Talk to us

Get in touch

Key Programme Information

Entry Year


Programme length

3 year(s)


Social Sciences, Education and Social Work


We undertake a wide range of educational research. Staff research expertise can support projects in the areas of pedagogy, learning assessment and curriculum as well as human rights, equality and social cohesion. Underpinning all of our research is a commitment to achieving a real impact in the lives of educators and learners with a strong emphasis on ethical engagement.

Education staff play a major role in the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation, in particular the ‘What Works for Schools’ strand. This is a pioneering interdisciplinary research centre comprising over 90 academic and research staff. We are also home to three other globally recognised research centres:

  • Centre for Behaviour Analysis
  • Centre for Children's Rights
  • Centre for Shared Education

Research Strengths

The School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work provides a rich and vibrant context for educational research. The core discipline of Education at Queen’s is one of the leading areas for educational research in the UK and Ireland and our education research has been ranked 4th within the UK in relation to research intensity with 87 per cent of the research undertaken within this subject assessed as 'internationally excellent' or 'world leading' (REF, 2014).

Our research comprises a variety of methodologies, among which are randomised control trials; ethnographic, children’s rights-based, multidisciplinary, projective and constructivist methodologies, and large-scale attitudinal surveys. Innovations in methodology, as well as developing innovative practice, are key drivers of our research activity. The wider influence of research is also evident in the extensive involvement of staff and students in key national and international research networks and our ability to attract major international conferences to Queen’s.

Entry Requirements

The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider,or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. A 2.2 may also be considered Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.

International Qualifications

For information on international qualification equivalents please select your country from the list on our International Students website.

English Language Requirements

International students (where English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

Please click the links below for more information:

English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

How To Apply

Applicants for Postgraduate programmes are strongly advised to carefully read the important information and follow the steps set out here before submitting their application via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal.

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

Lara Sittlington
School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work
Tel: 028 9097 5961

How To Apply

Career Prospects

Many of our Phd graduates have moved into academic and research roles in Higher Education while others go on to play leading roles in educational practice, the public sector or within NGO’s. Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Find out more

Special Features

Our Doctoral Research Centre has a lively community of over 200 full-time and part-time research students. The Centre co-ordinates training and support for our research students and organises a series of research seminars, conferences, and workshops for Doctoral students throughout the year.

The research student body is active and dynamic and a particular highlight of the Doctoral student year is the annual Doctoral Conference which is jointly organised with Doctoral students in University College Dublin. Research students are encouraged to play a full and active role in relation to the wide range of research activities undertaken within the School and there are many resources available including:

  • a wide range of specialist research methods modules which are available as part of the EdD programme, are also open to PhD students
  • access to the Queen's University Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme
  • office accommodation with access to computing facilities and support to attend conferences for full-time PhD students


The School also offers two Professional Doctorates, which are partly taught and partly research-based Doctorates in Education. These have proved to be both successful and convenient for senior professionals in education and related fields. There are two pathways, EdD and EdD (TESOL), [1] both of which may be taken on a part-time or full-time basis. The normal period of study will be not less than three years full-time or not less than four years part-time.

Fees & Funding

There is a range of funding and scholarship options available to those considering study at Queen's.

Find out more

For tuition fee information see //

PhD Funded Studentships
We offer fully funded studentships to outstanding postgraduate researchers across our three faculties and five Doctoral Training Centres. Find PhD funding opportunities.

A range of competitive scholarships are available including those from the Department for Economy (Home/EU), and awards from the China Scholarship Council. For a full range of studentship opportunities for 2017, please see the University’s Graduate School website and the Scholarships section of the School website.

Talk to us

Get in touch

Applications open

Apply Now

Scholarships and funding

Help fund your study

Studying at Queen's

University Life


School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work
69/71 University Street
Queen's University Belfast
Belfast BT7 1HL

Visit Website

Get Directions

Rusell Group Roadshow, Queen's University Belfast event graphic

Russell Group Universities

Postgraduate Roadshow

When: Monday 6 November, 11.30am - 3.00pm
Where: Sir William Whitla Hall, Queen’s University Belfast

Find your perfect Masters or PhD at one of the UK’s top Universities.

Register now

grad school interior 2H

Postgraduate Experience

The Graduate School

Our dedicated hub for postgraduate students, providing state-of-the-art facilities for study, and high-quality training and development programmes within a diverse interdisciplinary community.

The gateway to your postgraduate experience

Discover more



Leading Cyber Security Expert Delivers Annual Queen’s and KPMG Lecture

23/10/2017 - Queen’s Management School and the Chief Executives’ Club at Queen’s University Belfast recently hosted leading Cyber Security expert, Mr Ciaran Martin, Chief Executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).