Develop into an independent researcher with expertise in a specific area of Education in a high-quality doctoral training at the School of Education, University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM). Our international team of scholars offer a dynamic, inclusive, and rich learning and research environment at master (MPhil) and doctoral (PhD) levels. The training is tailored to individual needs to develop candidates both professionally and personally in face-to-face, online, and extracurricular sessions (professional seminars, research groups, and conferences). Doctoral candidates are based at the Malaysian campus. International students are registered full time (due to immigration requirements), while local students can choose between part-time and full time. Applicants will have a strong background in research and their chosen discipline (see our areas of strength below) and be outstanding, highly motivated, and enthusiastic students with an inquisitive mind-set.
Main research strands
- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
- Special and Inclusive Educational Needs
- Educational Leadership and Management
Areas of interest
- Assessment and evaluation in language and education
- Educational technology and innovation
- Language, literacy, and multilingual education
- Learning sciences and evidence-based approaches to teaching/learning
- Mental health, inclusiveness, learning differences, and special needs in educational contexts
- Vocabulary learning, teaching, and testing in English and multilingual contexts
- Teacher education and teacher development
- Leadership in education, policy development, and improvement
- Leadership styles, mentoring, coaching, and student achievement
- Interdisciplinary research in these areas
Structure of a PhD journey
First year candidates will undertake a research methods module in order to gain a more in-depth background in designing and conducting quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research. The first year (probationary year) is seen as a bridge between undergraduate, postgraduate, and professional experience and the required independent level of research. Candidates spend this year with broadening their knowledge in the area of interest, refining their proposal, developing the methodology, securing ethical clearance, and collecting some initial data. At the end of the first year, this well-developed research proposal and the research skills gained are assessed in a mini-viva with an internal assessor.
In the second year, candidates collect and analyse data, while continuously engaging with the literature and refining their chapters. The progress made in this year is also assessed by an internal review, where the internal assessor determines whether requisite progress has been made in order to submit at the end of the third year.
The third year is primarily focused on preparing and writing up the thesis, which is defended in an oral examination (viva voce) by an external examiner who is an expert in the field.
MPhil students must present a thesis of up to 60,000 words, embodying the results of their advanced study and research. The thesis must satisfy the examiners regarding knowledge of the general field of scholarship to which the subject belongs. An oral examination occurs at the discretion of the examiners.
PhD students must present a thesis, maximum 100,000 words, demonstrating originality and innovation on the subject of their advanced study and research. The thesis must satisfy examiners regarding knowledge of the general field of scholarship to which the subject belongs. They must also present themselves for an oral examination on the subject of their thesis and its general field of scholarship.
A master’s degree, normally with a merit grade (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline and some experience in research methodology, (e.g., postgraduate level dissertation or research project) plus, an upper second class honours degree. Non-UK qualifications will be assessed against this standard.
A first class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline and some experience in research methodology, (e.g., dissertation or research project). Non-UK qualifications will be assessed against this standard.
Direct admission with a first class honours degree is at the discretion of the School and is subject to the School’s evaluation of the applicant’s competencies level.
Applicants must have graduated from an approved university. Other equivalent qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Entry requirements in the prospectus and website may not always apply and individual offers may vary.
English language requirements
IELTS (Academic): 7.0 (with no less than 6.0 in each element)
TOEFL (iBT): 100 (minimum 20 in speaking and 19 in all other elements)
PTE (Academic): 76 (with no less than 65 in each element)
MUET: Band 5
IELTS, TOEFL and PTE (Academic) test results must be less than two years old and all IELTS must be the academic version of the test. MUET results are valid for five years from the date of the release of results.
How to apply
If you are interested in applying to do an MPhil or PhD in the School of Education we would recommend that you either
- discuss your proposed project with a relevant supervisor in the first instance. We provide a dynamic research environment where research students study alongside academic experts or
- contact the Director of Postgraduate Research Programmes,
Dr Csaba Z Szabo.
Please include the following documents when contacting us:
- a research proposal demonstrating skills and knowledge at postgraduate level (MA)
- your CV and a short covering letter outlining why you want to study at PhD level and what previous experience makes you suitable
- a copy of your academic transcripts (BA and MA, if applicable)
- a copy of an acceptable proof of English language proficiency (if relevant)(Combine all documents into ONE file)
Your research proposal will help the School establish whether we have the expertise to support your proposed area of study. It will also be used in reviewing the overall quality of your application. While you will further develop your research proposal after joining the School, it is essential that you have an in-depth understanding of the issues associated with conducting research and the potential to design a research study to address a specific set of research questions.
Proposals are reviewed both on content and format. Due to the high number of proposals that we receive, we review incoming during the application revision period that is defined as the first week of the following months: January, March, May, September and November. Please note that we do not have the capacity to provide feedback for incoming proposals at this stage of application.
If your proposal meets the requirement of the School, you will be invited for an interview. Please note that only applicants successful at this stage will be formally invited to submit an application, which together with visa application may take weeks in certain situations.
Malaysian applicants are recommended to submit your formal application at least three months before the intake that you intend to commence your study. International applicants are recommended to submit your formal application at least five months before the intake that you intend to commence your study.
General guidelines for writing a research proposal for the application of MPhil or PhD with the School of Education.
Please visit our applications page to find out how to submit a formal application.