Study with us

The FELL and Child Learning research groups offer a unique course, the MSc Education (Child Development and Education), which combines a strong research basis in child development with expertise in applied and policy research.

It aims to promote critical understanding of developmental theories and research, and the use of this knowledge in the design and evaluation of programmes designed to promote children’s development and education. A core objective is to advance reflection and discussion about how theories of child development inform practice and how the challenges faced in educational and care settings call for further theoretical and research enquiry.

We welcome students from varied professional backgrounds: primary school teachers seeking to become specialists in literacy or numeracy; experienced Early Years professionals; teachers of children with special educational needs; professionals working with children and aiming to prepare themselves for a leadership role in different types of service (e.g. head teachers, professionals engaged in programme evaluation research, including governmental and international agencies). Graduates with psychology degrees who wish to develop their knowledge of applied developmental psychology in the field of education and students who wish to go on to pursue a doctoral degree are also welcome.

Many of our former Masters students have proceeded to seek a doctorate here or in other prestigious universities or to use their expertise in applied settings. You can find out about the theses supervised by these two research groups by visiting the FELL/People or Child Learning/People pages.

For further guidance on programme specifications and admissions procedures for the course, click here.

Current doctoral students and their research topics ordered by research groups:


  • Alex Baron:Retooling the approach to students’ self-regulation development in early childhood: An analysis of the Tools of the Mind curricula effects
  • Susila Davis “Are we there yet?”: A study of the Oxford University Press Pathways to School Improvement
  • Sina Fackler An international perspective on teacher self-efficacy: investigating personal, cultural, structural and environmental factors
  • Anthony Garcia An Exploration of Three Community School Organizational Models in the United States of America: National, Local Federation, and Independent
  • Ariel Lindorff Networks for school support and improvement: A mixed methods study
  • Christine Paget Exploring School Resource and Teacher Qualification Policies, their Implementation and Effects on Schools and Students’ Educational Outcomes in Brazil
  • Hanako Shimamura Teacher-child relationships – self regulation, social emotional skills, and academic achievement: comparing two different kindergarten programmes
  • Karin Sørlie Students’ mathematics self-efficacy beliefs: relationship with test achievement and development in the classroom
  • Nardos Tesfay Opportunities to learn: the effects of poverty on children’s development and learning in Ethiopia
  • Denny Vildiridou An exploration of museum pedagogical approaches and practices: An in-depth case study of museum educators in two museums in Oxford


  • Xi Lian The English language learning outcomes at primary school level of young EFL learners in China
  • Adam Unthiah The Effects of Bilinguality status on learning French in secondary school

Children Learning and FELL:

  • Rossana Barros Factors contributing to Children’s Understanding of Fractions: Reasoning and Arithmetic
  • Lauren Burton The spelling of a word does not always parallel with the way it sounds: the importance of teaching children morphological spelling rules
  • Yu Wing (Brad) Chan Transfer of phonological and morphological awareness in Chinese Children Receiving English Instruction: An intervention
  • Boby Ho-Hong Ching Contributions of the understanding of the part-whole relationships in additive reasoning to children’s success in story problem solving: A longitudinal study
  • Zhen Zheng: The Contribution of Meaning to Young Chinese English Learners’ Single Word Reading and Spelling


  • Rebecca Holbrooke: Formal qualifications for pre-service early childhood educators

Completed doctorates (7 ESRC)

  • Lorena Ortega-Ferrand (2016) An Exploration of Three Community School Organizational Models in the United States of America: National, Local Federation, and Independent
  • Coral Milburn-Curtis (2015) Is this the right room for an argument? The impact of internet-based dialogic argumentation on the self-regulated learning characteristics and critical thinking of young adolescents in England.
  • Gillian Lake (2015) Let’s Talk! Supporting oral language through sustained planned play and storybook reading in the early years
  • William Baker (2014) Aspirations, inequality and education in England
  • Charlotte Clancy (2014) Reading Recovery: investigating differential effects on the literacy development of young children for whom English is an additional language
  • Fiona Middleweek (2014) The contribution of lexical knowledge to the reading of EAL children: an exploratory study of older primary school children
  • David Glassman (2013) Attendance in parent training programmes
  • Michael McGregor (2012) Music education in lower secondary schools
  • Lindsay Burton (2011) Community-based early learning in the Solomon Islands: cultural and contextual dilemmas influencing programme sustainability
  • Ebrahim Talae (2010) Patterns of home computer use and their associations with children’s cognitive and social/behavioural development in primary school
  • James Hall (2009) (ESRC) Resilient and vulnerable developmental trajectories in a large longitudinal study (EPPE)
  • Gopa Nayak (2009) The contribution of ‘guided interactive reading’ to the development of reading skills in young ESL learners in Hong Kong
  • Owen Yang (2009) The social environment of asthma management in early adolescence
  • Lydia Chan (2009) The development of L2 Emergent Literacy in Hong Kong kindergarten children
  • Maria Kyriacou (2008) (ESRC) The development of reflective narrative writing in primary school children: designing and evaluating an experimental intervention
  • Eleni Soucacou (2007) Assessment of classroom quality in inclusive preschool settings: development and validation of a new observation method
  • Sherwin Rodrigues (2006) Assessment practices in primary classrooms in Pakistan
  • Sadia Bhutta (2006) Health education practice in primary classrooms in Pakistan
  • David Lubans (2005) Promoting physical activity in the secondary school setting: evaluation of the Lifetime Activity Programme
  • Katharina Ereky-Stevens (2005) (ESRC) Mothers’ internal state focus: Associations with individual differences in children’s understanding of mind and emotions
  • Mary Wild (2004) (ESRC) Page or screen: Will using Key Stage 1 information technology improve literacy?
  • Emma Nichols (2004) (ESRC) The role of text in literacy development: An enhancement of the fiction and non-fiction literacy curriculum of children in reception
  • Omar Khalid (2002) Mainstreaming pupils with special educational needs in Brunei
  • Rachel Wilson (2002) (ESRC) The effects of otitis media on children’s language and reading attainment in the primary school
  • Kristen MacPherson (2002) Development of narrative competence in young children attending day nursery
  • Maria Evangelou (2001) (ESRC) Evaluation of the effects of a pre-school intervention on literacy development in children