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Doctor of Education


School of Education

The Doctor of Education (EdD) is a professionally-focused, cohort-based doctorate, aimed primarily at experienced professionals working in education, health and related fields. You should normally have at least four years’ experience in a relevant professional area, and should hold a good postgraduate master’s degree from a recognised university.

This course is an opportunity to pursue doctoral study in the context of your professional role, combining taught courses with independent research. Your work will enable you to develop and use advanced research skills and so become an independent, reflective and competent researcher.

Our programme of study is structured specifically to meet the needs of people who are in full-time employment. Taught elements of the programme will be delivered both virtually and face-to-face. It is anticipated that teaching will normally be held on Saturdays with a minimum of six days a year. This course is part time and takes between 4 – 7 years to complete.


Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Harcourt Hill Campus

Course length

  • Part time: 4-7 years

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • Coming from a wide range of educational backgrounds you will have the opportunity to explore your research interests in the context of your own professional roles.
  • The course is highly collegial. Sessions draw upon the rich and varied experiences that everyone brings to the course, and the exploration of commonalities across disciplines is integral to the programme of study.
  • The course aims to promote critical self-reflection through a sequence of structured learning experiences, culminating in a thesis that is an original and substantial piece of professionally-oriented education research.
  • Your work will enable you to develop and use advanced research skills and so become an independent, reflective and competent researcher.
  • You will be joining a university which is widely regarded as a major contributor to the improvement of education and learning, locally and nationally. The School of Education is a focal point for lively, informed debate on education through its seminar and lecture programmes.
  • You will be working with highly regarded academics who are at the forefront of their subjects. Drawing on our cutting-edge, research-led teaching, our courses will advance your knowledge and develop your professional skills in a rich and diverse intellectual and social environment.
Learn more about student's experiences on the EdD course.

Module Guide

During the first part of the EdD programme, before embarking on your thesis, you will be involved in the taught modules described below. The modules vary in length and are assessed in a variety of ways in some combination of the following: – written assignment, presentation and contribution to online discussion.

Year 1

Research 1: Paradigms

This module focuses on research paradigms, enabling you to position yourself in relation to them, thinking about your identity, experiences and understanding of research. 

Writing for Academic Practice 1

Designed to support the writing process and to scaffold your development towards the writing of publishable research this module offers you the opportunity to be involved in the analysis and evaluation of research articles, peer reviewing, editing, drafting and reformulation of written work. 

Learning, Culture and Society

An introduction to major education and social theories, and offers an opportunity to undertake research or a substantive literature review to explore an area of interest to you. 

Year 2

Research 2: Methods

Focuses on the different methods of research, encouraging you to think more widely about alternative methods which you could use for your thesis. 

Writing for Academic Practice 2

You will develop your own writing skills with a view to publishing articles in academic journals. You will also have an opportunity in a virtual learning environment (VLE), to debate and have discussions with EdD students at the University of Hawaii.

Investigating Complexity

This module covers a range of well-established theories, with a view to deepening your core skills for critical enquiry and helping you to develop a conceptual framework for your thesis research. 

Year 3

Preparing your Research Proposal

In this module you will have advice on the selection of a thesis topic. You will be asked to present your proposal to the doctoral cohort. You will also be supported in preparing your proposal for Registration with Oxford Brookes University’s Research Degree Committee (RDC).

Thesis (continues in Years 4 and possibly 5)

You will be allocated a team of 2 supervisors who will support you as you undertake your research and write your thesis.

Your thesis will be about 50,000 words in length and will focus on a specialist area of your choice. It will make a distinct contribution to knowledge in the field of study and demonstrate your capacity for original, autonomous research. Support in writing your thesis is provided through meetings with your assigned supervisors and through regular thesis workshops.

Please note: as courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module lists you choose from may vary from the ones shown here.

Teaching and learning

The taught element of the programme will be delivered face to face supported by online learning. It is anticipated that teaching will normally be held on Saturdays with a minimum of six days a year.

In addition, throughout the programme, ongoing support is provided through staff and postgraduate research seminars.  You will have the opportunity to attend seminars provided by the University, the Graduate School and School of Education.   

