Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Education

Graduate School of Education

Academics

PhD IN EDUCATION

The Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education Ph.D. program combines intensive coursework, a module at one of the partner universities (University of Cambridge or University of Pennsylvania), and in-depth exploration of advanced research methodology to develop scholars and independent researchers in the field of Education. It is a full-time four-year program.

Central to the NUGSE Ph.D. experience is the completion of a substantial piece of independent research, in the form of a Ph.D. dissertation. Graduates of the NUGSE Ph.D. program will be expected to act as key players in education reform and policy development in Kazakhstan.

Learn more about Ph.D. in Education program courses

Ph.D. IN EDUCATION

The Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education Ph.D. program combines intensive coursework, a module at one of the partner universities (University of Cambridge or University of Pennsylvania), and in-depth exploration of advanced research methodology to develop scholars and independent researchers in the field of Education. It is a full-time four-year program. Central to the NUGSE Ph.D. experience is the completion of a substantial piece of independent research, in the form of a Ph.D. dissertation. Graduates of the NUGSE Ph.D. program will be expected to act as key players in education reform and policy development in Kazakhstan.

 

Examples of some core courses:

Academic English for Doctoral Students

This course helps PhD students to develop the academic writing skills they need to complete doctoral work. Practical sessions cover the skills students need to be able to write accurately and coherently in appropriate academic style. This course is compulsory for the 1st year PhD students, and is optional for the 2nd and 3rd-year PhD students who want to hone their writing skills.

Exploring Research Topic I

This is a course for PhD students entering their first program semester, Fall of Year 1. This is a student-self-directed course with the following goals:

  1. To provide students with an opportunity to explore their research topic in dialogue with NUGSE faculty (course Instructors and others in formal and informal discussions); their fellow students; and in reflection on PhD course learning and independent studies / reading;
  2. To consider possible members of their PhD Thesis Advisory Committee: PhD Advisory Committees are assigned in December/January of Year 1, and students will be given the opportunity to express their preferences;
  3. To explore and mobilize NU and NUGSE resources that will facilitate clarification and development of their PhD Thesis research project;
  4. To prepare students for the course Exploring the Research Topic 2: this is a course taken in second semester, Spring of Year 1, in which they will further explore and develop their topic under the guidance of their PhD Thesis Advisory Committee.

This course is a ‘0’ ECTS course, meaning there is no course credit assigned to it. However, it is graded using the NU “In-Progress” assessment model, in which the student receives either: In-Progress Satisfactory: the student succeeded in achieving the course goals (as documented by the Vice Dean of Academic Affairs and the NUGSE Program Director). This assessment will take the form of a formal meeting with the student at the end of the semester; In-Progress Un-satisfactory: the student did not succeed in achieving the course goals (as documented by the Vice Dean of Academic Affairs and the NUGSE Program Director). This assessment will take the form of a formal meeting with the student at the end of the semester.

Introduction to Scholarship of Education

The primary purpose of this course is to offer students who enter the Graduate School of Education doctoral program one common course that introduces them to becoming a scholar and a member of the academic community. In this course, students will learn the basic skills you need to engage in scholarly work and critical thought so as to participate as professionals in academia.

Advanced Methods of Education Research

Advanced Methods of Education Research provides a clear overview of research methodology. In particular, the course provides information needed to understand quantitative methods process from idea formulation to data analysis and interpretation. Students will be able to use descriptive and inferential statistical analysis to conduct scientific educational research on their topics of personal interest.

Teaching and Learning in the University Context: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment

Based on current research within higher education in international and Kazakhstani contexts, the course provides PhD students with an overview of the field of higher education teaching and learning, in order to develop student knowledge and capacity for teaching in a higher education setting. This course will be relevant for PhD students seeking to develop as educators for future academic careers. At the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Identify and apply teaching and learning strategies in a higher education context;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how curriculum is designed, developed and delivered in a higher education context;
  • Identify and apply a variety of appropriate assessment strategies for a higher education context.

International Study

This is the course that students in the Ph.D. program will register for when they are studying overseas at a partner university. This course is a 6-weeks long international experience typically taken in the second or third year of the PhD programme. Course activities are organized in collaboration with the student’s PhD Supervisor and the Partner Co-Supervisor to meet the specific research and education needs of the student. Students will have the opportunity to work directly with their partner Co-Supervisor, take specialized courses relevant to their research, and develop academic collaborations and networks with PhD students and scholars in that university.

Doctoral Seminar

These are seminars that meet each semester from the point at which students are admitted to Ph.D. candidacy until they complete and defend their Ph.D. dissertation. The topics and foci of these seminars will vary, but all will involve extensive reading into the educational literature, critical discussions with peers and faculty, and writing both short discussion papers and longer papers on topics to be discussed. May be repeated multiple times

Dissertation Research

This is a course for which students enroll to indicate that they are conducting research or writing their Ph.D. dissertation. Students must maintain continuous enrollment each semester (Fall/Spring) while working on their dissertation. May be repeated multiple times.

