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The programme:

The programme focuses on the analysis of practice and policy in education, in particular of aim, content, form, organization and performance of learning, teaching and professional development in school and pre-school settings, and analysis of school development and of teacher education. Research on subject specific (e.g. mathematics) and area specific (e.g. health and sustainable development) teaching and learning in institutionalized settings at all educational levels forms an important part of the programme. Furthermore research on workplace learning; career guidance and counselling; and adult and vocational education is central in the programme. Other public services within e.g. the health and environment sectors, the non-governmental public sector and the private sector are also objects of study both in relation to formal and informal learning and teaching. 

The programme engages with a wide range of research approaches grounded in research traditions from didactics and curriculum studies, and from the various forms of educational research inspired by sociological, philosophical and psychological disciplines. Among the courses and fields of PhD supervision provided within the programme are subject didactics and curriculum studies, the various research methods in educational research, including qualitative and quantitative methods and methods for research synthesis, and the philosophy and methodology of educational research as a human and social science. The programme thus emphasizes the acquisition of research skills, including skills in dissemination of research, and the importance of a critical understanding of research and methods, as well as of the implications of research for policy and practice.

Affiliated centres/departments:

The programme is placed within the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, which is the hub of research on education in Denmark. The department has a trans-disciplinary organization with research and courses across the various areas of research on education.

Research facilities available:

The National Library of Education at the Danish School of Education holds the main national collection in the fields of: learning, didactics and educational science, educational systems, educational psychology, psychology of children and adolescents, and children's literature.

Examples of employment after graduation:

Graduates often find employment in the formal public education and research sector, hereunder in universities, in other public services such as health, or in the private sector. The programme enables graduates to respond to professional research responsibilities that include commissioning, evaluating, administering and designing research relating to different aspects of educational provision.  

Geographic location:

The PhD students will be enrolled at the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, either at Campus Emdrup or at Campus Aarhus.

National cooperation:

The programme collaborates with the national doctoral training network in education, and is involved in the national collaboration on doctoral courses within the humanities and social sciences.  

International cooperation:

The programme collaborates with a number of international partners, including agreements on summer schools and on PhD student mobility. See an list of mobility options here and a list of Erasmus agreements here. Please note that the lists will be regularly updated. For queries with regard to current opportunities, please contact Eva Lise Eriksen, e-mail: eli@dpu.dk

Approx. number of PhD students:


Assessment committee for applications:

Please find the members of the assessment committee under the relevant PhD programme.