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Education - Research

Overview

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.

Internationally Renowned Experts
•The School is home to leading international academic experts in specialist fields with a number of academics holding positions on government advisory councils, Chair positions on internationally recognised committees and memberships of several Research Centres across the University. One of our academics was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for their work in the field of Social Work.

Key Facts
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 taught doctoral programme (EdD), 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

Entry requirements

Graduate
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.

International Students
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).

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

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.

Application Process
Please review the eligibility criteria on the webpages. If you believe that you meet these criteria then follow the steps below:

Select ONE potential supervisor from our list of Academic Staff (http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ssesw/Connect/OurPeople/AcademicStaff/) and send an email containing:

a brief CV (1-2 pages maximum)
a concise statement that you are interested in studying for a PhD, stating when you would start, and how you would plan to fund the research
a brief statement of the research question or interest, and how you think the question could be investigated

Our academic staff welcome approaches from prospective students; staff can liaise with applicants to develop a research proposal of mutual interest. The potential supervisor should get back to you within a couple of weeks. They may invite you to meet with them or they may invite you to apply formally.

If you have difficulty identifying or contacting an appropriate supervisor, please contact Dr Caitlin Donnelly (email: caitlin.donnelly@qub.ac.uk) who will be happy to help.

For part-time study – the closing date for this option is 31st August each year.

For full-time study (self-funding) – for those full time candidates who do not wish to compete for a studentship or who are not eligible to compete for a studentship the closing date is 31st August each year.

For full-time study and application for a scholarship/award; please be aware that awards are only available to full time students. Candidates wishing to apply for scholarships available within the School must apply for full-time study at the same time. Available scholarships and closing dates are detailed on the School's Scholarships web page: http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ssesw/Study/Scholarships/

Duration

3 years

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects

Introduction
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.

Further enquiries

People teaching you
Dr Caitlin Donnelly 
Doctoral Programme Director
SSESW
Email: caitlin.donnelly@qub.ac.uk

Comment

Course structure

There is no specific course content as such. You are expected to take research training modules that are supported by the School which focus on quantitative and qualitative research methods. You are also expected to carry out your research under the guidance of your supervisor.

Over the course of study you can attend postgraduate skills training organised by the Graduate School.

You will normally register, in the first instance, as an 'undifferentiated PhD student' which means that you have satisfied staff that you are capable of undertaking a research degree. The decision as to whether you should undertake an MPhil or a PhD is delayed until you have completed 'differentiation'.

Differentiation takes place about 9-12 months after registration for full time students and about 18-30 months for part time students: You are normally asked to submit work to a panel of up two academics and this is followed up with a formal meeting with the 'Differentiation Panel'. The Panel then make a judgement about your capacity to continue with your study. Sometimes students are advised to revise their research objectives or to consider submitting their work for an MPhil qualification rather than a doctoral qualification.

To complete with a doctoral qualification you will be required to submit a thesis of approx 80,000 words and you will be required to attend a viva voce [oral examination] with an external and internal examiner to defend your thesis.

A PhD programme runs for 3-4 years full-time or 6-8 years part-time. Students can apply for a writing up year should it be required.

The PhD is open to both full and part time candidates and is often a useful preparation for a career within academia or consultancy.

Full time students are often attracted to research degree programmes because they offer an opportunity to pursue in some depth an area of academic interest.

The part time research degree is an exciting option for professionals already working in the education field who are seeking to extend their knowledge on an issue of professional interest. Often part time candidates choose to research an area that is related to their professional responsibilities.

If you meet the Entry Requirements, the next step is to check whether we can supervise research in your chosen area. We only take students to whom we can offer expert research supervision from one of our academic staff. Therefore, your research question needs to engage with the research interests of one of our staff.

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

Assessment method

Assessment processes for the Research Degree differ from taught degrees. Students will be expected to present drafts of their work at regular intervals to their supervisor who will provide written and oral feedback; a formal assessment process takes place annually.

This Annual Progress Review requires students to present their work in writing and orally to a panel of academics from within the School. Successful completion of this process will allow students to register for the next academic year.

The final assessment of the doctoral degree is both oral and written. Students will submit their thesis to an internal and external examining team who will review the written thesis before inviting the student to orally defend their work at a Viva Voce.

Application date

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.

Find a 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.

To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.

www.qub.ac.uk/Study/PostgraduateStudy/Postgraduate-research/find-phd-sup...

You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.

Postgraduate Research
There is no standard closing date. You should however check both the University's website and refer to the relevant School/Institute webpage for information on deadline dates for postgraduate funding applications, as these will also determine when your application for admission should be submitted.

For part-time study – the closing date for this option is 31st August each year.
For full-time study (self-funding) – for those full time candidates who do not wish to compete for a studentship or who are not eligible to compete for a studentship the closing date is 31st August each year.

Research areas

Research information
Associated Research
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.

Research Success
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).

PhD Opportunities
Our research is organised through a series of Centres and Networks in our core disciplinary research areas. Any project and funding opportunities can be found at the link below.

Research Impact
The Schools research funders and partners include the research councils, government departments, the EU and the Council of Europe. Our research is informing thinking and the development of policies locally and internationally.

Research Projects
Education is delivering a wide range of research projects including working with the CESI research centre at Queen's, supporting the dissemination of a Shared Education model with the Department for Education in Northern Ireland and internationally. Our researchers are also working towards improving literacy on an international level for primary school students with innovative methods and robust research.

Current PGR Student Profiles
PhD Title: School-based physical activity interventions and wellbeing in children
Years of Study: 2015 - Present

PhD Title: Education and Identity in Divided Societies: A Comparative Study
Years of study: 2014 - Present

PhD Title: Exploring Young People's Social Networks and their Impact on Behaviour
Years of Study: 2017 - Present

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year: 2019

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