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Educational leadership and governance for sustainable societies

Eligibility: UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 25 October 2023

Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: January 2024

For further details contact: Professor Marina Orsini-Jones

Project introduction

This is an exciting opportunity to study a PhD as part of a cotutelle arrangement between Coventry University, UK and Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, with an optional opportunity for short term mobility to the Centre for Higher Education Futures (CHEF), Aarhus University, Denmark, as part of the programme.

Please note that there are two opportunities available, one hosted by Coventry University and one hosted by Deakin University. 

Project one: hosted by Coventry University

The successful applicant will spend the first year at the Research Centre for Global Learning, Coventry University, UK, the following year at Deakin University, Australia and then the final 1.5 years at Coventry University. The supervision team will be drawn from the two universities. 

Project two: hosted by Deakin University

The successful applicant will spend the first year at Deakin University, Australia and the following year at the Research Centre for Global Learning, Coventry University, UK, and then the final 1.5 years at Deakin University. The supervision team will be drawn from the two universities. 

Both PhD candidates will have the opportunity to travel to Aarhus University, Denmark, as part of their studies (this is optional and a self-funded aspect of the programme). The visit would take place at CHEF, and hosted by Professor Sue Wright.

Project details

Education is key to secure just and sustainable societies in the context of increased uncertainty. There are two studentships available within this call that aims to investigate higher education as well as informal education and workplace settings to understand the impacts of policies, governance practices and reform efforts at global, national, regional and institutional levels.

Successful PhD candidates will focus their study through a leadership lens on major education policy issues, for example - the geopolitics of internationalisation; transnational student mobilities; education governance and higher education reform; academics’ work and education workforce; and health and wellbeing. There is an opportunity through the application process, for applicants to propose their specific focus for the PhD within the above scope of study.


Tuition fees and bursary (£18,622 p/a).


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills. 

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

Candidate specification

Applicants must meet the admission and scholarship criteria for both Coventry University and Deakin University for entry to the cotutelle programme.

  • Applicants should have graduated within the top 15% of their undergraduate cohort. This might include a high 2:1 in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 70% mark (80% for Australian graduates) in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 70% overall module average (80% for Australian graduates). 
  • A Bachelor's degree in a relevant field requiring at least four years of full-time study, and which normally includes a research component which is equivalent to at least 25% of a year’s full-time study in the fourth year, with achievement of a grade for the project equivalent to a H1 standard or 80%. 


  • a Masters degree, with a significant research component, in a relevant subject area, with overall mark at minimum Distinction.
  • In addition, the mark for the Masters thesis (or equivalent) must be a minimum of 80%.
  • Please note that where a candidate has 70-79% and can provide evidence of research experience to meet equivalency to the minimum first-class honours equivalent (80%+) additional evidence can be submitted and may include independently peer-reviewed publications, research-related awards or prizes and/or professional reports.
  • Language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study.

Further details:https://www.deakin.edu.au/research/research-degrees-and-PhD/research-degree-entry-pathways

How to apply

All applications require a covering letter and a 2000-word research proposal showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant, and the proposed research question that the study aims to address. All candidates must apply to both universities. 

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