Education Studies

Doctorate Education

Year of entry

Study at doctoral level embraces all the critical and analytical skills present in master's level work but also includes a stronger element of distinctiveness and originality. Doctoral work should make a contribution to the field of knowledge within which you are researching, and should be of potentially publishable standard.

The doctorate in the Faculty of Education delivers the advantages of working within a community of fellow researchers, engaging seminars, presentations and publication whilst at the same time becoming involved in a substantial individual research thesis of your own. The sense of community, of collaboration in the development of ideas and the opportunity to explore in depth aspects of research, policy and professional practice, is at the core of this course.

Modules include the nature of research and research design in education, the relationship between research, policy and professional practice, concepts of leadership and change, advanced research methodology and key issues in contemporary educational provision.

The doctorate culminates with a thesis, which may substantially draw on issues related to your own professional context.

This doctoral course combines advanced scholarship with a strong practice based philosophy. It builds upon the knowledge and skills that you, as a professional, bring to your study, and assumes that your professionalism is an integral part of the doctoral journey – where you will engage in intellectual and critical debate around contemporary educational issues in policy and practice.

Each module is designed to integrate professional experience with the skills and understanding necessary to innovate and apply new knowledge to advance your practice and enrich your learning.

The taught element of the Ed.D means that you are fully supported within a structured course as you progress towards your thesis. The division of the Ed.D into a taught stage and a thesis stage provides maximum flexibility in that you can develop existing interests and discover and investigate new areas.

The taught stage of the Ed.D consists of seven modules – you will study one module each term:

Term 1: The role and nature of theory
Term 2: Critical theory
Term 3: The development of professional knowledge 
Term 4: Research: self and positioning
Term 5: Methods and methodologies
Term 6: Policy research and truth 
Term 7: The research proposal.

Module 1: The role and nature of theory

The module aims to explore the role and significance of theory in advanced academic inquiry. It will explore discourses around theory and the relationship between theory and the concept of paradigms and professional practice. You will be expected to situate your own practices and professional contexts within particular theoretical frameworks and begin to analyse the limitations of theory. The ability to critique and interpret theory in relation to complex issues in specialist fields and research is a core aim of this module.

Module 2: Critical theory

The aims of the module are to demonstrate how critical theory may be used to critique educational discourse in relation to practice and policy. The module aims to engage candidates in some of the discussions and themes informed by critical theory and for them to use critical theory especially associated with postcolonial theory to critique an element of policy and practice, while considering how critical theory influences their approach to this analysis. Aspects of critical theory will be used as examples of the way theory can shape and determine the research process.

Module 3: The development of professional knowledge

The aim of the module is to develop candidates’ ability to discuss the development of professional knowledge from an informed range of standpoints. A range of relevant views of the nature of knowledge will be considered, with a view to enabling candidates to make informed methodological choices in their own research work and writing as they relate to and inform professional environments.

Module 4: Research: self and positioning

The aim of this module is to offer an opportunity to undertake critical and reflexive exploration of a chosen theme, either substantive or methodological, in order to establish and experiment with the importance of personal positioning. This involves developing greater awareness of multiple selves and perspectives and the implications for educational research. This final Level 7 module in the course occupies a pivotal position in enabling candidates to begin to consider seriously their approach to the doctoral thesis, in terms of both focus and methodology and the place of the self within this process

Module 5: Methods and methodologies

This module aims to develop students’ understanding of a range of research methodologies and methods and their philosophical underpinnings. Students will be supported in developing their understanding of the relationship between different methodologies and methods, conceptualising the relationship between the researcher, the researched and writing.

Module 6: Policy, research and truth

The principle aim of this module is to support candidate’s ability to conduct a piece of research analysing notions of truth in policy. The module aims therefore include developing candidate skills in developing a research proposal, their understanding of the nature of policy in education and philosophies of truth.

Module 7: The research proposal

The aims of the module are to develop candidate’s ability to engage and reflect on the range of research methods and methodologies that can be applied and used in educational settings in relation to their proposed thesis. They will be expected to develop a research proposal and rationale in relation to the methodology and research questions (and the relationship between them) as part of the proposal. Candidates will be asked to critically examine and reflect on the philosophies, cultural and social factors that characterise the principles that underpin research methodologies and also to consider what constitutes research. Candidates will problematise relationships between the research questions, epistemology and the methodology.

Full use is made of the range of teaching approaches. You are required to be able to work and discuss in a way that is flexible from within your own disciplines and professional contexts but also in ways that go beyond these boundaries. The use of an extensive range of teaching strategies will support the development of postgraduate skills that will substantiate your learning and research.

You will be taught over study weekends. There will be a mixture of seminars, tutorials, collaborative work, lectures and workshops. Significant sections of the course will be delivered by researchers who are active in specialised fields of professional enquiry and you will have the opportunity to discuss and analyse their work with them. Below gives an indication of the key features of the teaching days and the tutorials.

  • The thesis writing stage of the Ed.D will be supervised through individual tutorials. The bulk of this period will be self-directed study and writing and researching although you will have regular tutorials with your supervisors and have access to discussion forums on Blackboard.
  • During the thesis writing stage you will meet with your supervisors at least once a term and youmay, at the request of your supervisors be required to submit evidence of work/progress once a month. You may be expected to provide evidence of written work and reading and to participate in discussions about the progress of your thesis. You will be expected to participate in seminars and discussion forums organised as part of the faculty research culture where they are relevant to your study.
  • During the thesis writing stage you will be expected to regularly participate in relevant scholarly activities for example attending and giving papers at conferences, participation in seminars and workshops.
  • Ed.D participants will be taught by professors, readers, research theme leaders and specialist tutors.


2017/18 tuition fees for this course

Full-time  N/A N/A
Part-time  To be confirmed  To be confirmed

Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course where the course lasts more than one academic year. The increase will reflect cost inflation in the University. Any inflationary increase will be no more than 3.5% for each year of your study. The increase will be calculated on the previous year’s tuition fees and not the tuition fees at the start of the course. The University aims to publish the tuition fees for the 2018/19 academic year on the University’s website by 31st July 2017.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

**Overseas fee scholarships may be available. See further information about funding and scholarships or contact the International Office.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.
A range of written assignments and a final doctoral thesis.

Applications for this course should be started by contacting:

Fact file

Entry requirements

  • The normal entry requirements for the Ed.D are that you have a Masters Degree and four years professional experience.



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Last edited: 05/04/2017 17:55:00