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Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD)

Course Description

If you are responsible for leading learning in your organisation, whether it’s a school, college, HE institution or as an educator in the public or private sector, this doctoral level programme is a fantastic opportunity to study education at a deep level and relate this back to your own practice. The EdD will help you expand your knowledge and understanding of how education works and allow you to transform your own practice. Take advantage of a fully funded EdD studentship now available.

Key features

Focus your attention on the nature of educational practice itself. Approach education in its broadest sense. Study and theorise the nature of your work from a social perspective - then relate this back to your own practice.

Engage with a range of new ideas with which to re-think educational practice on a carefully organised course with a clear structure based on a social perspective on education.

Study on a flexible and work-friendly programme that has been structured to fit around your existing commitments. You’ll probably study part time over five years (two years of taught modules and three years of thesis) but you can take up to seven if you need to.

Choose to start at masters level if you are unsure about doctoral study.

Begin to engage with new educational theory at the University-based sessions. Participate in lively discussions and share ideas with others on your course in seminars, lectures and workshops.

Access a wide range of support and resources to fuel your independent study. Draw on books and journals and an online environment where you’ll communicate with and draw support from your peers and from staff with a long history of excellence in professional development.

Meet and share ideas with others in your cohort from a range of disciplines. Tap into this diversity to compare the interrelationships between policy and practice across different educational areas and institutions.

Make your mark on the future of education as part of our learning community where you can link into active and renowned research networks. Find out more about research within the Institute of Education.

Attend our annual postgraduate research conference and present your ongoing ideas in a challenging and supportive environment.

Course details

Part one is the modular stage of the programme and spans two years. Over the two years of part one you’ll cover four modules, including policy and professional practice, professional learning, researching education practice, and social research. These modules are assessed by work amounting to 5,000 words and assignments are fitting for a research community, such as: a paper for submission to a journal; a conference paper with associated presentation and rationale; a small scale research project to explore methodological issues; or a traditional essay.

Part two is the thesis stage of the programme and spans four years. You’ll stay connected with termly workshops during the first two years of part two, then, in the final year, you’ll present a thesis of approximately 50,000 words, assessed through a viva voce exam. The thesis comprises a substantial piece of original research into an area of practice of your own choosing, through which you’ll make an original contribution to knowledge.


Here is a summary of the process:

Initial contact - email the Graduate School.
Application - download the application form for postgraduate study from the website and, once complete, send it to the Graduate School.
Selection - your application will be sent to staff at the Plymouth Institute of Education who will consider documentary evidence and then invite you to interview, if appropriate.
Notification - once a decision has been made, the Graduate School will write to you to offer you a place, or to decline your application.
Programme preparation and start - once accepted, the Plymouth Institute of Education will be your first port of call for day-to-day information about the programme.

You will need to be able to demonstrate the following:
The potential to study at doctoral level. This would normally be indicated by successful completion of a masters degree, but in exceptional cases may be through successful completion of a task set by the admissions tutor(s).
An ability to work collaboratively in exploring and developing experience and ideas.
That you are working in a professional context where you are responsible for supporting learning. Candidates not currently working in a professional context, but with appropriate and sufficiently extensive experience, may be considered at the discretion of the admissions tutor(s). If you are in professional practice but, in the opinion of the admissions team, do not yet have sufficient or appropriate experience to draw on, you may be deemed ineligible.
A strong commitment to educational enquiry and the ability to reflect critically on practice, as a means of professional learning.
The following points will also be taken into account in selecting candidates:

Accreditation for prior certificated learning (APCL) will be considered up to 60 credits and normally only for work completed at doctoral level within the last seven years.

Accreditation for prior experiential learning (APEL) may, exceptionally, be considered. This will be done in the line with the guidance in the programme and University regulations.

Visit the Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You will normally be expected to have successfully completed a masters degree. You should also be working in a professional context where you are responsible for supporting learning. However, all applications will be considered on an individual basis. If you are an overseas applicant you can check the compatibility of your qualifications with the UK equivalent through NARIC, who provide an advisory service.

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