Study options


Doctor of Education

Key facts

Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
5 Years
Start date:

Outstanding Research Impact

87% of our research impact is recognised as "very considerable" or "outstanding" (Research Excellence Framework 2021)

Flexible study

Study around your commitments with weekend taught sessions

Dedicated facilities

24/7 access to online/offline research facilities

The Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) is a research degree for professionals working in a wide range of education and learning settings. Building upon your existing knowledge and skills, the EdD will enable you to investigate and advance your own practice.

Aimed at a wide range of education professionals in schools, colleges, universities and the lifelong learning sector, the EdD is the progression route of choice for those who have completed a masters level qualification with us or another UK university.

You’ll conduct in-depth, empirical study related to your professional practice, together with the critical analysis of relevant policy and theory, with a view to addressing current problems and improving future practice in education.

By developing and enhancing knowledge and understanding of key education issues, as well as skills such as problem solving, critical inquiry and reflection, the EdD aims to impact positively on practice in the wider organisations associated with education.

During your studies, you’ll critically debate contemporary education issues, further develop your research skills and academic scholarship, and deepen your professional understanding. This will enable you to make an original contribution to practice, and equip you to bring tangible benefits to your organisation.

The start date for the next intake is 8th March 2024 . 

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: Doctor of Education Education

Course content

This is a broad and flexible research-based degree that incorporates four taught modules and a substantial research thesis.

The modules are:

  • Policy and Professional Practice
  • Theory in Educational Research
  • Designing Educational Research
  • Thesis Research Proposal

Designed to help you develop your research focus and academic skills, the taught element of the EdD is typically completed over the first two to three years of study and involves attending a number of on-campus Saturday sessions in Stoke-on-Trent. There are preparatory readings and activities in advance of each Saturday session, where you’ll be able to present and evaluate your own ideas and learning.

Staff-led sessions and guest lectures will provide opportunities for you to participate in critical debate surrounding pertinent issues in education research, policy and practice.

After successfully completing the four taught modules, you’ll be allocated a supervisory team, conduct the research project and, over 24 months, produce a 50,000-word doctoral thesis, which is formally examined in a viva voce.


The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Policy And Professional Practice 20 credits
Theory In Educational Research 40 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Designing Educational Research 60 credits
Year 3 compulsory modules
Year 3 compulsory modules
Thesis Research Proposal 60 credits
Year 4 compulsory modules
Year 4 compulsory modules
Research Thesis 360 credits

Entry requirements

You’ll need:

  • A Masters degree in a relevant discipline, from a UK-based HE institution or overseas equivalent.
  • A minimum of three years of relevant experience as a professional in an education setting.
  • An IELTS score of 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.0 in any component) if English is not your first language.
  • Two satisfactory references (one professional, one academic).
  • A satisfactory research proposal (2000 words, maximum) which outlines your intended research focus.

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.




We have Libraries and service desks at both sites in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford. Our experienced and friendly staff can answer your IT queries, help you to access resources, show you how to research for your assignments and help with referencing.


The EdD offers research training and career development to a broad range of professionals in areas relating to education, whether in schools, further or higher education, or elsewhere.

Typically students might be adult educators, contract researchers in HEIs, early years practitioners, FE and HE lecturers, head teachers, LA inspectors and advisers, primary and secondary teachers, senior administrators in national organisations, support staff, and educators in a range of professional organisations.

Teaching and assessment


We know that everyone learns differently. So not only do we use traditional ways of teaching like lectures, we also use problem-based learning to help you apply your skills.

For this course, you'll:

  • Work with others on group work
  • Delve deeper into subject areas in workshops
  • Be expected to study independently

Our teaching is supported through our Virtual Learning Environment called Blackboard. This means you can access a range of materials to support your lectures wherever you are.

We’ll also assign you a supervisor to support you throughout your research project.


There are two types of assessments: practice (also called formative) or formal (also called summative).

Practice assessments do not count towards your final mark. These are your chance to test your understanding – and learn how to improve for the real thing.

You’ll have formal assessments at the end of each module. These could include essays, exams, or portfolios.

