Professional Doctorate in Doctor of Education (EdD)

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    Aimed at highly capable and motivated education professionals, our part-time doctoral programme will put you at the forefront of your area of practice and transform your career development prospects.

    Course description

    • Achieve your doctorate on a programme which is ideal for individuals working across a wide variety of education, training, public service, industrial and community settings 
    • Focus on a major independent study which will help you develop professionally and personally in your working role 
    • Gain high-calibre research skills to generate new insights for the benefit of your own organisation and the education community at large 
    • Take a structured approach to studying at doctoral level, supported at every stage by an academic team who have won national recognition for their high standards 
    • Fit your studies around your personal commitments: we offer a flexible route to the EdD, with a minimum registration period of four years, to a maximum of eight.  
    • We offer the EdD online meaning you can study from anyway in the world, at a pace that suits you. 
    • You will study alongside other students from across the world

    If you’re a working professional committed to extending your understanding and improving your practice, the Doctor of Education (EdD) is an excellent choice.

    Education in its broadest sense

    Our Doctor of Education (EdD) has a broad appeal: you don’t have to be a teacher, tutor or lecturer to benefit. The programme is relevant to professionals engaged in learning, teaching, coaching, development, education policy and administration in a vast range of occupations and settings. 

    Our students work in education establishments, health and social care, commercial management and training, organisational development and improvement, business and the voluntary sector.

    Research with real impact

    This is an intellectually challenging programme which stimulates your professional thinking. We will equip you to undertake a substantial, robust research project in the context of your own practice.

    Directly relevant to your working role, your independent study enables you to create and interpret new professional knowledge, support innovative approaches and improve quality. It yields significant benefits for your organisation and your own potential for further career development.

    Structured for success

    The first two years of the programme are designed to build your skills and confidence to engage in doctoral level study and to research your professional field. Individual tutorials offer essential guidance to steer your progress and thought-provoking seminar groups enable you to share experiences with fellow students from a wide range of backgrounds.

    This provides a firm foundation for your independent research during years three to six as you develop your thesis under the supervision of a Director of Studies.

    Academic rigour and expertise

    Our Doctor of Education (EdD) is delivered by experienced tutors and supervisors who have expertise across all educational spheres and regularly publish their work. They will keep you abreast of latest thinking and challenge your perceptions.

    The programme draws on the cutting-edge educational research for which the University is renowned. Conducting influential studies on everything from early years to adult learning, we provide consultancy for Government, schools and the wider education sector. It means your learning will be underpinned by innovative ideas which are changing the face of the education professions.

    Course duration

    This course is available part-time only but you can choose to study either on campus or online. To complete the professional doctorate you will need to complete two 60-credit modules and an Independent Research for Practice module (420 credits).

    See website for module information.

    How you will learn

    This course is taught and facilitated by leading academics and professionals who use a variety of flexible learning strategies to help you to reach your full potential.

    You can choose to study either on campus or online:

    If you choose to study on campus, you will be taught in small seminar groups, supported by individual tutorials. This will enhance your learning experience, as you will learn both with and from your peers and academic staff.

    Online students will follow the same structure as on campus students but all teaching will be virtual.

    How you are assessed

    Assessments provide a variety and range of tasks which go beyond the requirements of the academic essay. These facilitate professionals such as yourself in articulating and disseminating your expertise.

    Over the course of the whole programme, you will undertake the following:

    • An analysis of the nature of practitioner research within professional practice (3,000 words)
    • A reflective literature review focused on your area of study (5,000 words)
    • An extended essay (10,000 words) justifying your chosen educational research methodology for your professional research. You will consider research ethics and an appreciation of contemporary philosophical debates about educational research
    • A viva voce examination of a professionally researched thesis (50,000-60,000 words)


    Our students choose this programme as a crucial part of their personal and professional development. You will gain impressive skills in research, analysis, critical and strategic thinking which will enhance your performance in your current role while paving the way to further career opportunities. The doctorate is often a stepping stone to more senior leadership roles.

    You will also have the satisfaction of contributing to the body of professional knowledge in your specialist area, raising your profile and status.

    Visit the Doctor of Education (EdD) page on the University of Derby website for more details!

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    Entry Requirements

    You will usually hold a masters award in an appropriate academic field, and have significant experience of work within your professional practice (usually two years minimum).

    You should have high levels of competence in English. If necessary, this should be demonstrated by IELTS 6.5.

    All suitable applicants will be interviewed.

    This course is open to international students through our online study option only. As the course is only delivered part-time, we regret that we cannot accept international students on campus at this would contravene UKBA (UK Border Agency) regulations.

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