You’ll be part of a dynamic doctoral research environment and will study alongside students from over 25 different countries; we supervise students undertaking research in key educational areas including: education in divided societies; effective education; children’s rights in education; educational assessment and inclusion. As part of a lively community of over 200 full-time and part-time research students you’ll have the opportunity to develop your research potential in a vibrant research community that prioritises the crossfertilisation of ideas and innovation in the advancement of knowledge.

Education Master's highlights

A wide range of specialist research methods modules which are available as part of the taught doctoral programme (EdD), are also open to PhD students



Programme Details

Research information

Associated Research
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.

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.

Employment after the Course
For further information on career development opportunities at PhD level please contact the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Career Development Team on ahssdevoffice@qub.ac.uk / +44 28 9097 5175

Development Officers Cathy Wilson and Aileen Carson will be happy to provide further information on your research area career prospects.

People teaching you

Dr Caitlin Donnelly
Doctoral Programme Director
Email: caitlin.donnelly@qub.ac.uk


Full time PhD students will have access to a shared office space and access to a desk with personal computer and internet access.

Entry Requirements

Entrance 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. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work.


For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

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).

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

  • Academic English: 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.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees


More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.

How do I fund my study?

PhD Funded Opportunities

Find PhD funding opportunities and studentships by subject area.
Find out more >

Doctoral Training Centres at Queen's

Queen's has seven outstanding competitive Doctoral Training Centres, with each one providing funding for a number of PhD positions and more importantly a hub for carrying out world class research in key disciplines.
Find out more >

New UK PhD loans

The UK Government will introduce new doctoral loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes from 2018. Loans will be offered to English-resident students to study all types of doctorate at universities across the UK.
Find out more >

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

* information shown is for 2017-18 and should be used as a guide until 2018-19 scholarships are confirmed.

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Speak to your supervisor

If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions. If you have your own research idea, contact the relevant School www.qub.ac.uk/about/Leadership-and-structure/Faculties-and-Schools to discuss it with us. If you are unsure of who to contact, email our Faculty Hubs www.qub.ac.uk/about/Leadership-and-structure/Faculties-and-Schools for guidance. You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.

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Course location

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

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