Learning support

Your course tutors will provide lots of support. But you can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you with:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation, grammar)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Revision, assessment and exam skills (including time management)

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our Student Inclusion Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.


We know that it’s important for you to be able to gauge your progress. So, your tutor will give you feedback on any practice assessments you do.

We usually give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.

Your study time will include scheduled classes, independent learning and assessments. It will vary depending on your module choices, but could look like:

Independent learning

As well as timetabled sessions, we know it’s important for you to discover things on your own terms. This could involve:

  • Reading journals, articles and books
  • Working on projects, alone or in a group
  • Researching in the library
  • Preparing coursework
  • Getting ready for exams

We’ve invested in state-of-the-art facilities to help you make the most of your private study time. Whether you need a library, a computer, or a lab, you’ll find it at Staffordshire University.


Enthusiastic, supportive and qualified to doctoral level, our academics offer high levels of expertise in research and are widely published. EdD supervisors have a wealth of experience across many facets of education and have been involved in major research projects, authored books, book chapters and journal articles, presented their research at major national and international conferences and secured research funding.

Professor Gillian Forrester

Professor Of Education Policy

I lead the Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD), which is a vibrant research degree programme for professional educators. I supervise doctoral students (PhD and EdD) and I am involved in several externally funded research projects.

Gillian's profile

Dr Jo Basford

Associate Professor Of Education

Education is transformative. It enables us to see the world differently, to challenge our thinking and to try new things. My ambition is that student’s learning with the Institute of Education will be a transformative experience.

Jo's profile

Dr Duncan Hindmarch

Course Director

My enthusiasm for learning led me to qualify, design and deliver to initial and subject specialist teacher training courses. I have an interest in developing virtual learning environments to support learning.

Duncan's profile

Sarah Misra

Senior Lecturer

Sarah is passionate about social justice and inclusion and ensuring that all children are offered a rich and varied curriculum at primary level. Her Masters in Special Educational Needs looked at improving access to support for parents.

Sarah's profile

Dr Jim Pugh

Director - Inst. Of Ed. - Assoc Prof.

I am proud to be the Director of the Institute of Education leading an innovative group of professionals, educators, researchers and working with our creative and exciting students, partners and community.

Jim's profile

Dr Ruth Hudson

P/T Lecturer (Hrly) - Education

Ruth's profile

Dr Sandra Murray


I am passionate about learning and constantly seeking new challenges. My focus is now on developing the next generation of Further Education teachers alongside developing a research profile whilst supporting and developing the research of others

Sandra's profile

Dr Veronica Poulter

Senior Lecturer

I’m a senior lecturer on the Primary Education team of Staffs IOE. I have huge experience of teaching in the primary classroom and in teacher education. I’m passionate about supporting our students to become outstanding practitioners.

Veronica's profile

Dr Sarah Woolley

Associate Dean - Students

I am passionate about teaching and learning generally and particularly in the HEI sector.

Sarah's profile

Fiona Cust

Associate Professor

Fiona is a Registered General and Children’s Nurse and Health Visitor who has had a varied career in children’s nursing within acute and community settings. Fiona is actively engaged in research and regularly contributes to The Nursing Times Journal.

Fiona's profile

Dr Michael Burnitt

Senior Lecturer

I am the joint lead of this course and take great pride in working with my experienced colleagues and our partnership schools to create the next generation of exciting and innovative primary teachers who will help to shape their pupils’ futures.

Michael's profile

Heather Eggins

P/T Lecturer (Hrly) - Education

My research interests lie in the area of policy and strategy in higher education, with a particular interest in access issues and the impact of globalisation.

Heather's profile


If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.

Alumni discount

If you have previously completed an undergraduate degree with us, you may be entitled to an alumni discount off your course fee for any subsequent postgraduate taught course. For further information please contact

Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:

Your travel, rent and living costs aren’t included in your tuition fees.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. Student loans are available for many of our postgraduate degrees and are provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The loan can cover a wide range of postgraduate study options; part-time, full-time and distance learning. 

For more information and how to apply visit masters loan.

