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PhD in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning

Standard duration: Full-time: 3-4 years, Part-time: up to 7 years

Min. entry requirements: Normally a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject

English Language: IELTS 7.0, Band B

This PhD provides an opportunity to undertake in-depth research in the field of adult education and lifelong learning. In recent years as societies have undergone social, political and economic changes adult education and lifelong learning has become an important aspect of the education sector. Adult education and lifelong learning encompasses a wide range of learning situations from informal through to formal education.

Research in this area can include:

Looking at learning in community and adult education, further and higher education as well as informal learning in the family or community, for example popular and radical adult education issues of class, gender, ethnicity, age and disability access to education and learning experiences, retention and drop-out transitions and learner identity and issues of agency and structure transformative learning motivations to learning

The above is not an exclusive list of research areas. Being a research student will enable you to develop and enhance your research skills and theoretical knowledge.

You will be supervised by Dr Barbara Merrill, who has extensive research expertise and reputation in this field and Dr Will Curtis, who has worked within education, adult education and lifelong learning for 20 years.


Application Fact File

Entry Requirements

2:i undergraduate degree in a relevant subject

For the PhD in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning a Master's degree (or equivalents) in a relevant subject is required

English Language Requirements

Band A


All applications should be made online at

Application Deadline

Applications are welcomed from self-funded applicants until 30th November.

Tuition Fees
(2016/17 rates)

Full-time £4,109, Part-time £2,465

Overseas (band 1):
Full-time £15,460, Part-time £9,276

Overseas (band 2):
Full-time £19,740, Part-time £11,844

Please note: These are the standard course fees. Check the fees page for a list of courses with non-standard fees.

Details of funding opportunities are available via the Graduate School.