Approach to assessment

Assessment of the taught programme is mostly by written assignments and presentations. The assessment for the Learning, Culture and Society module involves a small research project which enables you to experiment with different research methods and hone your research skills. The assessment of the thesis is by a viva.

Taster sessions

If you are interested in learning more about the EdD you can attend one of our taster sessions which are held regularly throughout the year - see the downloadable flyer attached to this course or contact our Research Administrator, education-researchadmin@brookes.ac.uk

Attendance pattern

You will attend a minimum of six Saturdays per year (normally between October - May).

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - part time fee: 2019/20: £2,800 2020/21: to be confirmed

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

Entry requirements

You should normally have at least four years’ experience in a relevant professional area, and should hold a postgraduate master's degree from a recognised university. 

We will be looking for a good grade (usually merit or distinction) in your master's, and you will need to provide an extract from your dissertation or from an equally substantial piece of academic writing.

We also ask you to provide a statement in support of your application, not exceeding 1,000 words, which should indicate:

  • possible areas of research for your thesis (we recognise this may change during the course of your doctoral studies)
  • why you want to join the EdD programme
  • how you feel that it will enhance your professional development.

English language requirements

An IELTS score of 7 is required for those students whose first language is not English and who have not studied for their undergraduate or postgraduate degrees in English.

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the university's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

Currently international students would have to attend the taught sessions in Years 1 and 2, which will be at weekends. As the course is only available in part-time mode it may not be possible for some international students to meet visa requirements which normally stipulate full-time study.

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

How this course helps you develop

EdD teaching provides a range of theoretical perspectives which enable you to reflect on ways in which you might improve your professional practice.

The collegial nature of the EdD means that you will benefit from learning alongside professionals from a variety of education and related backgrounds.


EdD students are typically experienced professionals in education, healthcare and related fields. During the programme and after graduation many will go on to promoted posts in these areas.

As a doctoral qualification, the EdD also provides opportunities for those seeking employment and promotion in the higher education sector.

Learn more about students on the EdD course.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

The School of Education is one of the UK's biggest providers of professional development in the UK. You will be learning alongside academics and students from a wide range of backgrounds and  with the support of a caring and efficient administrative staff, you will become a member of a rich and diverse intellectual and social environment.

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Research highlights

Sustained excellence in research and publication has ensured that a significant proportion of our School of Education staff were entered for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 (UoA 25). Almost 90% of our research was deemed to be of international merit, with around one half either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Contributions to the REF were spread across all of our research groups.

Our research aims to create impact on contemporary educational issues - supporting knowledge creation and developing innovative approaches to researching pedagogic practices. The School’s research strategy functions at all spatial scales, from local to global. We publish our highest quality research in leading peer-reviewed journals. Emeritus, Honorary and Visiting Research Fellows contribute to our research programmes and outputs.

The School holds two major research conferences each year - the School of Education Research Conference and the EdD Colloquium. Our Research Seminar Series (which attracts both internal and external speakers) runs annually - all students are invited to attend. We also organise a number of conferences, lectures, seminars and debates, some of which have an international reach.

Members of the School are engaged in a variety of funded and unfunded research projects; we have previously enjoyed prestigious funded scholarships (such as the Fulbright – Peabody scholarship) and, when feasible, offer funded Research Studentships to doctoral applicants. Our Centre for Educational Consultancy and Development (CECD) regularly secures consultancy and research money.

As might be expected in such a research active school, many staff are engaged as editors, editorial board members, or reviewers for various peer reviewed academic and professional journals, as well as online journals.

View all staff profiles for School of Education

Research areas and clusters

TheSchool of Education at Oxford Brookes University is a thriving centre for educational research and teacher professional development.
The School’s six research groups reflect a thriving research community of academics, scholars and students. They exist to encourage engagement in research, publication, conference presentations, seminars and workshops, and include:
  • Inclusion
  • Wellbeing
  • Policy, Partnership and Leadership
  • STEAM pedagogy and learning
  • Humanistic Perspectives on Education
  • Early Years
  • Applied Linguistics
View all staff profiles for School of Education.