Scholarships and additional funding

You could be eligible for a Staffordshire University bursary when you choose to study one of our postgraduate Education courses. Visit our Fees and Bursaries page to find out more.

Our students

I rank this programme excellent for the knowledge I gained and the high-calibre research I developed to generate new insights in teaching and learning.

I found the programme ideal for me as I was working full time as a teacher in the private sector. The programme's focus was on independent study, which allowed me to develop professionally and personally in a working role.

The staff always went the extra mile to support me, recognising my cultural and academic needs as I studied previously in a different education system.

Dr Ali Akbar

I would highly recommend the EdD course at Staffordshire University.

I would highly recommend the EdD course at Staffordshire University because the diversity of course content, staff support and guidance are outstanding. The course challenges you mentally and emotionally but this in turn assists in producing inspirations for better research.

The experiences enjoyed during the course prepare you to look at the world from a different perspective which will help to enhance your employment opportunities and help you to develop as an individual. To obtain this qualification is the ultimate goal in an individual’s educational journey.


Dr Louise Elizabeth Thornton

Doctor of Education

My experience as a senior manager concerning widening participation (LSC, QCDA) and as a Head of Department for Health and Teacher Education in FE, fuelled an ambition to achieve a doctorate – to make a difference.

An induction programme provided thorough preparation for joining the award. Tutor expertise on the taught modules was stimulating with each module supporting assessment tasks. Supervision was rigorous with regular feedback to shape the research project. Peer support was also invaluable as were opportunities to be part of the University and wider academic community.

The award opened new horizons to publish journal articles, conduct further research and importantly, to disseminate findings – making a difference.

Dr Marilyn (Mal) McHugh

Doctor of Education

The EdD has assisted my transition from a background in adult and community learning into educational research in academia.

The policy module was powerful and challenged my assumptions around policy creation and policy borrowing. The taught modules allowed me to build peer support which has remained with me beyond completion.

My supervisors were a complimentary team for my thesis subject, but also the doctoral process.The doctorate reinforced the research project cycle, but also the process of completing an academic journal article.

The EdD has assisted my transition from a background in adult and community learning into educational research in academia. I would recommend the EdD to other educational professionals. It is challenging, but worthwhile.

Dr Julia Everitt

Graduate, Doctor of Education

The academic staff have been fabulous, thoroughly knowledgable and easy to contact when you needed help.

It makes me feel very proud and satisfied that all the time, effort, pain and sometimes downright frustration have paid off. I have to say it has not always been easy but the academic staff have been fabulous, thoroughly knowledgable and easy to contact when you needed help.

I can also vouch wholeheartedly for the admin support and the way the whole course is put together in a clearly structured modular fashion with solid progression and, if you need it, bale out points. I reserve a massive debt of gratitude for my supervisors, I could not have achieved this without their constant support and encouragement - absolutely spot on.

Dr Noel Jackson

Graduate, Doctor of Education

The EdD offers a foundation in research which can broaden your practice and offer opportunities to collaborate beyond education.

Since completing the EdD, I have had opportunities to undertake research both overseas and in the UK, working with a much broader range of people than ever before: military charities, charities for older people, medicine and palliative care. The EdD offers a foundation in research which can broaden your practice and offer opportunities to collaborate beyond education into applied practical research.

Dr Jane Rowley

Senior Research Fellow

I have found the EdD modules to be extremely stimulating and rewarding.

I have found the EdD modules to be extremely stimulating and rewarding. The excellent support offered by tutors, combined with the structured nature of the degree, has really helped me to cope with the challenges of working and studying at the same time.

Diane Atkinson

FE Careers Adviser

The fantastic tutorial and peer support available within the EdD has given me the confidence to study at this level.

The fantastic tutorial and peer support available within the EdD has given me the confidence to study at this level, and experience personal and academic development. This is helping me to explore some fascinating areas within my own professional field, and which will ultimately benefit my own students.

Mark Garratt

Principal Lecturer in Paramedic Science


Applications are not currently available for this course.

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations

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for Facilities

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The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

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of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

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