Education - PhD

Attendance:
Full Time, Part Time, Distance Learning
Starting:
February 2019
Fees:
£4,260 per year for UK/EU Full Time 2019 entry (view all fees)

Our Centre for the Study of Practice and Culture in Education (CSPACE) is active in a wide range of research in education policy and practice, and engages in education research across all age phases, from Early Years, through Primary and Secondary Schools, to FE and Post-16, Higher Education and lifelong learning. Areas of interest in which staff are currently active include:

  • Assessment
  • Creativity
  • Childhood Studies
  • Early Years
  • Post-16 Provision
  • Education Policy
  • Music Education
  • Drama Education
  • Professional Learning and Development
  • Workplace Learning
  • Management in Education
  • Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

We welcome applications in these and other areas of expertise in education.

What's covered in the course?

  • Research students in Education will join a thriving research community and be part of one of the University’s Research Centres of Excellence.
  • We offer supervision for study either part-time or full-time towards a PhD degree.
  • If you are accepted for a PhD, there is a University-wide taught course in research methodologies, and you will be assigned to a director of studies, and at least one second supervisor will also be appointed.
  • You will have access to a dedicated research room
  • You’re encouraged to publish in collaboration with your supervisors and to take part in research conferences.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place in Autumn 2018. Register your interest and we'll let you know details as soon as they are available.

Register your interest

This course is open to International students

Teaching Excellence Excellence Framework

Birmingham City University has been awarded silver status for its quality of teaching in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

What is a PhD?

PhD degrees are research programmes. They allow you to learn as you work through the issues associated with solving a particular problem. Each research degree student is supported by a team of supervisors appointed for the particular study. In all years of study, students will be required to present their work in meetings of fellow students and staff conducting parallel research.

Current interests

Our Centre for the Study of Practice and Culture in Education (CSPACE) is active in a wide range of research in education policy and practice, and engages in education research across all age phases, from Early Years, through Primary and Secondary Schools, to FE and Post-16, Higher Education and lifelong learning. Areas of interest in which staff are currently active include:

  • Assessment
  • Creativity
  • Childhood Studies
  • Early Years
  • Post-16 Provision
  • Education Policy
  • Music Education
  • Drama Education
  • Professional Learning and Development
  • Workplace Learning
  • Management in Education
  • Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

We welcome applications in these and other areas of expertise in education.

Past research projects

Some of our past researchers have conducted projects in the below areas:

  • Technology in Early Years Learning
  • Teacher development and professional learning  in Secondary School
  • Transitions and transformation in Further Education
  • The observation of teaching in teacher development
  • Community and non-formal learning.
  • Assessment in music education
  • Composition in music education
  • Professional development in Higher Education
  • Non-traditional students in Higher Education

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PhD Feb 2019 FT 3-4 years £4,260 per year
PT 4-7 years £2,130 per year
DL 4-7 years £2,663 per year

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PhD Feb 2019 FT 3-4 years £12,000 per year
DL 4 - 7 years £7,500 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Entry Requirements

Before you submit an application, you will be invited to one or more informal discussions with the director of research and potential supervisors. Only if the outcome is positive are you are invited to submit a formal application.

Applications for research degrees are assessed on the following criteria:

  • that the proposed research seems likely to satisfy the academic requirements of a research degree;
  • that the proposed research is feasible in practical terms;
  • that you seem likely to be able to cope with the academic demands of a research degree;
  • that the Faculty is able to provide the appropriate supervisory expertise and resources.

Once assessed, you will be either invited to a formal enrolment interview or asked to revise your application and resubmit it.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

A day in the life of a PhD student

If you're considering doing a PhD there's probably a lot of questions going through your mind: how am I going to pay for it? Should I quit my job? Will I cope with the workload? But most importantly, what is it really like? Karen Patel, a full time PhD student, shares her experiences of juggling life, a part time job and her studies. Read more in Karen's blog.

The PhD Journey

Normally a PhD journey begins with a research proposal followed by undertaking an extensive literature review on the topic and research questions identified. Time is spent developing suitable research methodology and exploring appropriate theory. Data is normally collected as part of extensive field work and enquiry.