Why NUGSE?
  • State grants and Abay scholarship for international students for education
  • Monthly stipend and paid research assistantships for PhD students
  • Internationally recognized and research-active faculty who deliver quality education in English
  • Conferences, workshops, and other academic and extracurricular activities
  • 6-weeks international residency for PhD students to work on PhD thesis
  • Great school facilities, library and sport center
  • Opportunity to be an author, peer-reviewer and editor of “NUGSE Research in Education” – a student-led peer-reviewed journal
  • More than 190 student clubs and societies at NU to develop creativity skills, personal and professional qualities
Why PhD in Education?
  • An innovative program that meets the international standards in terms of rigor, quality and relevance
  • It draws upon international best practices but responsive to the unique needs of Kazakhstan and the region
  • Supported by strong learning resources at NU, GSE, UCam and UPenn
  • Collaboration and joint supervision with faculty from UCam and Upenn
  • Opportunity to work, learn, develop and earn as TAs and Ras
  • The program prepares graduates to independently teach and conduct research at the highest academic international standards in universities, or take on roles in government or international organizations
Stages of PhD Studies
  1. Course work to develop in-depth understanding of the concepts, theories and practices in the field of your specialization and research methods
  2. Developing a Research Proposal and Proposal Defense. Normally 3 supervisors are allocated to each student:
  • Main Supervisor (NUGSE)
  • Co-Supervisor (NUGSE)
  • Partner Supervisor (UCam or UPenn)
  1. Field Work / Data Collection and Analysis
  2. Thesis Examination by Internal and External Examiners
  3. Thesis Defense
PhD academic calendar
Faculty
View application requirements for the Ph.D. in Education program
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS TO THE «DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN
EDUCATION» PROGRAM
Online registration is now open! Deadline is April 30, 2021.
Applicants applying to the Program are expected to have:
1. An undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent);
2. A Master’s degree or equivalent.
During the application period final year students may submit official current transcript for consideration.
3. A competitive CGPA in applicant’s Master’s (or equivalent) degree.
4. High level of English proficiency
The absolute minimum requirement for English language proficiency test reports for admission to the Program is:
1) Overall IELTS test score of 7.0 (with sub-scores no less than 6.0) or the equivalent TOEFL score as posted on the ETS website;
2) Applicants, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee, can be exempted from submitting the language proficiency test report if:
– one of their earlier academic degrees was earned in a country with English as the language of official communication, academic instruction and daily life;
– an undergraduate and/or graduate degree was earned in a program which was officially taught in English.
5. 2 years of work experience in a relevant field.
At the discretion of the Admissions Committee applicants with less than 2 years of work experience may also be considered.
6. High motivation and strong interest in the Program as outlined in a personal statement;
7. Relevant research interest and knowledge of research subject as demonstrated in a written research proposal;
8. Three letters of recommendation.
Application package checklist:
1. Complete Application form;
2. National ID (for the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan) and passport (for international applicants);
3. Official document confirming name change (if applicable);
4. Degree diplomas (Bachelor’s and Master’s or equivalents) with transcripts;
During the application period final year students may upload official current transcript for consideration.
5. IELTS or TOEFL certificate valid as of date of online documents submission;
6. Document confirming English as the language of instruction (only for applicants who earned their degree in a program which was taught in English and request an exemption from submitting IELTS or TOEFL).
Applicants should provide a detailed certificate/reference from the university indicating the number and list of subjects completed in English.
7. Documented proof of work experience (if applicable);
8. Personal statement outlining the applicant’s prior educational career, statement of his/her interest in the Program, his/her long-term career goals, and how the program would help him/her to achieve these goals (300-500 words);
9. Three confidential letters of recommendation written within the last two years (to be provided by referees electronically or in hard copy after receiving an email request);
10. Research proposal outlining the research topic the applicant would like to pursue in the Program (1500-2000 words);
11. Consent for Applicant’s personal data processing (according to the template in applicant’s personal account).
Important:
All required documents indicated above (excluding letters of recommendation) must be uploaded by candidates to the Personal account before the indicated deadline.
All submitted documents shall be in English or with notarized English translation.
Submission of a complete application package does not guarantee admission to the Program.
Applicants recommended for admission must provide hard copies of all documents as requested
by the Admissions Department within established period of time.
Applicants who obtained their degree diplomas/certificates from foreign education institutions must request their official transcripts to be sent directly to the University: 010000, Nur-Sultan, Kabanbay Batyr Ave., 53, Nazarbayev University, Admissions Department.
Standardized test reports shall be sent by the official test administrator directly to the University. 
Nazarbayev University Institutional Codes:
• TOEFL – 6762
The Admissions Committee keeps the right to invite for additional interviews if necessary. They
may take place on campus or by Skype.
 
 
Apply now
Contacts

Aidana Sirgebayeva

Senior Manager for Admissions

e-mail: aidana.sirgebayeva@nu.edu.kz

tel. +7(7172) 70 93 11

Admissions e-mail: gse@nu.edu.kz