Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Doctor of Education (EdD)

In this Section:

A Doctorate of Education (EdD) provides you with the opportunity to reflect on educational issues through structured teaching, study informed by the most up-to-date research and inspection findings, and the ability to engage in original research under the guidance of two supervisors.

You will take a series of taught modules, including research methods, that we assess through written assignments. You also submit a thesis of 55,000 words, based on your own research.

The EdD will give you an advanced understanding of a range of educational issues, and the skills and knowledge required to conduct and evaluate independent research.­

We designed the Doctorate in Education programme to meet the needs of professionals in education, and related disciplines, who wish to enhance their knowledge and understanding of educational issues, keep abreast of a range of educational topics, and refine and develop their research skills.

The programme forms part of our Continuing Professional Development provision.

What is the difference between an EdD and a PhD?

The EdD and the PhD are both supervised research degrees involving the submission of a thesis and a viva voce (oral) examination.

The EdD involves taught modules and research, leading to a thesis of up to 55,000 words, and is also called a professional doctorate. The PhD is awarded entirely on the basis of research, leading to a thesis of up to 100,000 words.

Zoe CromptonI’m studying what makes young children motivated to learn science, which is a fascinating subject. I get to spend lots of time in class observing children engaging in science activities.

Zoe Crompton

The EdD programme combines modular study with research, and comprises three components.

  1. Taught modules
  2. Thesis preparation and an upgrade viva
  3. A research thesis

Taught Modules

You take …

  • four Research Methods modules
  • two Specialist Subject modules
  • and then you choose either a Specialist Subject or Research Methods module to complete the component.

You may take Directed Study modules for your Specialist Subject modules.

Specialist Subject modules

You would choose two or three specialist subject modules in an area relevant to your research proposal. Indicative specialist modules choices may include the following ...

  • EAL, language diversity and inclusion: research and theory
  • EAL, Language Diversity and Inclusion: investigating policy and pedagogy
  • EAL, language diversity and inclusion: classroom-based enquiry
  • Developing Teaching and Learning Through Evidence-based Practice
  • Leading Teaching and Learning Through Evidence-based Practice
  • Making Sense of Numeric and Non-numeric Data
  • Educational Audiology
  • The Context of Deaf Education
  • Deafness and Development
  • Learning and Teaching in Deaf Education
  • Issues in Educational Audiology
  • Deafness and Development
  • Learning and Teaching in Deaf Education
  • Science Education: Teaching and Learning
  • Science Education: Curriculum and Professional Development
  • Issues in ICT and Education
  • Learning with Virtual Worlds
  • Design and Evaluation of Web-based Learning Environments
  • e-Learning: Principles and Practices
  • Context, Design and Principles of Learning and Teaching in Clinical Settings
  • Developing Personal Practical Knowledge of English Language Teaching
  • The Practice of Supporting Language Teacher Learning
  • Practice, Assessment and Evaluation of Learning and Teaching in Clinical Settings
  • Workplace learning and assessment in practice settings
  • Education Management, Theories of Teaching and Learning, Developments in Healthcare Education
  • Evidence-based Teaching and Learning in Clinical Education
  • Leadership, Management and Collaborative Working
  • Noticing and Observing for Professional Practice and Learning
  • Promoting and Assessing Learning in the Classroom
  • International Educational Management: Developing Leadership
  • International Educational Management: Developing Staff for Institutional Improvement
  • International Educational Management: Developing Financial and Material Resources
  • International Educational Management: Effective Development of Policies and Plans for Change
  • The 14-19 Curriculum
  • Mathematics: Curriculum and Assessment
  • Learning and Teaching Mathematics
  • Trends in Research in Mathematics Education
  • Special Educational Needs: Principles and Practice
  • Special Educational Needs: International Perspectives
  • Developmental Disorders I: Dyslexia and Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Developmental Disorders II: Attention Deficit Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Teaching Children with Learning Difficulties
  • Teaching Children with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
  • Special Needs Coordination
  • Learning and Teaching in TESOL
  • Investigating Language for TESOL
  • Learning and Teaching Vocabulary
  • Grammar Learning and Teaching
  • Research Methods in TESOL
  • Teacher Education for TESOL
  • The TESOL curriculum and TESOL change
  • Assessing Language Learning
  • Materials Development for TESOL
  • Issues in English for Academic Purposes
  • Corpora in TESP
  • Language Learning and Teaching with ICT - Online
  • Teaching Languages to Young Learners
  • Approaches and Contexts in TESOL
  • Introduction to Second Language Acquisition
  • Teaching Oral and Written Skills for TESOL
  • Language Testing

