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Postgraduate course

Professional Doctorate in Education EdD

Build essential knowledge and gain a prestigious doctoral qualification to escalate your career and open up leadership opportunities.

Female tutor giving a lecture.

Research specific aspects of your professional practice while developing knowledge and skills to equip you for a leadership role. You will draw on a range of theories to explore and research topics that will influence your professional practice, and conceptions of practice, within your immediate context and beyond.

York campus

  • Duration – Part time for 4 to 6 years
  • Start date – January 2022
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £3,750 per year

    International 2020-21 £9,563 per year

Course overview

On this doctoral programme you will investigate issues that relate to you as an education professional. There will be a focus on areas that shape the context in which you're conducting your research.

The learning style is informal and collegiate. There is a strong emphasis in the first two years on developing your writing. You will also focus on critically engaging with key ideas and developing a research project. The collegiality continues into stage two as you write your doctoral thesis. At this point there will be extended opportunities to share ideas and issues with fellow students and supervisors.

An unusual feature of this doctorate is that the taught modules are shared with professionals from a variety of backgrounds. This allows us to quickly identify the common issues faced by professionals embarking on doctoral-level research. You will see how broad theoretical ideas can be fruitfully applied to specific contexts, and how to apply concepts and ideas to the questions you'd like to explore.

To be admitted to stage two you will need to pass all four modules in stage one. You will also need to successfully pitch your thesis proposal at a transfer panel. Stage two can last between two and four years. During this time you'll keep in touch with us at the May teaching session and individually with your supervisors at other times. Supervisory meetings may be in person or online.

Course structure

Stage 1 

This Doctorate course is split into 2 stages.

During stage 1 you will complete 4 taught modules. 

This stage is completed over 2 years. 


Credits: 45

Compulsory module

The Professional Doctorate programmes are designed to support you in conducting and reporting on an original and substantive piece of research that relates in some way to your professional practice. This module will help you to begin this journey through a series of critical reflections on the links between your biographies and your practice.

Credits: 45

Compulsory module

This module will enable you to continue your journey by helping you to identify the links between professional issues that can be researched and the contexts within which they can be located. This could include historical/temporal, geographic/spatial and policy/institutional contexts.

Credits: 45

Compulsory module

In this module you will engage with epistemological, theoretical, practical and ethical decisions and dilemmas. These must be considered to move from a professional issue to a feasible and defensible research design.

Credits: 45

Compulsory module

Recent guidance highlights that the research output from Professional Doctorates should have a significant impact on professional practice, or the way it is understood, as well as making a contribution to knowledge. This module is designed to support you in ensuring that your research impacts in some way on the conduct or understanding of professional practice. By planning, designing and implementing a small-scale pilot or intervention project you will be able to assess and reflect upon the challenges of bringing about change.

Stage 2

The remaining time is dedicated to stage 2. Typically this will take a further 2 years, but you have up to 4 to submit your thesis and attend a viva. 

This stage is dedicated to completing a research thesis of up to 50,000 words. 


Credits: 360

Compulsory module

Your doctoral thesis is an individual programme of original research. This will be conducted under the supervision of an academic member of staff. Through this, you will demonstrate your ability to undertake a coherent line of research which would merit publication. You will complete a written thesis of up to 50,000 words and attend a viva. 

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment
Most sessions consist of seminar-style dialogue and debate. You'll be expected to read the set material in advance and staff will work with you to engage with the ideas and discourses that best suit your interests and needs.

We consider that as a doctoral student, you will learn best through practical application. This will include producing drafts that help you to form your writing style and distinctive researcher voice.

In the first year you will have fixed points at which you need to submit drafts of your two 8000-word essays. You will then receive detailed feedback from your course leaders and supervisors. The following year, and the thesis stage, will follow a similar pattern.

Assessment and feedback
Essays are marked on a pass/fail basis. However, we do indicate the overall standard so that you can gauge the level of writing required for good doctoral work.

All four modules must be passed for you to be accepted on to stage two.

The thesis is treated as per a PhD thesis, and will be assessed by the same processes by both internal and external examiners.

Entry requirements

Admission to the programme will be decided by an interview panel, and no candidates will be admitted solely on the basis of previous awards or professional experience. The normal minimum entrance qualifications for the EdD will be:

  • An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent)
  • At least two years of relevant professional experience

All candidates must also currently be in a professional role that is relevant to this award. The relevance of past and current experience to a particular award will be judged at interview.

Fees and Funding

UK and EU fees for 2022-2023

The tuition fee for January 2022 starters on this postgraduate course is £3,750 per year for part time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

This annual tuition fee will be paid for the first 4 years of the course only.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about postgraduate funding opportunities.

International (non-EU) fees for 2022-2023

The tuition fee for January 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is £9,563 per year for international students.

This annual tuition fee will be paid for the first 4 years of the course only.

Due to immigration laws, international students on a Student Visa must be studying full-time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

More information about funding your studies is available on our International Fees and Funding page.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £3,750 per year

    International 2020-21 £9,563 per year

Additional costs and financial support


Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.


View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Apply for this course

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now link below. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Apply now - January 2021

Apply now - January 2022

Before applying you should familiarise yourself with our application guidelines.

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