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Doctor of Education (EdD)

Course Description

One of the first EdD programmes to be established in the UK and offering a range of pathways, the EdD at Exeter is offered by modular study and is specifically directed to professional development through research. The programme is of particular relevance to experienced practitioners in education from the UK, EU or overseas and the academic tutors recognise the particular needs, interests and policy contexts of students who are also professionals in their own right.

The EdD is a ‘Professional Doctorate’ which is equivalent in level to a PhD, but includes a modular phase as well as the thesis. It is particularly suited to professionals who aim to link research closely with their existing professional practice. The PhD is more suited to those planning to become professional researchers.

The taught element of the EdD programme introduces different understandings of, and approaches to, educational research, including distinctive methodologies and methods. You can explore, in depth, a particular field of study, together with its implications for your own professional practice.

Pathways include: Generic Pathway; Special Needs and Inclusive Education (SNIE) pathway; Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) pathway; and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in Dubai pathway.

The EdD will enable you to:

- reflect on, and experiment with, new concepts and ideas, professional understandings of practice, and research skills - all within a safe but challenging environment amongst a supportive community of peers;
- review and evaluate research, theory, policy and practice; examine and challenge your own professional practice and its relationship with theory and policy;
- integrate recent and applicable theory with the latest developments in professional practice;
- make strong links between your assignments/research thesis and professional practice and service needs;
- design and carry out your own ethically-informed research;
- network and share experiences with a worldwide community of professionals and policy-makers practising in a broad range of educational contexts and fields related to education;
- increase your knowledge about other professionals and their organisations and thereby gain a wider perspective on the environment in which you work;
- potentially enhance your opportunities for career progression.

Programme structure

The programme is divided into two ‘phases’. The first ‘pre-thesis phase’ (equivalent to 1 year of full-time study or 2 years of part-time study) offers specialist research-led modules which provide access to current thinking about key issues pertaining to research in your professional field and provide the opportunity to reflect on and experiment with new concepts and ideas, professional understandings of practice, and research skills within a challenging research environment amidst a supportive community of peers. This is followed by a ‘thesis phase’ (equivalent to 2 years of full-time study or 4 years of part-time study) in which you complete a thesis that makes a substantial contribution to knowledge and/or practice within a professional field.

The Doctor of Education programme offers specialisms in the following fields: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL); Special Needs and Inclusive Education (SNIE); Generic Route, suitable for professionals and policy-makers from across public and private sectors

Generic pathway

The generic EdD route brings together professionals and policy-makers from across sectors that have traditionally been, and mostly remain, separated.
These include:
• early childhood education and care
• schools and further education colleges
• adult and community education
• higher education
• medical education
• health and social care

It encourages the growth of a community of professional scholars with varied but complementary interests in exploring theories, policies and practices associated with education, training, teaching and learning at different stages in the life course, together with the complex, overlapping roles of professionals engaged in these processes. http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/research-degrees/education/eddoctoral/generic/

Special Needs and Inclusive Education (SNIE) pathway

The EdD Special Needs and Inclusive Education focuses on professional and theoretical knowledge and understanding in the area of special and inclusive education. You join a research community of professional and academic scholars and peers with varied but complementary interests in exploring theories, policies and practices associated with special and inclusive education at different stages in the life course and in different contexts. Past and current doctoral students include teachers, school leaders, university lecturers, speech and language therapists, other health professionals and medical educators.

Our international community of researchers has an excellent record of winning external funding, and our research centres provide structure and support, promoting collaboration and impact. The Centre for Special Educational Needs and Disability (http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/education/research/centres/specialeducationalneeds/) is interested in educational aspects (in widest sense) of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (in various senses of these terms). http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/research-degrees/education/eddoctoral/snie/

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) pathway

The EdD TESOL aims to provide experienced senior professionals within the field of language teaching with an opportunity to study at advanced level for a doctoral degree by means of a taught programme plus a thesis. The course involves an in-depth examination of issues related to language learning and teaching and language teacher education. It also provides a solid grounding in research methodology appropriate for undertaking research at doctoral level within these fields.

We are committed to and actively engaged in undertaking research into a number of different aspects of TESOL and our students have published in a wide variety of journals. We are a very multicultural course, with students from over 30 countries including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bahrain, Botswana, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Canada, China, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, England, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Iraq, Ireland, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, South Africa, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Wales. (http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/research-degrees/education/eddoctoral/tesol)

Visit the Doctor of Education (EdD) page on the University of Exeter website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Sharon Witt

I am studying at the University of Exeter as I wanted to be part of a diverse international research community. I also value the opportunities that the University offers for networking, becoming involved in research groups and for research training and skills development. As a part time student I have benefited from the academic advice and guidance of my supervisors who have actively encouraged me and helped to tailor support to meet my needs.

(Student Profile)

Queen Onalaja

I chose to study for my EdD (Special Needs and Inclusive Education) at Exeter because it provided a part-time option that allows me to continue to work, as well as connect my research interests with my current professional practice.

The modules within the programme have increased my knowledge and understanding of the many issues within my special field. In addition, it has enabled me to question my beliefs and assumptions about how I view my professional practice and the contexts in which I work. The early modules in the pre-thesis stage have allowed me to ascertain my paradigmatic position and the way in which I can carry out and present my research. Although I am not a full-time student and do not participate in many of the daily activities, the University provides numerous opportunities for part-timers to engage with all the resources available through its online learning platform. Additionally, there are opportunities to become members of the various research centres regardless of what discipline you are pursuing.

When I first started this EdD programme I was very anxious about whether I would be able to cope but as I have attended lectures, worked my way through the assignments, discussed with other students on the same programme and those that have completed their PhD and EdD; together with discussions feedback from tutors, I have become more confident in the applying the new skills that I am acquiring daily. I am looking forward to beginning the thesis stage, becoming a good researcher and effecting positive change through my work.

(Student Profile)

Muhammad Mansoor Anwar

The University of Exeter is one of the few universities which offer EdD TESOL (Part-time) program. This program fulfils my professional and social needs quite effectively. In addition, the Graduate School of Education at the University is well-reputed and rated highly in the UK.

The taught element of this programme makes it really useful and effective for students with a little research background. The taught sessions are comprised of all important areas of education and ELT which provide a strong foundation to dig deep into any area of students’ personal interest. During summers the University also provides students with an opportunity to interact and learn from their experiences. Not only this, students from different cultural and professional backgrounds can also share their interesting and unique stories, making this learning experience really fruitful.

I’d definitely recommend this program as it is well-structured and managed by competent teachers and researchers in the field.


Funding for Postgraduate Study - 20+ Awards

We offer a range of postgraduate scholarships and studentships for talented students. Students who reside in England and are interested in our Masters programmes can now take advantage of the UK government's postgraduate loan scheme which offers loans of up to £10,000.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Varies, but most awards are competitive and merit-based.

Application Procedure

Please see the details of each scheme as listed in our search: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/studying/funding/search

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Please see our website for full details. View Website

Last Updated

02 August 2017

Course Fees

See our web site for more information (click on "Finance") website

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