Research course

Research Degrees in the Institute for Research in Education

University of Bedfordshire · School of Education

Entry requirements

Students require a Master's degree in Education or relevant social science subject. Background knowledge in Education as a discipline and a good understanding of research methods is necessary. Students for whom English is not their first language need to demonstrate their ability to undertake doctoral study in English. Applications will be assessed using UKBA and University of Bedfordshire policy.

Months of entry

October, March

Course content

About the Institute

The Institute for Research in Education (IREd) at the University of Bedfordshire aims to build a vibrant environment that supports high quality research; facilitates the development of distinctive programmes of scholarly activity that have a high impact on policy and practice in our specific areas of expertise; and to foster long-lasting relationships with partner organizations and individuals working in local, third sector, national (policy) and international contexts.

The research expertise of IRed's members - who are drawn primarily, though not exclusively, from the Schools of Education and English Language, Teacher Education, and the Centre for Learning Excellent - is truly interdisciplinary, combining psychological, sociological, historical and philosophical frameworks, as well as professional expertise beyond academia. We are particularly interested in educational research that engages with issues of social justice (broadly construed).

The focus of the Institute for Research in Education is Social Justice and Diversity in Education, which encompasses research covering all phases of education from early years through post compulsory and higher education to professional learning.

Our research is concerned to understand and address issues related to the following:

  • equitable experiences and outcomes for different groups including majority, minoritised and marginalised groups
  • individual/group empowerment, citizenship, democracy
  • widening participation
  • race, gender, class
  • student attainment
  • parental involvement
  • formal and informal educational settings
  • philosophy of education
  • school improvement
  • exploring tensions and overlaps in lived experiences
  • examining how structural and individual constraints diminish educational opportunities
  • how democracy of education can analyse marginalised experiences and offer alternative models of education.
  • how digital technology enhances educational participation/experiences and identifies opportunities and challenges to democracy

IREd staff research expertise includes psychological, sociological, historical and philosophical frameworks.

Central to our work is the interaction between theory and practice. IREd’s research is student and child centred and has links to policy and practice at local, national and international level.

In the REF2014, more than half of our research outputs were rated as internationally excellent (3*) or world-leading (4*)

Fees and funding

For information on funding available please see our website.

Qualification and course duration


full time
variable months
part time
variable months

Course contact details

Research Graduate School
0300 3300 073