Higher Education PhD

Why choose this course?

Our PhD in Higher Education will produce the next generation of researchers, ready to address the complex problems in higher education and help shape higher education policy and practice at local, national and international levels. 

The Department of Higher Education has a growing reputation in the field of academic development and practice. We are one of the largest departments in the UK dedicated to research solely in higher education, and since 2013 we have attracted research grants from a variety of funders including Leverhulme, British Academy, HEFCE, SRHE and SEDA. 

At Surrey, you will benefit from our vibrant research culture and specialist expertise in the areas of academic identity and development (including academic mobility and migrants), assessment and feedback, and learning and teaching in context (including the use of concept mapping and pedagogic frailty). 

You’ll be supervised by leading academics who are at the forefront of their fields and have research strengths in diverse disciplinary subject areas, which will provide you with exposure to a range of different higher education areas.

What you will study

The Higher Education PhD will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to shape professional practice and policy that will enable you to pursue highly fulfilling careers in academic, research and learning development positions in the higher education sector. Future careers also exist as researchers for government think-tanks, as well as policy research advisers on matters regarding higher education. 

As a PhD student at Surrey, you will receive individual supervision from a team in your specialist area, as well as tailored research training in a variety of research methods. In addition to regular supervisory sessions, you will be invited to engage in regular departmental activities within the Department of Higher Education which will provide you with a breadth of tangible experience and real-world insight into a higher education institution. 

The Doctoral College run a series of compulsory workshops, including 'Welcome to your Doctorate'. In addition, you will be required to complete some research methods training. The research training modules are a combination of online/blended modules and face-to-face modules. When not collecting data and attending training sessions, you will be encouraged to work at your desk in the Department.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
PhD Full-time 48 months October
PhD Full-time 48 months January
PhD Full-time 48 months April
PhD Full-time 48 months July
PhD Part-time 96 months October
PhD Part-time 96 months January
PhD Part-time 96 months April
PhD Part-time 96 months July
Stag Hill

Additional costs

There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey. Find out more.

Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees.

The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

Research themes

  • Academic development and identity
    • Pedagogic frailty
    • Academic mobility
    • Migrant academics
    • Higher education practices, e.g. peer observations
  • Assessment and feedback
    • External examiners practice
    • Student engagement and feedback
  • Learning and teaching in context
    • Research tools and methods for learning and teaching (technology-enhanced learning, concept mapping, and work-based learning)
    • Student and staff motivations
    • Professional values
    • Student transitions, e.g. into higher education and into work

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a good honours degree in an appropriate discipline.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 7.0 or above (or equivalent) with 6.5 in each individual category.

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Selection process

Selection is based on applicants meeting the expected entry requirements, assessment of application, successful interview and suitable references where required.

Fees

Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time October To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full-time January £4,195 £16,000
Full-time April £4,195 £16,000
Full-time July £4,195 £16,000
Part-time October To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part-time January £2,100 £8,000
Part-time April £2,100 £8,000
Part-time July £2,100 £8,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/18 only. All fees are subject to annual review.

Overseas students applying for 2018 entry should note that annual fees will rise by 4% rounded up to the nearest £100.

A complete list of all fees for our research programmes

Funding and studentships

Doctoral College Studentship Award

Supervisor(s) To be confirmed
Funding Doctoral College, University of Surrey
Application deadline 13 November 2017
Opportunities across all subjects

Contact us

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

admissions@surrey.ac.uk

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