Institution / Queens University Belfast



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

Entry requirements

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.

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


3 years

Careers or further progression

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.

Further enquiries

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


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

Professional Doctorates

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.

Application date

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.

Research areas

Research Strengths

The School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work provides a rich and vibrant context for educational research.gThe core discipline of Education at Queen’s is one of the leading areas for educational research in the UK and Ireland and our educationa’ research has been ranked 4th within the UK in relation to research intensity with 87 per cent of the research undertaken within this subjectl 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.

Enrolment and start dates

Entry year: 2018

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