MPhil/PhD studentship in the evaluation of inclusive curriculum and delivery projects

Investing in excellence: studentship opportunities

The University of Derby is seeking to recruit Studentships in Learning, Teaching and Academic Practice. Seven projects have been identified to support the pedagogic core of the University’s learning and teaching. The projects aim to ensure that we are research led in our practice and have a strategic approach to the evaluation of the impact of our approaches to student support, developing skills and employability, education for sustainable development, inclusivity, and generative AI. Of the seven projects, we will recruit to three.

The following full-time postgraduate research studentship is one of the seven possible projects available. This full-time postgraduate research studentship is in the public services area of research in the College of Science and Engineering.

Qualification type: Location: Funding amount: Hours: Closes: Interview: Start date:
MPhil/PhD Derby, UK £18,622 stipend pa + UK home tuition fees (£4,712) full time Friday 5 January 2024* 24 January to 31 January 2024 March 2024

The successful applicant will receive a maintenance stipend (based on the minimum stipend defined by UKRI, currently £18,622 for the academic year 2023/24) and home MPhil/PhD tuition fees (£4,712 - subject to amendment) only up to the target submission date.

The intended intake period is March 2024.

The successful applicant will be expected to complete their MPhil/PhD within 3 years on the MPhil/PhD route, contribute to the College REF submission and get involved in the wider research activities of the College.

Applicants will become part of a friendly and welcoming team and will be supported and managed by their supervisors.

The vacancy details are as follows:

Project purpose/objectives

The purpose of this studentship is to research the effectiveness of models for evaluating the impact of inclusive curriculum and delivery.

Project description

Teaching, learning and the curriculum are considered the core business of the University. As the key focus of the student experience, much attention has been placed on how they can be made more inclusive. An inclusive curriculum is one where the entitlement of all students to access and participate in a course is anticipated, acknowledged, and considered . The aim is to improve student outcomes by facilitating all students to achieve their full potential.

The evidence base for both the best approaches for inclusive practice and its impact on student success measures is limited. However, it is a widely held view that inequalities in such measures cannot be tackled through single, bounded interventions – there is no panacea.

Teaching, learning, and assessment are central agents in the construction of inclusive curriculum, but they must be located within a project that operates across all activities and areas of an institution. It is recognised that strategies for developing inclusive curriculum and delivery models must be positioned within a holistic, interconnected, programme of change.

Models for the systematic planning, delivery, and evaluation of programmes of activity, like the Theory of Change are well reported. Such models tend to align with strategic change at the ‘macro’ or institutional level. There is less focus the evaluation of ‘micro’ classroom level activities, and their intersection with higher-level strategic plans.

This PhD is rooted in micro level inclusive curriculum and delivery initiatives that cumulatively have the potential for high impact.

Potential project impact

The University will develop a College based community of practice (CoP) with the overall aim of transforming the curricula of a series of named programmes. The CoP will provide a supporting role for programmes and connected stakeholders and will be made up from programme teams, professional service staff and student representatives.

CoPs will be supported by a range of approaches, which may include, diversifying the curriculum toolkits, key readings, and access to external expertise.

The major role of the student will be evaluating the project to understand the processes that lead to changes to curricula and assessment strategies. They will also assess the impact/perceived impact on the student experience. The student will also be a key member of the CoP providing links to pedagogic practice, national / international initiatives, and personnel, and leading the discussions around evaluating the CoP.

The project outputs are expected to inform the institution’s strategic thinking and implementation of policy & strategy related to curriculum design and delivery.

Principal accountabilities and responsibilities

In this project, successful applicants will be required to:

The successful applicant will become adept at managing research projects and adhering to timeframes for key milestone deliverables.

The project will require ongoing engagement with multiple stakeholders. This provides successful candidates with unparalleled opportunities to develop in-demand skills and experience and develop a strong institutional network that will enhance their future employment prospects.

Applicants will need to evidence the following essential attributes, skills, and abilities:

To apply 

Please review our entry requirements before submitting your application and check out the 'Getting Started' section below.

Completed applications should be submitted via our online application system quoting funding reference: S&E_Inclusive Curriculum 04_ 1123

Closing dates for applications: Friday 5 January 2024.*

*(Please note, we encourage applicants to apply as soon as possible as we reserve the right to close before 5 January 2024 if a high volume of applications is received.)  

Interviews: 24 January to 31 January 2024. 

If you have not been invited for an interview by the interview date, please assume your application has been unsuccessful.  

For other enquiries which are subject-specific please contact:

Find out more about our Public Services.

Apply for this SE studentship post

Getting started

Before you begin your application, make sure you have:

Studentship funding reference code

This is provided on the individual studentship advert and must be specified in your application.

Personal statement

A 500-word personal statement outlining your suitability for the studentship project. This is a mandatory requirement and you must upload it into your application. You should include your reasons for applying for the studentship, your experience in the field, how you feel you would benefit from studying and relevant information about your previous studies.

Your CV

A CV outlining your academic and professional experience.


Your qualification details including grades and dates taken. You will have the opportunity to upload scanned copies of your qualification certificates and transcripts in the application. If you have no formal qualifications, you can also state this in your application.

Passport/birth certificate

A scanned copy of your passport or full birth certificate. This will help us verify your application to study with us.

Academic references

Two signed academic references. This is optional at application stage but highly encouraged. If successful in your application, two academic references will be a mandatory requirement of admission. The references should be in written format, signed and dated from either a supervisor or tutor from your most recent studies.