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online phd

#Online MPhil

Online MPhil/PhD

A PhD thesis must form a distinct contribution to the knowledge of the field of study and afford evidence of originality and a capacity for autonomous research. It must be suitable for publication, if necessary, in an abridged or modified form. An MPhil thesis consists of either a record of original investigation or of an ordered exposition of a field. This programme offers the opportunity to undertake your PhD or MPhil entirely online.


We offer support for MPhil and PhD students at four levels:

  • Through your supervisor
  • In your department
  • In the UCL Institute of Education (IOE)-wide research training programme
  • Between yourself and your fellow students.

As an MPhil or PhD student at the Institute, you will follow a programme of study under the guidance of an appointed supervisor(s) and an advisory panel. At the start of your programme you will draw up a plan for your research in consultation with your supervisor(s) for completion of your thesis within the period of registration for the degree. This will include your research methods training programme. Your work plan and training programme will be reviewed annually in the light of your research needs and progress. Details of your training programme will also form a part of your training portfolio. The portfolio is a record of all the training you undertake and the skills you acquire; it may be usefully presented to others, for example a sponsoring body or employer, to demonstrate the areas of research training that you have undertaken.

The Doctoral School research training programme consists of core and specialist courses. The core courses provide a broad coverage of the central skills and ethical and methodological issues of educational research. These core courses have been designed specifically for online delivery The early stage core courses are: Approaches to Educational Research, Research and the Theoretical Field Research Methods. The later stage core courses are: Qualitative Data Analysis, Quantitative Data Analysis Writing and Presenting Educational Research. The specialist and advanced courses provide greater depth in specialised skills, building on the knowledge gained from the core courses. The courses, workshops and seminars provide the opportunity for you to become part of the Institute s larger research community as part of your online study. You will be able to meet online and discuss your work with students and staff from other academic departments and learn more about the personal and funded research taking place at the Institute.

Who is this programme for?

The PhD is intended to enable you to produce your own thesis and to develop a range of research and other more generic skills. The Online PhD is suitable for those who do not wish or who are unable to attend the IOE for the research training courses or supervision, and students may be based in the United Kingdom or overseas. PhD students come from all walks of life, and include recent graduates, teachers, lecturers, educational psychologists, sociologists, medical and health professionals, social work professionals, and educational professionals working in different branches and levels of government. Some are just starting their careers; many are senior members of their profession. Our students are undertaking research in a wide range of subjects within the field of education and related fields.


All students must normally register in the first instance for an MPhil and may subsequently seek transfer of registration to the PhD. This should normally take place at the end of the first year for full-time students or during the second year for part-time students. You will follow a programme of study under the guidance of an appointed supervisor(s) and an advisory panel.

Length of study

If your application arrives with the Doctoral School after these dates your application will be considered for the next start date.

How are you assessed?

Both the MPhil and PhD are assessed by thesis supplemented by an oral examination. The maximum length of a PhD thesis is 80,000 words and of an MPhil thesis 60,000 words.

Entry requirements

The normal minimum requirement is an upper second-class honours degree from a recognised university, or a professional graduate qualification accepted by the Institute as equivalent. In addition, you should normally have at least two years full-time (or the part-time equivalent) relevant experience. The majority of our successful applicants also hold a postgraduate Master s degree with good grades.

Next steps

Further information about applying is available here. Please do tell any potential supervisor that you contact that you are interested in studying online.

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