Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Mathematics Education Centre

Postgraduate Study

Research Degrees

The Mathematics Education Centre (MEC) at Loughborough University is an internationally renowned centre of teaching, learning and support. The MEC was the fifth highest ranked education department in the UK at the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, having 85% of its research activity assessed as being “world leading” or “internationally excellent”. The MEC is a key player in many high-profile national initiatives. With a growing number of academic staff and research students, the MEC provides a vibrant, supportive community with a wealth of experience upon which to draw. A list of current research students is here and a list of completed PhDs in the centre is here

Research Expertise

Centre staff are interested in supervising research students on topics related to their research interests, as listed below. Click on a staff member's name to see more detail about their area of expertise. 

Assessing mathematics
Lara Alcock, Paola Iannone, Ian Jones

Domain-general cognitive factors and mathematics
Nina Attridge, Sophie Batchelor, Camilla Gilmore, Matthew Inglis, Iro Xenidou-Dervou

Mathematical learning and student engagement
Lara Alcock, Dave Hewitt, Paola Iannone, Matthew Inglis, Barbara Jaworski, Ian Jones

Mathematical thinking and reasoning
Nina Attridge, Lara AlcockMatthew Inglis

Mathematics teaching and teacher development
Paola Iannone, Ian Jones, Barbara Jaworski, Dave Hewitt

Numerical cognition
Nina Attridge, Sophie Batchelor, Camilla Gilmore, Matthew InglisIro Xenidou-Dervou

Social and cultural aspects of teaching and learning
Paola IannoneBarbara Jaworski

Technology-enhanced learning
Dave Hewitt, Ian Jones

Entry Requirements

All candidates must have (or expect to gain) a good honours degree (usually at least 2.1) in Mathematics, Education, Psychology or a related discipline. It would be an advantage in some cases to have an MA/MSc in Mathematics Education, Educational Research Methods or in a related discipline. The exact qualifications required will vary according to the nature of the proposed project and prospective candidates are strongly encouraged, prior to applying, to approach potential supervisors to discuss the suitability of their qualifications and their proposed project. Other qualifications may be considered in conjunction with significant experience in the field. Good English language skills, both oral and written, are essential; the University's requirements are detailed here. Successful applicant(s) will be expected, with support, to study relevant research literature, attend appropriate training to fill gaps in their preparation and develop their general skills, identify research questions and take the lead in designing and conducting studies to investigate these questions. They will also be expected to take a full part in the research life of the Centre, participating in research seminars and reading group sessions, giving presentations and seeking funding to attend conferences.

How to Apply

Applications to the University must be made online here. In the application form please indicate the project/area in which you would like to study and the person with whom you would like to work, if appropriate. You are strongly encouraged to contact this person ahead of making an application to discuss your interests and possible research topics.

Additionally, candidates must submit the following to accompany their application:

  • A one-page CV summarising relevant experience and skills.
  • A one-page cover letter describing their reasons for wishing to undertake research in their chosen area and the personal qualities that they will bring.
  • A two-page essay on one or more issues affecting teaching/learning in mathematics and related to your proposed area of research. This should be a specially constructed piece of writing, making reference to relevant academic literature.

Submitted materials will be assessed for coherence, clarity and relevance. These additional documents should be emailed directly to Sci-pgr@lboro.ac.uk or posted to the Mathematics Education Centre (for the attention of SCI-PGR), Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK.


Informal contact is welcome prior to any formal application. Please email Sci-pgr@lboro.ac.uk who will be happy to direct applicants to potential supervisors.