Professional Doctorate in Education Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    The Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) is a research degree for professionals working in a wide range of education and learning settings. Building upon your existing knowledge and skills, the EdD will enable you to investigate and advance your own practice.

    Aimed at a wide range of education professionals in schools, colleges, universities and the lifelong learning sector, the EdD is the progression route of choice for those who have completed a masters level qualification with us or another UK university.

    You’ll conduct in-depth, empirical study related to your professional practice, together with the critical analysis of relevant policy and theory, with a view to addressing current problems and improving future practice in education.

    By developing and enhancing knowledge and understanding of key education issues, as well as skills such as problem solving, critical inquiry and reflection, the EdD aims to impact positively on practice in the wider organisations associated with education.

    During your studies, you’ll critically debate contemporary education issues, further develop your research skills and academic scholarship, and deepen your professional understanding. This will enable you to make an original contribution to practice, and equip you to bring tangible benefits to your organisation.

    On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: Doctor of Education

    Course content

    This is a broad and flexible research-based degree that incorporates four taught modules and a substantial research thesis.

    The modules are:

    • Policy and Professional Practice
    • Theory in Educational Research
    • Designing Educational Research
    • Thesis Research Proposal

    Designed to help you develop your research focus and academic skills, the taught element of the EdD is typically completed over the first two to three years of study and involves attending a number of on-campus Saturday sessions in Stoke-on-Trent. There are preparatory readings and activities in advance of each Saturday session, where you’ll be able to present and evaluate your own ideas and learning.

    Staff-led sessions and guest lectures will provide opportunities for you to participate in critical debate surrounding pertinent issues in education research, policy and practice.

    After successfully completing the four taught modules, you’ll be allocated a supervisory team, conduct the research project and, over 24 months, produce a 50,000-word doctoral thesis, which is formally examined in a viva voce.


    The EdD offers research training and career development to a broad range of professionals in areas relating to education, whether in schools, further or higher education, or elsewhere.

    Typically students might be adult educators, contract researchers in HEIs, early years practitioners, FE and HE lecturers, head teachers, LA inspectors and advisers, primary and secondary teachers, senior administrators in national organisations, support staff, and educators in a range of professional organisations.

    Teaching and assessment


    We know that everyone learns differently. So not only do we use traditional ways of teaching like lectures, we also use problem-based learning to help you apply your skills.

    For this course, you'll:

    • Work with others on group work
    • Delve deeper into subject areas in workshops
    • Be expected to study independently

    Our teaching is supported through our Virtual Learning Environment called Blackboard. This means you can access a range of materials to support your lectures wherever you are.

    We’ll also assign you a supervisor to support you throughout your research project.


    There are two types of assessments: practice (also called formative) or formal (also called summative).

    Practice assessments do not count towards your final mark. These are your chance to test your understanding – and learn how to improve for the real thing.

    You’ll have formal assessments at the end of each module. These could include essays, exams, or portfolios.

    Learning support

    Your course tutors will provide lots of support. But you can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you with:

    • Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
    • Written English (including punctuation, grammar)
    • Academic writing (including how to reference)
    • Research skills
    • Critical thinking
    • Revision, assessment and exam skills (including time management)

    Additional support

    If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our AccessAbility Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.


    We know that it’s important for you to be able to gauge your progress. So, your tutor will give you feedback on any practice assessments you do.

    We usually give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.

    Visit the Education Professional Doctorate page on the Staffordshire University website for more details!

    Entry Requirements

    A Masters degree in a relevant discipline, from a UK-based HE institution or overseas equivalent.
    A minimum of three years of relevant experience as a professional in an education setting.
    An IELTS score of 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.0 in any component) if English is not your first language.

    Course Fees

    Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on the website

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