Research Degrees in


in the Faculty of Education


Do you want to advance or change your career, deepen your expertise in a topic, or expand your research and practical skills?

With a PhD or other postgraduate research degree in Education you will:

  • Work alongside leading experts in the field. We are one of the UK’s foremost centres for applied education research and evaluation. In the most recent national evaluation of research, 67% of our research was rated as world leading or internationally excellent (REF2014). We are ranked in the top 20 in the UK for our Education research impact (Times Higher Education).
  • Choose from our flexible study pathways. We offer full- and part-time PhD programmes. We also offer the Doctor of Education professional doctorate.
  • Join a thriving intellectual community. Our longstanding Education and Social Research Institute provides pioneering research in the field of education, and promotes vital cross-disciplinary dialogue to critically analyse education methodologies, practices and policies.
  • Work with practitioners, community partners and social researchers. We have long-established links with a range of external partners to provide networking opportunities and contribute real-world expertise to our research.
  • Benefit from state-of-the-art facilities. Our impressive, purpose-built Brooks building has outstanding specialist facilities for education researchers.
  • Undertake tailored personal and professional development training. Our Education and Social Research Institute provides first-class research training and support for researchers. Manchester Met also offers a range of professional development opportunities to equip you with core transferable skills.

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Areas of supervisory expertise

We can supervise a wide range of Education-related projects. Our areas of specialism include:

  • STEM education
  • Education management and leadership
  • Learning and play
  • Childhood and youth studies
  • Higher education
  • Arts-based methods
  • Curriculum, including core fields such as Maths, Science, and Language acquisition and use
  • Special needs and inclusion; citizenship; and teacher education.

Find out more about our staff's expertise

Research culture

Postgraduate researchers play a key role in the intellectual life of Manchester Met. You will be a member of the Education and Social Research Institute (ESRI) – one of the country’s leading centres of theoretical and applied research in education. The Institute analyses education practices and policies from a range of methodological and disciplinary perspectives. ESRI has an impressive track record of securing research grants and we have an extensive portfolio of publications. You will be working alongside a professorial team of international distinction.

More about our research culture

Our research is highly interdisciplinary, and we work with colleagues in the humanities and sciences. Our Arts Based Methods programme is a series of free events exploring arts in education. The Biosocial Research Laboratory works across the boundaries of science, art and the social to promote critical and creative approaches to the study of learning and behaviour. Postgraduate researchers are encouraged to play an active part in the Lab’s seminars and reading groups.

Education research at Manchester Met is enhanced by outstanding specialist facilities in our purpose-built Brooks building. These include a drama studio and performance space; music technology suite; art studios and exhibition gallery; design and technology workshops; science laboratories; and a student resource centre.

Courses offered, duration, and start dates

Programmes offered

  • PhD (3 years full time, 6 years part time)
  • PhD by Published Work or Professional Practice (course duration varies by route taken and candidate's background)
  • Doctor of Education (EdDoc) (6 years part time).

Find out more about the different research degrees we offer

Start dates

The majority of our PhD students start their studies in October. Only under very exceptional circumstances do we allow students to enrol at other times of the year.

The EdDoc has enrolment points every other year. The next planned intake is October 2020.

Career prospects

Our doctoral programme provides rigorous theoretical and practical training to equip graduates to go onto a range of careers within academia, education management, social policy and social care, youth justice, policy, and a range of other sectors.

Our EdDoc programme is aimed at educators in a range of professions, for example, teachers, head teachers, health care professionals, police trainers, university and college lecturers, and education advisors.

Course structure

As a PhD student you will design, undertake, and write-up an in-depth independent research study, supported by your supervisory team.

Each year, you will follow a programme of training and development to enhance your research methods, subject-matter expertise and professional skills.

Doctor of Education (EdDoc). The EdDoc has two parts: a 2-year taught phase (Phase A) and a 4-year independent research phase (Phase B). The taught phase takes place over a number of weekends and provides a theoretical grounding in educational evaluation and research, management theory, philosophy and social theory, and policy sociology.

Fees and funding

Find out more

Postgraduate Research Fees 

Please refer to our Fees page for more information on tuition fees.

Loans for research degrees

Many of our PhD and Professional Doctorate programmes are eligible for the government's Doctoral Loan Scheme. MPhil and MA/MSc by Research degrees are eligible for a Postgraduate Loan.

Find out more about tuition fees and financial support


Each year we offer a number of competitive scholarships to support high quality research projects. Current scholarship opportunities in Education are advertised on our site.

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White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership

We are a member of the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership which allows us to offer fully funded scholarships in the fields of Education, Childhood and Youth. Contact us for further information.

Entry requirements

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Potential applicants are 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. In exceptional cases we may consider applications from candidates with lower scores who, if accepted, would be expected to undertake further English language study before commencement.

We welcome interest from applicants from non-standard backgrounds. We will take subject knowledge, professional experience, publications, or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment into consideration.

Places on our PhD programme will be awarded based on the quality of the application, availability of an appropriate supervisory team, and successful interview. In developing the proposal, applicants are strongly advised to read about the research interests of staff and the research groups in the Faculty of Education. We will not be able to find a supervisory team for a proposal that does not fit with these interests.

See more about our standard entry requirements.


Before applying for a research degree, you should have a preliminary discussion with a member of staff about your project and ideas. To arrange this, please email:

For further information on the application process, contact the Admissions team, +44 (0)161 247 2966

How to apply

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The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online using the link below. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Before you apply, you should discuss your project with a member of academic staff. You should also complete the Postgraduate Research Degree Supplementary Information form which you will then upload to the ‘Student documents’ section of the application form. This collects key information about your research application and there may be delays if you do not submit this document.

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Postgraduate Study