The data is then analysed and discussed at length with conclusions drawn which relate to the originality of the work. A Thesis is produced as the result of the research which is normally 80,000 words. Towards the end of the journey the student undertakes a viva examination which is based on the Thesis. The Thesis and viva are both taken into consideration for the award of doctorate.   

For the first six months of your PhD you will undertake the PGCert in Research Practice, which is a taught and compulsory part of the PhD programme. You will meet with your supervisors and attend classes every week. This is an essential part of the PhD which will help you to get your research started and set you up for the rest of your PhD journey.

The PGCert programme covers literature review and research methods which are specific to your faculty. The outcome of the PG Cert will be a detailed and considered research proposal which will take you forward with your work. 

How the PhD is assessed

The criteria to be awarded a PhD is to make a ‘unique contribution to knowledge.’ Whether a student has achieved this is determined by a panel of experts, including internal and external academics. The panel will assess the student’s written thesis, and the student’s oral defence of that thesis in a viva voce.

Extracurricular activities

All PhD students are encouraged to attend a range of conferences and research meetings and workshops in their particular field of research.

PGCert in Research Practice

For the first six months of your PhD you will undertake the PGCert in Research Practice, which is a taught and compulsory part of the PhD programme. You will meet with your supervisors and attend classes every week. This is an essential part of the PhD which will help you to get your research started and set you up for the rest of your PhD journey. The PGCert programme covers literature review and research methods which are specific to your faculty.

Employment Opportunities

The majority of students who enrol for a research degree complete their studies on a part-time basis while they are employed. The PhD award from Birmingham City University is a well established and valued professional qualification within the education sector. Typical careers include school management, working in further education or higher education or educational consultancy.

Placements

PhD researchers funded under the Midlands 3 Cities Doctoral Training Partnership have the opportunity to undertake industry placements as part of their research. For more information visit the Midlands 3 Cities website.

For those students not funded by Midlands 3 Cities, the PhD still allows you the opportunity to work with other institutions and companies as part of your research. You can discuss your options with your potential supervisors, if you feel a placement would benefit your research. 

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

As part of these plans, the University's Education provision will join the rest of the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences at our City South Campus in Edgbaston during 2018.

This is the third phase of the University's project to move all teaching and learning to two campuses, City Centre and City South. By moving our Education provision, we are creating a hub for the provision of public service contracts and professional development at City South Campus and improving the student experience with a stronger sense of community and more consistent support services and facilities.

Campus

In addition to classrooms, a lecture theatre, social learning spaces, an open access IT suite and cafe facilities, the new £41 million extension to our City South Campus offers a range of specialist teaching and learning facilities for specific subjects including science, design and technology, drama and physical education.  

Departments

All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Professor Martin Fautley

Professor of Education

Professor Martin Fautley is director of research in the school of education and social work at Birmingham City University. He has a wealth of experience in music education, both in terms of pedagogy, and of music education research. After enjoying many years as a classroom music teacher, he then undertook full-time Doctoral research working across the education and music faculties at Cambridge University, investigating teaching, learning, and assessment of classroom music making, with a focus on composing as a classroom activity.

He is widely known for his work on researching assessment in the classroom, but also researches understandings of musical learning and progression (especially in the novice stages), composing, and creativity. He regularly undertakes research and evaluation projects in the field of music education.

Professor Fautley is the author of eight books, including “Assessment in Music Education”, published by Oxford University Press. He has written and published over fifty journal articles, book chapters, and academic research papers on a range of aspects of teaching and learning, and regularly presents the fruits of his researches at international conferences. He is co-editor of the British Journal of Music Education.

Amanda French

Head of Department: Professional Development, Research and Enterprise

Amanda has worked in higher, further, adult education and the voluntary sector for 30 years as a lecturer, writing developer and researcher and is currently employed as Head of Department: Professional Development, Research and Enterprise in the School of Education.

Her PhD in Education: ‘Through a glass darkly”: Lecturers perceptions of Academic Writing’:  was about lecturers’ perceptions of academic writing and writing development practices in higher education. 

Her other research interests include academic writing, learner development in higher education , participatory research with children, transition experiences in education, employment literacies, widening participation and social justice, radical methodologies, critical pedagogies, postgraduate teaching and learning. I have presented on published on these areas nationally and internationally.