Study options


Doctor of Education

Key facts

Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
5 Years
Start date:
19 September 2022

Expert academics

Research under professionals who are experts in their field

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 anticipated start date for the next intake is October 2022. Applicants are advised to submit an application by 31 May 2022.

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.

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.

The anticipated start date for the next intake is October 2022



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

Learning Spaces


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.

All students have access to Career Connect, our dedicated careers team.

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.

Dr Gillian Forrester

Associate Professor

Gill leads the Professional Doctorate in Education

Gillian's profile

Dr Jo Basford

Course Director

Jo has over twenty-five years' experience of working in the education sector. She began her career as an Early Years and KS1 teacher and worked in a variety of schools including a small 2 teacher village school to a large infant school where she…

Jo's profile

Dr Lynn Machin

Senior Lecturer

I have 25 years teaching experience in further and higher education. For much of this time I've been involved in leadership, management and curriculum development within FE and HE.

Lynn'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

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 has had a lengthy (and happy) career in Primary Education with robust experience of teaching across the entire primary age range in mixed and single age year groups and in a variety of different schools and areas. She moved to Staffordshir…

Sarah's profile


For the course starting on 19 September 2022 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for Doctor of Education-Part-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands
Part-time To be confirmed

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 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. T

he 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


Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus Doctor of Education Part-time 19 September 2022 Apply now

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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