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Doctor of Education EdD

The Doctor of Education (EdD) is a professional doctoral degree designed to enhance education leadership and professional practice.

The programme is designed to provide an opportunity for education professionals to work creatively by analysing and synthesising research literature, and their own research evidence, to understand their own professional contexts more critically and to find solutions to key challenges in their working environment. In doing so it is envisaged that our students will become (and ultimately lead) communities of practice within their profession.

The Professional Doctorate award is distinct from the PhD award in the following respects:
• There is a considerable weighting given to a taught component which comprises an integral and key part of the programme, and the assessment of the taught component contributes directly towards the final award.
• The thesis produced by Professional Doctorate students will make an original contribution to knowledge within the relevant area or areas of professional practice.

The benefits of the EdD are both organisational and personal. The evidenced-informed insights and new knowledge generated are likely to impact greatly: the participants undertaking the EdD broadening and deepening their professional outlook.

The benefits to your organisation:

• Access to vital ‘cutting edge’ thinking.
• The opportunity to significantly enhance your organisation’s innovative capacity.
• The opportunity to offer senior educationalists the chance for further career development.


Entry qualifications

Applicants are expected to be active experienced professionals who have recently (within the last 6 years) been awarded a relevant Masters qualification. Applicants must also be able to demonstrate that they have a minimum of three years professional engagement in education or a closely related context.

A full-time/International version of the EdD is not currently available.

Course Duration

An EdD normally requires 4 years part time study. As a guide, the taught programme is generally completed within 18 months and we expect that for most students the thesis stage will be completed within a further 2.5 years. 

How to apply

All applicants must complete the application form and submit this to the Research School. We have only a limited number of places on our Professional Doctorate Programmes so applicants will be shortlisted and successful candidates will be interviewed.


For information on current fees, please visit our course fees page.

Note that there is a charge for retaking modules.

Course content

Module summary

The Researching Professional

The purpose of this module - stretching across the length of the taught component of the professional doctorate - is to consider, in a holistic sense, the nature of ‘knowledge’, its generation and management in various contexts, and the relationship of this to the participant’s professional culture, identity and role. The multiple factors – at a macro, meso and micro level - shaping knowledge and organisational cultures will be critically explored. The ways in which knowledge is constructed and used, and the place of forms of evidence and research in informing, shaping and reshaping practices – and professional self-identity within this – will be critically evaluated.

Project Development, Planning and Management

This module seeks to equip students with the knowledge, skills and capabilities to plan, initiate, manage and “write up” their doctoral research project.

Research Methods and Design

The purpose of this module is to enable the student to reflect on the variety of methods available to complete doctoral level research. Students will discuss relevant and appropriate knowledge and skills required, including literature searching at doctorate level, critical reading, identifying and defining the research question, methodological and analytical processes involved in completing the research process, and research ethics associated with particular methods. Students will be introduced to a variety of research methods dependent on the interests, circumstances and expertise of the participant cohort. Students will compare and contrast research paradigms and approaches, consider the implications for their own research question and develop a design, including the formation of a research question.

Course delivery

The taught programme commences with a three day teaching block, followed by 10 weekend blocks that are spread across the following 18 months, so as to cause minimum disruption to your workload. The weekend blocks are either in the form of virtual tutorials or face-to-face teaching that will take place at either the University’s St John’s Campus or City Centre Campus. Both have good transport links and are within easy reach of public transport.

The taught programme is shared across our three Professional Doctorate Programmes therefore offering you the opportunity to work alongside professionals in the health and education disciplines.

Although the delivery is described as ‘taught’, at EdD level the delivery is about a process of professional critical engagement between academic staff and participants. The learning process includes lectures, facilitated discussions and participant presentations, as well as online interaction and workshops focusing on aspects of professional culture and the research process. These activities are informed not only by knowledge and skills relevant to the modules, but are importantly based around the research questions and issues brought to the programme by those involved.

The research stage of your programme usually takes 2-3 years to complete and will culminate in the production of a 50,000 word thesis that will be examined by viva. It is expected that you will commence the thesis stage of the programme following notification that you have passed the taught element of the programme. Your research may be suitable for publication, as journal articles or a book.

Why Worcester

Why Worcester?

Our EdD programme offers you:

• Academic rigor: you will gain a deeper understanding of your chosen subject area with a challenging combination of research training and supervised research.

• A wide variety of research interests: We have a strong mix of academics with a high degree of professional and personal experience enabling you to get the most out of both the taught and research element of your programme.

• Excellent supervision: You will benefit from a professional and challenging relationship with your supervisory team, drawn from experienced professionals working at the forefront of their disciplines.

• Resources: Access to the University of Worcester’s virtual resources and to the state of the art library facilities at The Hive.

• Networking opportunities: Because of the way that the taught element is structured and organised, the programme offers the enrichment opportunity