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Professor Julia Carroll, Professor in Child Development and Education

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Contact Julia for an informal discussion about this studentship

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How does diagnosis of dyslexia impact on identity, self-belief and reading progress in children and adults?

Eligibility: UK/EU/International Fee is UK/EU fee based onlyinternational applicants are required to evidence the ability to pay the remaining balance.

Award Details: Bursary plus tuition fees

Duration: Full time - 3 years 6 months fixed term. (Maximum study period to completion is 4 years). or Part-Time – 5 - 6 years (maximum study period to completion is 6 years)

Application deadline: May 2nd (5pm)

For informal enquiries about this studentship, please contact Professor Julia Carroll.

Congratulations on taking your first steps toward a Research Degree at Coventry University. As an ambitious and innovative University, we’re investing an initial £100m into our new research strategy, ‘Excellence with Impact’. Through original approaches from world-leading experts, we’re aiming for our research to make a tangible difference to the way we live. As a research student you are an integral part of Coventry’s lively and diverse research community and contribute to our reputation for excellence. With our exceptional facilities and superb support mechanisms you are afforded every opportunity for academic success.

The Project

Despite many years of research, diagnosis of dyslexia (specific literacy difficulties) is patchy and inconsistent, with some individuals only being identified in adolescence and adulthood. There also continues to be debate as to whether the label dyslexia is a useful one (Elliot & Nicolson, 2016). This project will explore the impact of receiving a diagnosis of dyslexia in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Do individuals who receive a diagnosis view it as a positive step or as a limitation? Do children identified as dyslexic show better progress over time than those with similar skills who were not identified as dyslexic?

We anticipate the PhD will include a wide variety of research approaches, including secondary data analysis of the Millennium Cohort Study, surveys and interviews. Further details are available from Professor Julia Carroll on request.

About the Centre/Department

The Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement focuses on the development and evaluation of theoretically-rooted, evidence-based psychological interventions across a range of areas: children's literacy and developmental disorders, violence and interpersonal aggression, identity and resilience in communities and organisations, cognition, neuropsychology and psychopharmacology. Related to this aim is the need to develop theoretical models that map the environmental and personal factors that impact successful intervention. We work in partnership with key stakeholders to identify key challenges, develop resources, evaluate initiatives and theoretical models, and to create sustainable approaches to impact.

Successful Applicants

Successful Applicants will have:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in Psychology with a minimum 60% mark in the Project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
  • In the event of a first degree classification of less than 2:1, a Masters Degree in Psychology will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall minimum marks at merit level (60%). In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a minimum mark at merit level (60%).
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a three-year period of study
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)


  • knowledge and/or experience in the subject of dyslexia and literacy difficulties
  • experience of carrying out their own research
  • a good knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • an understanding of the issues involved in carrying out interviews with adolescents and adults on sensitive topics
  • experience of (or a willingness to quickly learn) about secondary data analysis of large datasets

Eligibility & Application procedure

Application Procedure:

Application information can be found in our how to apply section. Before completing the application please contact Professor Julia Carroll for an initial informal discussion about the opportunity.


All UK/EU/International students are eligible to apply that meet the academic requirements, the eligibility criteria can be found making an application page.