Research course


The University of Manchester · School of Education

Entry requirements

  • First or upper second class honours Bachelor degree (or international equivalent) and
  • A relevant postgraduate qualification, generally a Master degree, with Merit and a minimum average grade of 60% in the taught modules and a minimum grade of 60% in the dissertation (or international equivalent)

Months of entry

January, September, April

Course content

At the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE) we have a commitment to addressing social justice, and to enabling evidence informed educational change through both our scholarly activities and our collaborative partnerships with professionals. Similarly, we are concerned with theoretical and applied research aiming to support vulnerable learners in educational and other contexts. Our work builds upon a long-standing reputation for excellence in educational research and teaching with a tradition stretching back to 1890, when education was first established as a focus for study within The University of Manchester. We offer a lively international student community. We are one of the largest graduate educational research communities in the UK; with a rich diversity of opportunity for our postgraduate research students.

The MIE approach to research is distinctive, through a focus on equity and practice, we make a significant contribution to the University's goal of social responsibility. Our aim is to ensure that our educational and allied research is at the cutting edge of theory and practice, and that it contributes to improvements in the overall wellbeing of students, their families and communities throughout the world. Productive partnerships with policy-makers and practitioners have also been developed in order to interplay ideas, evidence and strategy. Manchester Institute of Education research themes include:

  • Disadvantage and poverty (DP)
  • Critical education policy and leadership (CEPaL)
  • Critical pedagogies and Maths education (CPME)
  • Special educational and additional needs (SEAN), which comprises 3 areas: applied prevention in education, educational and counselling psychology and knowledge, power and identity

PhD applications are welcomed in the above areas. Details about MIE PhD programme studies are available here . Please explore the website further to find out more about our ongoing research and academics.

MIE Research themes and projects:

As a PhD student you will join a vibrant and dynamic group of people with diverse backgrounds, interests and world views, and gain the opportunity to work with leading experts who have a broad range of experience and knowledge in the respective fields. There will be many opportunities for you to become involved in ongoing research projects. We know the importance of transition and community; all our incoming PhD students are assigned a buddy, a senior student who offers advice and support to help connect you quickly into the community. The Postgraduate Research Support Network is run by students for students and provides regular opportunities for debate. Similarly, Research Matters is a lively seminar series for all staff and research students in MIE. Our research students are vital to our research community and are welcomed as such.

Information for international students

Candidates whose first language is not English require one of the following certificates:

  • IELTS test minimum scores - 7 overall, 7 writing, 6 other sections
  • TOEFL (internet based) test minimum scores - 100 overall, 25 writing, 22 other sections
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) minimum scores - 66 overall, 66 writing, 59 other sections
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) overall score of 185 or above, with writing 185 and no other sub-section below 169 -OR- Grade C if taken before 2015
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) overall score of 185 or above, with writing 185 and no other sub-section below 169 -OR- Grade B if taken before 2015

(Please note that the Cambridge First Certificate in English is not acceptable)

Please find full details, including country specific information, here.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

In order to gain scholarship funds for PhD studies, you must have an unconditional offer of a place to study with MIE for a PhD.

Applications for places should therefore be made well in advance of the proposed year of entry so that scholarship applications can be submitted by funder deadlines.

Sources of funding include:

UK Research Councils:

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP)

  • Annual Competition: Includes 1+3 ( 1 year Masters + 3 years PhD studies) and +3 (3 year PhD) studentships. Residency criteria apply. The deadline for submission of applications for offer holders is 5 February 2018. Students in their first year of studies may apply for a +2 scholarship with the support of their supervisor, which covers the second and third year of their studies.
  • CASE studentships (are developed through collaborative working between the University and a non-Higher Education Institution. Doctoral students are then recruited to engaged in research addressing an issue relevant to the HEI): Any vacancies of this type are normally advertised in January / February on our website and at

In addition, funding is sometimes possible from one of the following:

Internal awards are advertised on our funding page from November.

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months

Course contact details

School of Environment, Education and Development
+44 (0)161 275 0807