The EdD at Exeter carries the same status as a PhD and is designed for ambitious, mid-career education and training professionals whose work requires them to have a high level of research capability.

Doctor of Education (EdD) Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


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 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.

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 programme recognises the particular needs, interests and policy contexts of students who are also professionals in their own right, and is flexibly organised to enable doctoral level study alongside existing work commitments.  It can be studied on a part-time or full-time basis or, where appropriate, on a mixed full-time/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 4 years full time or 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.


The EdD TESOL pathway is available either as a part-time or full-time study option.

The full-time programme starts each autumn and follows the annual University academic calendar. The maximum permitted period of study for full-time students is four years although you should aim to submit your thesis for examination within three years to allow for corrections to the thesis.

The part-time programme entails two intensive periods of taught input study at Exeter in July over two successive years. Module assignments and dissertation work are completed through distance learning and individual study. The part-time option allows up to seven years to complete, you will need to aim to submit the thesis for examination by the end of your sixth year of part-time study in order to allow for examination, corrections and completion within seven years.

Alternatively, it is possible to begin the full-time programme and complete the taught part of the course in one year of full-time study on campus, and to then apply to move to the part time course to complete the dissertation in two/three years of part-time distance study. This option would be attractive for mature, self-funded participants working internationally, who are able to take one year's study leave before returning to complete the dissertation within their home institutions.

The next intake for the full-time programme is September 2017.  The full-time programme follows the University academic calendar.

The next intake for the part-time programme is July 2017; dates for the compulsory 'summer school' are 17th July to 28th July inclusive.