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PhD in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning

PhD in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning (Course Code: X352)

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.

Academic staff

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. Other academics from the Centre for Lifelong Learning with a range of specialisms will be available to supervise.


Dr Barbara Merrill


Dr Will Curtis