Sector menu

Doctor of Education EdD

If you’re a working professional committed to extending your understanding and improving your practice, the Doctor of Education (EdD) is an excellent choice.

Education in its broadest sense  

Our Doctor of Education (EdD) has a broad appeal: you don’t have to be a teacher, tutor or lecturer to benefit. The programme is relevant to professionals engaged in learning, teaching, coaching, development, education policy and administration in a vast range of occupations and settings.

Our students work in education establishments, health and social care, commercial management and training, organisational development and improvement, business and the voluntary sector. 

Research with real impact/

This is an intellectually challenging programme which stimulates your professional thinking. We will equip you to undertake a substantial, robust research project in the context of your own practice.

Directly relevant to your working role, your independent study enables you to create and interpret new professional knowledge, support innovative approaches and improve quality. It yields significant benefits for your organisation and your own potential for further career development.

Structured for success

The first two years of the programme are designed to build your skills and confidence to engage in doctoral level study and to research your professional field. Individual tutorials offer essential guidance to steer your progress and thought-provoking seminar groups enable you to share experiences with fellow students from a wide range of backgrounds.

This provides a firm foundation for your independent research during years three to six as you develop your thesis under the supervision of a Director of Studies.

Academic rigour and expertise

Our Doctor of Education (EdD) is delivered by experienced tutors and supervisors who have expertise across all educational spheres and regularly publish their work. They will keep you abreast of latest thinking and challenge your perceptions.

The programme draws on the cutting-edge educational research for which the University is renowned. Conducting influential studies on everything from early years to adult learning, we provide consultancy for Government, schools and the wider education sector. It means your learning will be underpinned by innovative ideas which are changing the face of the education professions.

Entry requirements

You will usually hold a masters award in an appropriate academic field, and have significant experience of work within your professional practice (usually two years minimum).

All suitable applicants will be interviewed. As the EdD programme is only delivered part-time, we regret that we cannot take international students as this would contravene UKBA regulations.

English language requirements

You should have high levels of competence in English. If necessary, this should be demonstrated by IELTS 6.5.

Course modules

Theory for Practice

The first stage of the course is the Theory for Practice stage and usually takes two years to complete.

You will study the following modules over the first two years of the course:

Year one

  • Engaging with Study at Professional Doctoral Level
  • Identifying Your Research Area

Year two

  • Philosophy and Practice of Research
  • Independent Research

Years three to six

During years three to six, you will be registered on the Independent Research for Practice module where you will develop your research thesis.

You’ll study this module:

  • Independent Research for Practice

During this module, you'll prepare a substantial piece of research that will form the thesis element of your Doctorate. Your thesis will be between 50,000 and 60,000 words and, following its submission, you will undertake an oral exam that will enable you to discuss your ideas and arguments with experts in your academic field.

You’ll be supervised by two qualified supervisors from your field of study throughout this period.

Assessment methods

Assessments provide a variety and range of tasks which go beyond the requirements of the academic essay. These facilitate professionals such as yourself in articulating and disseminating your expertise.

Over the course of the whole programme, you will undertake the following:

  • An analysis of the nature of practitioner research within professional practice (3000 words).
  • A reflective literature review focused on your area of study (5000 words).
  • An extended essay (10,000 words) justifying your chosen educational research methodology for your professional research. You will consider research ethics and an appreciation of contemporary philosophical debates about educational research.
  • A viva voce examination of a professionally researched thesis (50,000 - 60,000 words).

Sponsorship information

We offer a 10% discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.


Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.


Qualification Study mode Fee status Fee Study period Duration
EdD Part-time Home/EU £ 3,000 Academic year 4 6 years

Get in touch today and increase your future employability