Professional Doctorate in EdD - Professional Doctorate in Education


    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    Are you interested in undertaking research into your own professional practice in education? Then our professional doctorate in Education, the EdD, is the course for you.

    What's covered in the course?

    On the course you will get a grounding in the essential skills required to articulate and interrogate the key issues relating to education policy, the changing role of social institutions, aspects of pedagogy, and the implications for multiple and fluid professional identities on everyday education practice in a context of global interconnectedness and interdependence.

    During the course you will improve your practice and make a significant contribution to your continuing professional development. We know you’re busy practitioners, so the course is tailored to that and will enable you to embed your research in your everyday practice.

    You’ll explore the relationship between knowledge, theory and practice and demonstrate your understanding of how it is possible to make and influence change. To do this we’ll help you develop creative and innovative approaches for integrating academic and professional knowledge as well as design and implement research which draws upon your appreciation of knowledge that occurs in professional settings.

    This intensive course offers a range of teaching and learning approaches in small groups, led by academics who are writing and publishing in a range of related areas. This course encourages innovative and creative approaches to educational research and draws on a wider pool of experts from across the University to support work in visual methods and new media.

    On completion of the course, our aim is that you have developed intuitive judgement, foresight and ability to conceptualise problems that typically impact on organisations, are able to develop appropriate solutions to problems by applying theoretical concepts, and a range of research skills and approaches that you’re able to employ. You’ll also have skills to communicate academic principles and concepts effectively to professional colleagues and the scholarly community.

    Research Interests 

    We offer supervisory expertise in the following areas of research interests, which all tend to be related to professional practice in education:

    • Assessment
    • Creativity
    • Childhood Studies
    • Early Years
    • Post-16 Provision
    • Education Policy
    • Music Education
    • Professional Learning and Development
    • Workplace Learning
    • Student experience in higher education
    • Teaching and learning in higher education
    • Management and leadership in education
    • Historical research into education

    Course structure

    You will be introduced to an array of new techniques and emerging philosophies that are available to develop your ability to critically analyse practice and the relevance of theoretical concepts which underpin them. Furthermore you will investigate the relevance of digital technologies as a means to deepen your understanding of the mobility of people, ideas, networks and meanings derived from multiple geographical and historical origins.

    A major outcome will be that you will enhance your own professional skills and be in a position to influence others in the development of your organisation. At the same time and notwithstanding national policy requirements and professional practices, you will recognise a global reconfiguring of social relationships largely disconnected from national origins.

    Central to this will be the need to engage in reflective and reflexive practice in order to understand the potential consequences of actions and plan for professional change in the context of the global circulation of educational ideologies, discourses and practices.

    The framework of the programme incorporates components intended to develop research skills and a willingness to adopt an approach which is explicitly enquiring and involves the critique of existing practice and encourages challenges to established theory. Assessment strategies will provide you with opportunities to develop and demonstrate a range of doctoral level skills including multi-model approaches (visual and verbal) in addition to the more traditional forms of critical writing.

    You will be awarded a professional doctorate on successful demonstration of the following:

    • The creation and interpretation of new knowledge and contribution to professional practice through scholarly research of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the subject and merit publication;
    • Significant development in key aspects of professional practice;
    • A systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of an area of professional practice;
    • The general ability to conceptualise, design and develop a project for the generation of new professional knowledge, and to modify and influence practice in the light of contextual considerations, as appropriate;
    • A detailed understanding of applicable techniques for both research and advanced academic enquiry.

    The EdD programme is undertaken in three phases.

    Phase 1 - you will undertake the first two Critical Perspectives modules through which you are introduced to key concepts in educational research methodology within the policy and political contexts of educational practice.

    Phase 2 - in the second phase you will extend your experience of research methodologies and engage with a range of contemporary and experimental approaches and undertake a pilot project in an area of your choice. In phase 2 you will also undertake the university-wide PG Certificate in Research Practice which provides the opportunity to discuss and write a research proposal for the EdD thesis.

    Phase 3 - you will complete a 50,000 word thesis in an area of your choice.


    Visit the EdD - Professional Doctorate in Education page on the Birmingham City University website for more details!

    Entry Requirements

    Professional doctorates are designed for mid-career and senior professionals who have previous higher level study, and significant professional experience. They are also suited to those who have recently completed an MA or MEd in Education.

    The emphasis is on developing links between theory and professional practise through an extensive process of reflective and reflexive learning.

    Professional doctorates are not designed as a teaching qualification; rather they provide evidence of advanced study and research in a relevant education area.


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