures will you adopt that will govern the collection of data? You can find Manchester Metropolitan’s ethical guidelines here.
  • Timetable - what are the broad phases of the research and how much time do you think each phase will require? Such phases typically include: reviewing the literature, negotiating access to fieldsites, fieldwork, analysis, writing up.

Finally – In developing the proposal applicants are strongly advised to read about the research interests of staff and the research centres. We will not be able to find a supervisory team for a proposal that does not fit with these interests.


Doctor of Education (EdD) Programme

The Part-time Doctorate in Education, focusing on professionalism, is relevant to a variety of careers in a broad range of educational contexts.

Its rationale is centred on the notion of ‘intervention’: we seek to reprofessionalise educational discourse and action as research-based practice. This programme is one of the most significant means by which we at the Faculty of Education continue to build on our strong reputation in the fields of teacher research, school improvement, and multiprofessional involvements in the broad processes of education within society. Current students include teachers, lecturers, architects, healthcare professionals and managers. The 11th cohort of students will be recruited in September 2018.

Programme Information


This is a programme that combines a taught component at weekends for the first two years with a sustained and structured research project leading to a substantial thesis on a particular theme. The Course aims to offer a stimulating and challenging programme of research training leading to a sustained enquiry into the student's own professional situation. With its central focus on professionality it provides an excellent vehicle through which professionals involved with education can address their own career development.

The programme provides structured research support through study weekends, day workshops, seminars, lectures and individual and group supervision. It offers the possibility of sharing and developing research concerns with other professionals over a number of years both face-to-face and through web-based communication tools. The course has its own dedicated web area with access for students and tutors only for the provision of on-line resources and the facilitation of a virtual community.

Programme Structure

Part 1: Five Units

a) Two single units of "professional" studies.

The main purpose of these units is to enable students to enhance their knowledge and awareness of debates around the concept of professionalism and how these bear on their own, and others' professional areas. There will also be exploration of the notion of, and possibility for, practical intervention and the forms intervention might take concerning personal, professional and systemic change.

b) One double unit on "research methodology and methods."

The overall purpose of this unit is to develop a wide-ranging, critical understanding of qualitative and quantitative research in relation to a range of philosophies, procedures and practices of research.

c) One unit leading to a draft article for publication.

Part 2: A research thesis on an agreed theme

There are five possible named outcome awards:

  • Doctor of Education
  • Doctor of Education: Early Years
  • Doctor of Education: Health Care Studies
  • Doctor of Education: Inclusive Education
  • Doctor of Education: Leading and Managing Learning Institutions

You will enrol on the Doctor of Education programme. You may elect to focus upon one of the above named outcomes within your thesis or to pursue a more general area of study.

Staff Support and Supervision

Each student will be allocated a personal tutor and a second tutor who would ordinarily follow the student through all stages of the programme and offer general support. All such tutors will be members of the EdD teaching team. Additionally, students will have access to other members of the teaching team, and Course Leader, who will be able to offer support in areas relating to their own specific area of expertise when appropriate.

Programme Regulations

The EdD programme is six years part time. Candidates would normally already hold a masters degree in a related area. There are approximately 20 compulsory study days in the first two years. The first six weeks includes two study weekends. All applicants will be interviewed prior to acceptance on the programme. Details of course regulations are provided to accepted students in the course handbook.


Phase A
Five unit assignments of 5,000 words associated with taught units, along with a number of non-assessed activities including presentations and peer assessment. In addition a Research Proposal is also required which enables entry into Phase B.

Phase B 
A research thesis of 40,000-60,000 words on an approved topic.

Who to Contact

Course Leader: Dr Chris Hanley

For an application form you can contact:

Postgraduate Recruitment and Admissions
Manchester Metropolitan University
New Business School and Student Hub
All Saints Campus
Oxford Road 
M15 6BH

Tel: (0161) 247 2966


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The quickest and most efficient way to apply for our courses is online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

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