EdD vs PhD

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.

Professional Doctorates

Location

St Luke’s Campus, Exeter; the EdD TESOL is also offered in Dubai.

Overview

The Doctor of Education programme (EdD) is a ‘Professional Doctorate’ which is equivalent in level to a PhD, and is particularly suited to professionals who aim to link research closely with their existing professional practice (e.g. teachers, health professions education, higher education academics, law educators etc).  It carries the same status as a PhD and is designed for ambitious, midcareer education and training professionals whose work requires them to have a high level of research literacy. It provides a more structured and supported route to a doctoral award, and is typically undertaken part time, alongside professional practice, in order to enhance that practice. Studying for an EdD should be seen as the next step in your career progression, by helping you to develop a critical approach to your work and increasing your ability to think and act more systematically. 

The programme is divided into two ‘phases’. The ‘pre-thesis phase’ (equivalent to 2 years of part-time study) offers specialist research-led modules which provide access to current thinking about key issues pertaining to practice and 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’ (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 programme recognises the particular needs, interests and policy contexts of postgraduate students who are also professionals in their own right, and is organised flexibly to enable doctoral level study alongside existing work commitments. It is studied on a part-time basis and modules are available via blended learning, which provides face-to-face contact with tutors and fellow students mixed with online provision and self-study.

The maximum period of study is 7 years part time. There is no minimum period of study, but you may not progress to the thesis phase, or submit a thesis for examination, without first having gained the required credits for the pre-thesis phase.

Educational Aims of the programme

The programme aims to enable you to work with theoretical/research knowledge at the forefront of your professional field at peer reviewed standards/publication quality. It also expects you to work with due regard to the ethical challenges and dilemmas of your professional research focus, and make an original contribution to knowledge and scholarship concerning your profession.

Programme Structure

The EdD programme is a programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 8 (as confirmed against the FHEQ) which offers specialisms in the following fields:

  • Generic Route, suitable for professionals and policy-makers from across public and private sectors, including teachers, health professions educators, higher education academics, law educators etc
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Generic Route, suitable for professionals and policy-makers from across public and private sectors

Exit Award

You may exit the programme at the end of Phase 1, with a Masters in Practice-Based Educational Research if you have gained 180 credits in Phase 1. If you exit with this award you may apply to re-enter the programme to complete Phase 2, provided your re-entry is within two years of exiting the programme and provided you have fulfilled the minimum requirements for entry to Phase 2. If you re-enter the programme, you must relinquish the exit award before graduating from Phase 2.

* RAE 2008 based on percentage of research categorised as 4* and 3*