What is it about? 

The School of Education and Social Work currently offers a suite of research degrees (PhD and Professional Doctorate) that can be studied on a full-time and part-time basis. 

The part-time distance learning programme for international students builds on the expertise and infrastructure that we have developed in providing a high quality student learning experience for students who study at a distance.  The ability for students to continue to work whilst undertaking their studies has a number of perceived benefits (financial, social support, integration of study with professional opportunities).  Students will be able to study for a PhD or Professional Doctorate in education, educational psychology, social work and community learning and development. This will be based upon the existing programmes but with additional support structures.


Our PhD programme is unique as it is geared to support academics and professionals from different disciplines, especially those who value inter-professional collaboration within the settings of education, social work, and community learning and development. The normal duration of studies for a part-time candidate is 5 years and the maximum period of study is 6 years.  

Who is it for? 

The part-time distance learning doctorate is aimed at applicants who would like to undertake a research degree whilst continuing to live and work in their home country. 

How is it delivered?

Students are allocated two supervisors. Supervision can be offered using a range of modalities (email, videoconference, teleconference).

To ensure a high quality of student learning experience, enhanced levels of supervision and support have been set.  These include:

  • Contact between student and supervisor should be monthly (minimum requirement)
  • Video conference meetings between student and supervisor should be quarterly (minimum requirement)
  • Students should have access to suitable hardware, software and infrastructure to support supervision via teleconference and/or videoconference (e.g. access to streaming media, ability to download large files, internet access)
  • Thesis monitoring committee meetings will be held on a 6 monthly basis

In addition, students would be expected to attend a one-week summer school in Dundee at least once during their studies. They should have access to suitable study facilities (local library and local study groups); a local research community (public seminar programmes, opportunities to present research); and mentor support. 

To apply

  • First degree in a relevant subject
  • IELTS score of at least 7.0 in each component for candidates whose first language is not English
  • Completion of application form and an interview that can be done by videoconference.

Please contact our Research Administrator for more information: ESW-research@dundee.ac.uk

Professional Doctorate

Professional Doctorate awards are offered in education, educational psychology, social work and community learning and development. They aim to promote students’ ability to:

  • critically appraise the current evidential basis of professional theory, policy and practice;
  • develop relevant advanced specialist research, development and dissemination skills; and
  • make a valuable and original contribution to knowledge, methodology, practice and policy
    • which meets accepted standards of rigour and excellence; and is
    • widely disseminated.

See our Professional Doctorates page for more information