Higher Education - PhD
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Research on higher education at Kent focuses on higher education practices and policy, particularly as they relate to innovation, enhancement, accessibility and excellence in teaching, learning, assessment and students’ experiences. Our research also investigates academic practice and how to support, recognise and reward academics, particularly part-time, and early career academics.
The Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) draws on expertise from its core staff as well as researchers across the University, so we can offer high-quality PhD supervision; we work very carefully to match you with a supervisory panel that suits your interests and ambitions. There are further details on the research activities and publications of individual members of staff on the Centre for the Study of Higher Education website.
In addition to regular meetings with supervisors, all research students take part in a tailored research training programme, which can include research methods modules offered by the Centre or by other schools, as appropriate. As well as attending the regular research seminars offered by the Centre, you are encouraged to participate in the seminars, workshops, newer researcher networks and masterclasses offered by the scholarly bodies in the discipline, such as the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE).
About the Centre for the Study of Higher Education
The Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) provides a base for postgraduate provision with a distinctive focus on the field of Higher Education. CSHE is also a focal point for research in this area, supported by seminars and events to which all postgraduate students and staff are warmly welcomed.
We offer three taught postgraduate programmes (PCert, PDip and MA in Higher Education) and a PhD in Higher Education. Taught programmes are tailored to different levels of experience and designed for you to select subject matter according to your own professional interests and role. The emphasis throughout is on developing an understanding of the higher education context, the diversity of provision and the implications for all aspects of academic work in the 21st century.
The PhD programme, offered on a full-time or part-time basis, is designed for those with a professional or scholarly interest in higher education who wish to develop as independent researchers in the field. Students on our programmes come from a wide range of subject backgrounds and bring a rich variety of experiences to their work, resulting in a lively interdisciplinary dimension to taught modules and opportunities for debate.
Please note that we are unable to offer tuition or supervision in relation to other phases of education (e.g. schools)or to School teacher education or teaching English as a foreign language.
A good honours degree or Master’s degree in a subject relevant to your proposed research topic. We strongly recommend that you contact the Centre to discuss your plans before making a formal application.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
English language entry requirements
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Need help with English?
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
Duration: 3 to 4 years full-time, 5 to 6 years part-time
Teaching and assessment
The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:
- Home full-time £4712
- EU full-time £18000
- International full-time £18000
- Home part-time £2356
- EU part-time £9000
- International part-time £9000
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact email@example.com.
Your fee status
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
General additional costs
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:
- University and external funds
- Scholarships specific to the academic school delivering this programme.
We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.Search scholarships
Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this Centre and their research interests can be found at the Centre’s website. You are strongly encouraged to contact the Centre to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the Centre's website.
Staff research interests
Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Our students are higher education professionals at various stages of their careers, ranging from early career higher education teachers to professional services staff to experienced senior leaders. Throughout, we aim to enhance students’ understanding and capacity for critical analysis of the contexts and practices of higher education.
The MA in Higher Education further encourages students to reflect upon their own professional experiences through critical engagement with topics of academic interest. After completing the MA, recent graduates have gained promotion within their existing roles, taken up new employment or commenced PhD study. Those who have completed PhDs have been promoted in their professional service roles or taken on positions in educational research.
Research expertise and resources
Higher Education is a broad interdisciplinary field, and members of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education research and publish on a range of subjects. Full details can be found on the CSHE staff pages. The Centre for the Study of Higher Education comprises a small core team of specialists in educational research as well as Associate Members from across the University of Kent. Thus the Centre is able to draw on expertise from a range of disciplines, offering joint supervision with other academic schools where it benefits students.
The University library houses a growing collection of books and journals on higher education, many of which can be accessed online. You also have access to the extensive training and other resources provided through the Graduate School.
The Centre holds regular research seminars where academic staff and postgraduate students discuss their research and work in progress. Every term we also invite a number of external speakers to give lectures and seminars. Our students have access to lively national and international research networks and conferences through the Centre’s active involvement in the Society for Research into Higher Education, the European Association for Learning and Instruction, the Staff and Educational Development Association, and other scholarly bodies.
Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Recent contributions include papers in Studies in Higher Education, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, Theory and Method in Higher Education Research, Journal of Workplace Learning, Journal of Further and Higher Education and Teaching in Higher Education.
Researcher Development Programme
Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and team work, and career management skills.
Researcher Development Programme
Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.
Learn more about the application process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.
You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.
Apply for entry to:
United Kingdom/EU enquiries
PhD at Canterbury
T: +44 (0)1227 768896
T: +44 (0)1227 824013
International student enquiries
T: +44 (0)1227 823254