Professional Doctorate in Doctor of Education EdD

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    This course is aimed at experienced educational professionals. It sets out to place you at the leading edge of your professional field.

    Offered as a part-time distance-learning programme, the EdD is for educational professionals looking to make substantial and original contributions to the development of educational knowledge in a broad range of settings.

    It meets the need for the highest levels of professional development and training of educators, and those concerned with educational policy and administration. The prime focus is the interaction between the multi-dimensional practices of education and scholarship.

    You'll engage with practitioners with knowledge, awareness and understanding of the philosophical, organisational, political, social, managerial, interpersonal, and technical dimensions of schools and other educational institutions.

    Exploration of the connection between theory and practice begins with a series of taught units that will develop your capability to perceive critical issues facing educators and policymakers through the lens of contemporary and historical research and philosophy. This broad foundation will allow you to refine your specific interests as you work towards the supervised research thesis that will make an original contribution to your field.

    Programme structure

    Most students complete this programme in 5 years. You cannot take less than 3 years to finish your research and the maximum time you are allowed is normally 8 years.

    You can start this programme in January or June.

    You will start this programme with one of the advertised units, usually either during Summer School or Winter School, or with a unit offered on a directed learning (online) basis (October option).

    Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

    Your academic progress and general welfare will be monitored by your supervisor.

    Programme content


    • Doctoral skills online
    • Research project
    • Seminars
    • Supervisory team

    Taught content

    You are required to complete four taught units (two compulsory and two optional), before moving onto the Research Enquiry (thesis) stage. You must obtain at least two Merit grades or higher from these units to progress.

    Normally, most of our students complete all units on campus at the University of Bath during the Winter School or Summer School intensive teaching weeks. It is possible however, and particularly while on-campus teaching is temporarily suspended during Covid-19, to complete some units via directed learning (online).

    You must complete this stage of the programme within five years, if studying part-time.

    Core units:

    • Educational Research: philosophy and practice
    • Educational Policy: theory and practice

    Optional units:

    • Educational management, leadership and administration
    • International education: philosophy and practice
    • Language, culture and education
    • Learning pedagogy and diversity
    • Pilot Research Enquiry*
    • Reading paper *

    *If your background and experience is appropriate, and at the discretion of the Director of Studies, your fourth unit may be a reading paper or a pilot research enquiry. In this unit you would work under the supervision of an individual tutor, on a previously agreed education-related topic.

    Research content

    Units can be undertaken through our Intensive Teaching Weeks, or (in the case of some units) via directed learning. Each unit is led by a specialist tutor and is made up of:

    • Tutored time - approximately 40 hours involving you in lectures, group work and individual or paired tasks.
    • Independent study - 160 hours in which you will research issues raised in tutored time and plan, research and write the Unit Assignment. You are assigned an individual tutor to support you in the process of writing your assignment.

    In the Thesis phase, a supervisor and co-supervisor will be responsible for giving you advice and support, and monitoring your progress.

    Your first unit must be taken at our Intensive Teaching Weeks. These are on-campus events that occur at specific times of the year in the form of Summer and Winter Schools.

    The Summer School normally runs for three weeks from late June or the beginning of July. A different unit is offered each week. One or two units are also usually offered in January (applications for both -summer and winter school- must be made via Summer School process).

    Studying by directed learning (online) may be possible for Educational Policy: Theory and Practice unit. The unit is typically offered via directed learning in either the spring or autumn semester. The Pilot Research Enquiry and Reading Paper are also studied online, and can be started at any time of the year.

    Professional Development

    Professional development is a crucial element of doctoral study, not only in supporting your research but also as part of your longer term career development. Our DoctoralSkills workshops and courses will help you build your skills and help you succeed in your doctorate.

    Read more about professional development support


    Assessment methods

    • Essay
    • Thesis
    • Viva Voce

    Assessment description

    Units will normally be assessed through one assignment of 8,000 words.

    Your Thesis will be assessed through a viva voce examination at the University by a member of staff (not your supervisor) and by an external examiner specifically appointed to examine your thesis. The Thesis must provide evidence of originality of mind and critical judgement about your chosen aspect of education, and must contain material which is worthy of publication.

    We expect our doctoral students to undertake 5 days skills training per year, if studying part-time.

    There are a range of workshops and courses available from our DoctoralSkills catalogue which can help you develop skills, and are mapped against the UK national Researcher Development Framework. Other opportunities for skills training may come from employment-related training or external conference or workshop attendance.

    Visit the Doctor of Education EdD page on the University of Bath website for more details!

    Entry Requirements

    First or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject, from a recognised university.
    Advanced qualification (MEd, MA or MPhil) in education or a related field. The successful completion (normally obtaining a performance of 60% or above in each unit) of two Masters level education-focused units, taken at the University of Bath (one of which should be the Research Methods in Education unit) will also be considered.
    Appropriate professional experience in the practice of education or a related field.
    Two references are required. At least one of these should be an academic reference.

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