University of Nottingham Malaysia

Education MPhil/PhD programmes


Fact file

Qualification: MPhil/PhD
Fees: Malaysian – RM36,600 per year, Non-Malaysian – RM42,950 per year
Mode: MPhil (years): Full-time: 1-2, Part-time: 2-4 / PhD (years): Full-time: 3-4, Part-time: 6-8
Intake: February, April, June, September
Campus: Malaysia


School of Education

Course overview

This course is aimed at developing individuals 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 offers 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 research below) and be outstanding, highly motivated, and enthusiastic students with an inquisitive mind-set.

3 Main research strands 

  1. Education for Sustainability and Inclusivity
  2. Education for STREAM and Digitalisation 
  3. Education for Language Learning Sciences


Areas of Research/Supervision 

Education for Sustainability and Inclusivity 
Research Strands Sub Areas of Focus  Researchers
Education for Sustainability and Inclusivity 
  • Sustainability and Climate Change Education, Adaptation and Mitigation
  • Sustainable Schools, Higher Education Institutions and Communities
  • Indigenous Futures
  • Ecopedagogogy
  • Whole School/Whole Institution Approaches
  • Education and the SDGs for interdisciplinary solutions
  • Living Labs
  • Whole School/Whole Institution Approaches
  • School Ecology
  • Inclusive Pedagogy,
  • Alternative Curriculum
  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Early Intervention
  • Diversity & Multiculturalism
  • Creative Pedagogy 


Education for STREAM and Digitalisation
Research Thrusts  Sub Areas of Focus  Researchers 
Education for STREAM and Digitalisation 
  • Blended, Flipped and Hybrid Learning
  • Engineering Education
  • Maker Culture,
  • Technology-Enhanced Teaching & Learning
  • Multimodality 
  • e-PLC (Personal Learning Community)
  • Educational Leadership and Management 


Education for Language Learning Sciences
Research Thrusts   Sub Areas of Focus  Researchers 
Education for Language Learning Sciences 
  • English Language & Literacy
  • Early Language Development & Disorder, 
  • Science of Reading, 
  • Vocabulary Development
  • Multilingualism
  • Translanguaging
  • Content & Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)  

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.

Entry requirements

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. 



We strongly encourage students to be either self-funded or locate external national and international grants. More about internal funding can be found here


School of Education
The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Jalan Broga,
43500 Semenyih,
Selangor Darul Ehsan,
t:   +6 (03) 8924 8000  
f:   +6 (03) 8924 8005 
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University of Nottingham Malaysia

Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih
Selangor Darul Ehsan

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fax: +6 03 8924 8005

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