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School of Education

International Summer Postgraduate Institute (ISPI)

The School of Education is pleased to offer the opportunity for distance study to both home and international students through its International Summer Postgraduate Institute (ISPI).

Summer School 2018 will run from 2nd July to 27th July.

We welcome students from all over the UK and the world to experience the "Durham difference" and enjoy the delights of North East England.

The 2017 Summer School was a great success; we would like to thank all the students that took part for helping to make it a wonderful experience. We look forward to welcoming you Summer 2018.

“The programme helped me to broaden my horizons. I’ve learned a lot and met a lot of people who are working in Durham. They’ve added to my knowledge, background and experience and helped me speak out about what I think about the education process and what can be put into action in the classroom”

Raghda Zahran (ISPI 2015)

Durham University is the 3rd oldest university in England, after Oxford and Cambridge and has been a leading European centre of learning for 1,000 years.

Durham University is highly ranked not only in the UK, (Ranked 6th in The Complete University Guide 2018 and 4th in The Guardian University Guide 2018), but also in the World, (In the QS World University Rankings 2018, the University is 78th and in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2018, Durham is ranked 97th).

Located in the North East of England, Durham University's School of Education is not only the ideal place to study for a Graduate qualification, but also a wonderful location for exploring everything that England has to offer. For more information on the City and the surrounding areas please visit This is Durham.

Durham has fantastic transport links. Newcastle International Airport is just 26 miles to the north, and the main London to Edinburgh railway line passes through Durham making it a great location for exploring the rest of the UK.


ISPI runs for the first four weeks of July. Students are required to attend classes during these four weeks. The rest of the programme is delivered via distance learning.

The programme is ideal for students who cannot commit to weekly attendance and are not comfortable learning wholly online but would welcome some teaching delivered on a block basis that could fit around work commitments.

The programme for 2018 starts on Monday 2nd July and finishes on Friday 27th July.

Students are expected to attend a second mandatory summer school in 2019.

“We got the chance to mix with people from all over the world, people that are at different stages of their educational journeys and bring them all together in the beautiful surroundings of Durham. ”

Elizabeth Hidson (ISPI 2015)

In addition to the teaching, we aim to provide international students studying with us through July with a cultural experience as well as high quality study, Included during ISPI are trips to sites of local cultural and tourist significance, college events, and a supplementary schedule of academic-led seminars and training from university organisations such as the International Office and The English Language Centre. You will be also be encouraged to attend lunch time talks and presentations from staff and students. Previous years topics included:

  • Introduction to Researcher Training
  • Time Management
  • Literature review
  • Literature searching online
  • From Creative Thinking to Productive Thought


The International Summer Postgraduate Institute is a fantastic opportunity to study for a Graduate programme whilst continuing with your current employment. In 2018 we offer one Doctoral programme:

Doctor of Education (EdD)

and 3 Masters Programmes:

MA Education

MA Intercultural Communication and Education

MSc Educational Assessment

The Masters programmes will take you approximately 3 years to complete, whilst the EdD will take approximately 6 years to complete.

Patterns of study

Students opting to study for a Doctorate in Education must take six taught modules prior to moving on to the Thesis Phase of the programme. This is normally achieved by taking 3 modules in Year One and 3 modules in Year Two before moving onto Thesis Phase in Year Three. Once students move into Thesis Phase we still encourage them to return to Durham each July to participate in the additional social, cultural and research focused activities which support the programme and their research. It can be a great opportunity for students to work for with their supervisor and to talk to other Doctoral students in Research Phase.

Students who opt to study one of our Masters programmes which include four taught modules plus a dissertation, would normally be expected to take two modules Year One of their programme, two modules in Year Two the Dissertation in the final year. Again, we encourage students to return to Durham during the Dissertation year to make full use of the various support activities that are available to them.

For all programmes once students are in Thesis/Dissertation phase supervision is provided regularly through the summer school programme. To compliment this, students also receive on-going support and guidance from the Dissertation/Thesis Supervisory Team through a series of email, Skype and telephone communications.

Please click on the fees and costs pages for current charges.

If you need more information please do not hesitate to contact our Academic Programmes Team.


Whilst studying with us you have several choices of accommodation, including living in one of our residential Colleges, ensuring that our students have the opportunity to experience Collegiate life which creates the Durham difference. For the 2018 programme we can offer you accommodation at St Mary's College which is a few minutes walk from the where classes will be taking place.

For more information on costs and to book your place, please contact Gillian Green at the College.


Q How do I address Academic Staff?

A We are very informal and we always use first names.

Q What is the dress code?

A There is no specific code, wear what you are most comfortable in. Please remember that the weather in the North of England can be variable, so be prepared for rain and colder temperatures as well. You may want a light coat and a comfortable pair of shoes. Any events that you attend will normally be smart casual dress.

Q What times am I expected to be around for?

A You are expected to attend all your classes but we hope you will also take the opportunity to come to the lunchtime events provided for you

Q When can I access the programme material on line?

A Details will be available on Durham University Online (DUO) by May 2018

Q Can you help with my application for Student Visitor Visa?

A Yes, we are happy to supply you with a letter to assist you with your application. Please contact us.

Q Is ISPI for international students only?

A No, UK students are also very welcome. The programme is ideal for students who cannot commit to weekly attendance and are not comfortable learning wholly online but would welcome some teaching delivered on a block basis that could fit around work commitments.

Your ISPI programme registration will commence on 1st June 2018 with teaching taking place in the first four weeks of July. The closing date for applications is May 2018.

We are currently accepting applications to start in summer 2018. Please visit how to apply or contact us

Interested in what life is like for our international students? Visit our International Office pages to find out more information on important requirements such as visas, entry clearance, as well as our english language standard requirements and pre sessional english courses.