Thesis preparation and upgrade viva

As an EdD student, you first enroll as Provisional EdD candidate and must go through a process of upgrading to achieve full EdD status. The upgrade process includes a review of your module progress and an assessment of your research planning and preparation progress.

The outcome of the upgrade process will determine whether you ma­y proceed to full EdD status. The upgrade process normally takes place after completion of the modules' study requirements, and normally within two years of full-time study or three years of part-time study.

The thesis preparation is a collection of documents prepared by you to support your application for upgrade from provisional to full EdD status. The thesis preparation component must be submitted, in advance of an oral examination (Viva), to the upgrade panel in support of the upgrade process and is assessed as part of that process. The thesis preparation component is not graded.

Research thesis

The research thesis of 55,000 words is a major element of the EdD programme. It is a student-driven, independent, research-based investigation that must provide evidence of originality and independent critical ability, and must contain matter suitable for publication. The thesis is expected to make a significant and noteworthy contribution to academic and professional knowledge and understanding.

When you apply to the EdD programme, you should have already identified an area of research. You should also be able to provide some evidence and understanding of why this field of research is pertinent to you and others, and how you propose, at this stage, to conduct your EdD research.

We will allocate a research supervisor to you, in line with your research intentions, and you will be expected to identify modules that support your field of research. The research component of the EdD is therefore significant at the application stage and remains a key focus throughout the EdD programme. We expect you to make links between your modular work and your research throughout the EdD course.

A key feature of the EdD programme is the opportunity for you to integrate the module and research components to suit your interests, and to build a cohesive and coherent programme in which your modular study informs and complements your research.

To this end, the activities in the three EdD component stages are interlinked, but also organised into sequential stages.

  • Stage one: taking and completing taught modules.
  • Stage two: preparating your thesis.
  • Stage three: researching and writing your thesis.

A typical three-year, full-time study programme

Year one activities

  • Taking four research methods modules.
  • Taking two specialist modules.
  • Planning your thesis.

Year two activities

  • Taking one Specialist Subject or Research Methods module.
  • Planning your thesis, and preparing for your upgrade viva.
  • Researching and writing your thesis.

Year three activities

  • Researching and writing your thesis.

A typical five-year, part-time study programme

Year one activities

  • Taking two research methods modules.
  • Taking one specialist module.
  • Planning your thesis.

Year two activities

  • Taking two research methods modules.
  • Taking one specialist module.
  • Planning your thesis.

Year three activities

  • Taking one Specialist Subject or Research Methods module.
  • Planning your thesis, and preparing for your upgrade viva.
  • Researching and writing your thesis.

Year four activities

  • Researching and writing your thesis.

Year five activities

  • Researching and writing your thesis.

Research is central to the mission of the School of Education. Colleagues here undertake research in key areas of educational policy and practice, and we place particular emphasis on the relevance of our work to practitioners and policymakers.

Research Students are at the centre of the School's work. We offer supervision in a wide range of research areas across four key Academic Teams.

Please take a closer look at each team's pages to get a sense of the breadth and depth of the research activities of our academic colleagues. We hope you will find a colleague working in a research area close to the one you are interested in exploring further through your doctoral studies.

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