Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education (three years full-time equivalent) is a rigorous program of advanced study and research. This program is intended to produce graduates with the capacity to conduct research independently at a high level of originality and quality.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate capability and interest to carry out independent research and have adequate training and ability to pursue the proposed PhD program.

Specializations in PhD programs

KUSOED PhDs are available in the following specialization areas: 

  • Educational Leadership

  • Development Studies

  • English Language Education

  • STEAM Education


  • 17 years of formal education or an MPhil degree from a recognized university

  • Demonstrated competency in English

  • CGPA 3.00 on a four-point scale or 60% in aggregate in the last degree

  • Passing the admission test

        Additional eligibility for

                 English Language Education

                 Master or MPhil degree in either English Literature, or in English Language Education, or in English Linguistics.

                 STEAM Education

                 Master degree in one of the STEM-related fields(e.g. Mathematics. Mathematics Education, Physics, Chemistry, Science Education engineering, Technology,

                 Health Sciences, and Physical Sciences)

Application Process

  • Candidates express their interest with applications to the concerned departments

  • The applicant must submit the following:

    • A duly filled  application form provided by the school

    • References from two academic referees

    • A fully developed research proposal of around 5000 words (written in English)

    • A 5000-word research paper (published or unpublished)on any topic (written in English)

  • If the concerned department is satisfied, it recommends the applicants to the Research Committee.

  • The Research Committee will evaluate the proposal and make the final decision.

  • The Research Committee will consider the following aspects while making its evaluation:

    • Past academic records

    • Research proposal

    • Writing ability [written test]

    • References

    • Relevant work experience(if any)

    • Interview

    • Presentation based on the research proposal

    • 5000-word paper on any subject (published or not published)

Thesis Process

  • The student must satisfy the Research Committee with his/her potential to undertake the research of their interest; the process is defined as Proposal Defense in the University system.

  • The Proposal defense must complete within six months of registration as a PhD student. However, in some specific cases the Research Committee can accept the proposal defense within one year. If the student is not able to successfully defend her/his proposal within this time, her/his PhD process will considered to be ended.

  • After proposal defense, the student is required to prepare and submit two Qualifying Assessment papers of publishable quality (one each on method and content).

  • Once accepted for registration, the student must register her/himself in the School as a PhD student. Only after the acceptance of qualifying papers, a student will be considered as PhD Candidate. Until such acceptance, her/his admission in PhD will be considered as provisional.

  • The topics for qualifying papers are finalized by the Supervisor in consultation with the candidate.

  • Each PhD candidate will be assigned minimum one Supervisor.


  • The candidate is required to prepare and submit a research-based thesis of high academic standard.

  • Upon submission of the final thesis (with approval of the Supervisor(s), the thesis is sent at least to two external Examiners.

  • Among two examiners, one will be designated as Primary Examiner.

  • If both examiners accept the thesis for defense, the Research Committee will decide to invite the candidate to defend her/his thesis.

  • If one of the examiners rejects the thesis, the Research Committee might then decide to send the thesis to the third Examiner.

  • The external examination process of the thesis will completely be blind.

  • The candidate is required to go through two rounds of defense as follows:

    • Preliminary defense – public defense, the purpose is to support the candidate to improve the academic rigor of the thesis work,

    • Final defense – in front of the Research Committee.

  • External Examiner (primary) will be invited in the Research Committee meeting when the candidate presents her/his thesis.

  • Considering the inputs from the External Examiner, the Research Committee makes the final decision on whether to declare the thesis passed or rejected, or to ask the candidate for further work.

  • The thesis submitted for examination should satisfy the following requirements:

    • It must be an independent and original piece of individual research work

    • It must have made knowledge contribution in its area of the research

    • It must have clarity in research purpose/objective and must have achieved its stated purpose/objectives

    • It must be conceptually/theoretically sound

    • It must have used appropriate methodology as per the research problem and there must be methodological coherence

    • It must be referential and must show the evidence of capturing the existing knowledge in the area of the research

    • It must be satisfactory in terms of its language and presentation.

    • It must be written in English following the format and style prescribed by the Research Committee.

Requirements other than thesis

  • Course work as per the recommendation of the department.

    • Could be in these areas – research, statistics, thematic areas

  • Publication and participation in conferences

    • At least two papers in refereed journals (in the area of the candidate’s research)

    • At least two paper presentations in national/international conferences, seminars (in the area of the candidate’s research)


  • Three years

  • Maximum five years (extendable to one more year)

Ethical Aspects

  • No plagiarism

  • Maintaining confidentiality

  • Anonymity of the participants

  • Informed consent of participants for participation in the research

  • Sensitive to the integrity of the participants

  • No harm/exploitation and interference to the participants

  • Protecting the interest of the participants

  • Maintaining the secrecy of the individual/household level data

  • No commercial use of the collected data. However, this does not restrict the publication of articles, books, etc. using the data collected

  • Honoring the existing socio-cultural practices

  • No monetary/non-monetary exchange of benefits with participants

  • Honoring of copyright of others’ work, property

  • Consent of author(s), agency(ies) while using their data, tools, pictures, or any other work