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A number of people want to work on their living-theory research at Masters or Doctoral level and want to be able to have it accredited. There are Living Theory doctoral researchers currently registered with University of Cumbria. There is also a new Living Theory Masters programme being offered by The Learning Institute, accredited by Newman University. Contact Joy through her website for further details.

We have put together a few details in response to questions we have been asked but you must check the university website http://cumbria.ac.uk/ for the definitive and latest information:

Doctoral study:

How much does it cost?

We understand that the 2012 fees for doctoral study are


Mode of study

Tuition fee

Registration fee

Exam fee






And that these might be changed for 2013.


What qualifications do I have to have?

Applicants must have ‘… Some experience of research, research training or professional practice is expected. An MA/MSc or equivalent is desirable, but not essential….’ And ‘ … 1st or 2nd class honours degree. Students with other qualifications may be admitted to the course via APL procedures.’

What would have to go into a proposal?

We understand that a proposal should be between 1500 and 2000 words and include the following:

·     A working title of the topic area 

·      General overview of area

·      Identification of the relevant literature

·      Key research questions

·      Methodology

·      Timescale/research planning

·      Bibliography

Would you help me develop and submit a proposal?

We would love to work with you on a proposal for a living-theory doctorate wherever you eventually decide to register.

Do I have to go to travel frequently to Cumbria?

They have a campus in Lancaster, Carlisle and London. You would have online access to the library etc and there are agreements between universities for the use of libraries.

One of the requirements of application is an interview. We understand that it might be possible to have the interview via SKYPE.

You would be expected to attend the annual summer school in July, which is a great opportunity to meet other researchers.

Who would my supervisor be?

Depends on your area of interest. If you wanted to create a living-theory thesis it may be possible for us to be appointed to your supervisory team.

When do I have to apply by?

‘For entry in October, applications will be accepted between 1 April and mid-September and for entry in April, between 1 October and mid March.’

Full details of the MPhil/PhD programme at University of Cumbria are on their website http://www.cumbria.ac.uk/Courses/Subjects/Education/Postgraduate/EducationPhD.aspx


For Master’s Studies

How much does it cost?

We think that the cost of 3 years distance learning, part-time study for a masters degree is £1234 per year. This may change.


What would enable me to develop my research as CPD accredited at Masters level?

A path through their established programme for people wanting to develop their research as CPD accredited at Masters level might be:

Year 1

  • Critical Enquiry core research methods module (30 credits)
  • Optional module (30 credits)

Year 2

  • Optional module (30 credits)
  • Planning Enquiry core research methods module (30 credits)

Year 3

  • Dissertation (60 credits)

with the optional modules -


  • Individual Study
  • Action Research
  • CPD Portfolio


It might be that people would want to do other modules. Have a look on Cumbria's website http://cumbria.ac.uk/. We understand that all modules are 30 level 7 credits except for the dissertation and CPD Portfolio, which are both 60 credits. The CPD Portfolio module is a double module equivalent to Critical Enquiry plus one optional module. 


Can I transfer from another university?

For those already with credits under their belts we believe there is plenty of potential for MA applicants to APEL 60 credits of prior study at M level.  This http://www.cumbria.ac.uk/Courses/Subjects/Education/Postgraduate/EducationMA.aspx , will give you more information.


Do I have to go to Cumbria?

We believe that the distance learning nature of the MA makes it possible for people to do it without going to the Lancaster, Carlisle or London campuses although you might be losing out on the optional, occasional Saturday workshops.

We understand that all of the MA Education programme participants are required to engage with the online resources and collaborative learning. There is also a commitment required to regular but flexible study and participants will be encouraged to write regularly and to share that draft writing and their emerging ideas with tutors and peers within their online tutorial group.  



If you want to work on a Doctoral proposal or enter the Masters programme now or possibly in the foreseeable future talk to us. There are schools and members of the international CPD/research project Living Values Improving Practice Cooperatively considering registering and it might be that we could work on this together to mutual benefit and we can improve the support we are developing for practitioner-researchers on a weekly basis with face-to-face meetings and in the virtual world with on-line conversations and responses to writings.


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