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The University of Sheffield

Literacy and Language

The Literacy and Language strand of the EdD programme at Sheffield enables practitioners who are passionate about linking research and practice in language and literacy to spend time developing a scholarly understanding of the field while linking it to their own practice. Our students including primary school teachers, secondary school teachers, adult and community literacy and language teachers and those involved in policy making, teaching in Higher Education and arts education. Staff on this course include internationally renowned scholars in the field of literacy and language education.

The Literacy and Language course allows students to obtain a research-led understanding of literacy and language in education, and will open up new fields of study drawing on a multi disciplinary lens. You will be thinking about literacy and language in the everyday, digital literacies, creativity and literacy, home literacy practices, literacy and language in schools, communities and colleges, ways of supporting multilingual learners together with a focus on new and emerging theories of literacy and language. The course aims to provide students with both a thorough grounding in the philosophy, principles and practice of educational research, and a critical understanding of key contemporary issues in relation to the teaching and learning of literacy and language in all sectors of education including informal and community learning.

Entry requirements

A candidate for the Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) degree must:

  • be a graduate of an approved university holding a Bachelor’s degree (normally first or second class Honours or equivalent) and normally holding an appropriate Masters degree or hold such other qualifications as may, on the recommendation of the School, be deemed by Senate to be equivalent to the qualifications previously mentioned.
  • have a minimum of two years’ professional experience within a relevant field and have achieved a minimum standard in IELTS or equivalent of 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each section).

Course modules

In Part I, students attend a weekend study school for each module i.e. three weekend study schools per year. Attendance at residential weekends is a compulsory part of the programme at Part I level. These weekends enable students to meet and develop their own networks and contacts.Photograph from EdD weekend

Students are sent readings in electronic form prior to each weekend school. During the study school, students attend in lectures and seminars. Regular communication between students and supervisors is encouraged throughout Part II. In addition to attending supervision tutorials at weekend study schools students maintain contact at key points during their programme of study via e-mail, letter, telephone and personal visits.

Part I

This comprises six modules. They are normally studied in the following order:

  • Introduction to Education Research
  • An introduction to educational research, contemporary issues and debates in the field.
  • Contemporary Debates in Education
  • Draws on a range of research studies to explore topical educational issues, together with emerging patterns of educational provision for the future.
  • Processes of Educational Research
  • This module focuses on the research methodologies techniques and responsibilities of the researcher.
  • Approaches to Education Policy
  • Introduces students to the critical study of education policy, its formation and effects in relation to theory and practice. Education policy themes include: marketisation/privatisation, globalisation, professional identity and equality.
  • Named route module
  • Focuses on a variety of aspects of educational research related to the specific named route chosen by the student, in this case, Literacy and Language.
  • Research Design and Management
  • Looks at practical issues involved in all stages of the research process, which includes those undertaken in Part II of the EdD programme.

Part II: Thesis

  • An extensive research project of between 50,000 and 60,000 words.

Assessment methods

Students complete an assignment at the end of each module in Part 1. Students are encouraged to shape assignments to meet their own professional contexts. Every student is assigned a personal tutor for the duration of each module. Assignments are 6,000 words in length and students can expect to receive feedback on a plan and a complete draft of their assignment.

In Part 2 students conduct an extensive research project on an approved topic, resulting in a thesis of between 50,000 and 60,000 words. It is examined through a viva examination to ensure the highest research standards. The Part 2 research thesis is conducted under the supervision of a member of staff. Regular communication between students and supervisors is encouraged throughout Part 2. In addition to attending supervision tutorials at weekend study schools, students maintain contact at key points during their programme of study via e-mail, Skype and/or telephone.


Fees are payable each year for a minimum of 4 years and will be charged in years 5 and 6 where studies continue.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
EdD Part-time £ 3,347 (Academic year) Home/EU 4 Years
EdD Part-time £ 8,750 (Academic year) International 4 Years

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