Doctor of Education (EdD)

Entry year
Course code
School of Education and Childhood
Minimum four years for students who already have a Masters degree.
Part-time. Starts in October
Programme leader
Professor Jane Andrews and Professor Richard Waller

This course is open for applications

Page last updated 7 May 2024


The UWE EdD has been running since 2000 and has recently undergone a re-validation in order to ensure it continues to provide the most up to date teaching methods and content.

It is aimed at professionals from many areas of action - teachers from all sectors, educational administrators, policy officers, professionals involved in education in their specialist field such as nurses, paramedics, social workers, occupational therapists, community workers and others. Our goal is to better understand and improve programmes of training and education and, through this, to improve professional services and their role in a democracy.

The teaching on the EdD programme is highly interactive. It is seminar and workshop-based, and has a supportive supervision framework. The taught element (Years 1 and 2) is driven by practical research tasks. Assessment throughout is designed to put professional learning to the forefront, and to derive from this the academic standards which will allow us, eventually, to confer the award of a Doctor of Education.

What is an EdD?

The Doctor of Education is equivalent in status and challenge to a PhD. It comprises four to six years part-time study and allows you to use the title 'Dr'.

Like other EdD programmes, the EdD study at the University of the West of England comprises a mix of taught and research elements. Taught elements happen mainly in seminars and workshops with a number of tutors, and research elements are conducted under the supervision of one tutor.

What does 'doctor level' mean?

Enquiry-based work at doctor level is expected to lead to the generation of original knowledge, and this implies a greater intolerance of closure and resolution of issues and controversies; and a correspondingly higher level of tolerance for complexity.

We would expect, for example, compared to work at Master's level, a keener and more critical reading of research literature with the ability to differentiate between competing schools of thought. The capacity to bring to bear multiple contexts for understanding an educational issue (political, ethical, personal, historical, methodological).



The programme is organised into 2 parts.

Part 1

Four taught modules of 30 credits each, giving a total of 120 credits:

  • Action Research and Evaluation in Education - This module explores the methods and challenges involved when professionals engage in researching their own practice and/or context. Issues of reflexivity and ethics are particularly focused upon.
  • Theoretical Perspectives on Teaching and Learning - A range of theoretical perspectives available to researchers in educational settings are discussed in this module including, as an example sociocultural theory.
  • Researching Educational Policies and Professional Identities - Methodologies and methods for studying education policies and professional identities are the focus for this module.
  • Advanced Preparation for Research - This module allows students to develop their skills and understanding in developing their own research proposal

Part 2

Supervised study with a Director of Studies and one or more supervisors supporting you as you engage in a piece of research resulting in a written thesis of 60,000 words.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Will I have specialist support for my research?

There are two aspects to research supervision: support for the substantive theme of your research (eg management styles, nursing practice, policy training, social bases for pupil disaffection) and support for the methodological challenges you face (eg is it appropriate to use a survey or how do I handle the ethics of observing the work of my colleagues?).

We will always provide support for methodological challenges and if required, will also provide support for the substantive theme of your research. However, some people prefer to cope with the substantive challenge themselves and to use supervision to advance their methodological understanding.

We can offer supervision across a wide range of substantive and methodological fields, some examples of which include: case study; statistical procedures; quasi-experimental design; grounded theory; discourse analysis; social theory (eg. Bourdieu); action research; interpretative sociology; life history research; feminist approaches; questionnaire design; narrative research; focus group work.

Student Views

"The EdD route was particularly helpful for me, after a gap of several years. Since completion of my Masters, it encouraged me to get back into the disciplines of evaluating sources, of relating theory to practice effectively, and of being appropriately academically critical. As a part-time student, the level of online support and a community of mature fellow-learners from comparable academic backgrounds was a great benefit."

"Overall the EdD was a hugely enjoyable and rewarding experience... A number of key strands remain with me; a continuing interest and engagement with both the substantive and research literature, a more profound knowledge of a number of important areas of my work in education, and a broader horizon of approaches to understand complex issues". 

"I was fortunate in that I had my headteacher role already, so the EdD has not advanced my career in the orthodox sense but it has advanced my knowledge, skills and confidence".

Hear more from our EdD students.


Study time

What will my time commitment be?

Each component has a specified number of hours 'contact time'. In addition, you should plan to spend between 20 to 30 hours each month engaged in personal and directed study.


Study facilities

The Department of Education at UWE's Frenchay Campus has excellent facilities and resources for learning and teaching. It's modern, purpose-built facilities provide high quality teaching rooms with state-of-the-art technology available. The department has excellent IT facilities and houses an open learning area with the latest equipment.

The education department's research centre, BRIDGE holds seminars approximately monthly with a variety of staff and postgraduate students from across the university, and national and international speakers.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

Take a Virtual Tour of the Education and Teaching facilities and see what's on offer here for you.


For information about fees, please see our Graduate School fees and funding pages.


Postgraduate support

Our support includes access to fantastic facilities, study tools and career consultants, plus practical help to access everything from funding to childcare.


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Entry requirements

Participants will normally hold a Masters degree and will have a minimum of four years' experience in a relevant professional area.

For further information regarding this course, please feel free to contact the tutors:

How to apply

Follow the link below to begin your online application:

Apply here.

All applicants who meet the minimum criteria will be invited to interview to discuss their application to the course.

Read more about international applications and key international deadline dates.

For further information