Research course

Doctorate of Education - Professional Doctorate

Oxford Brookes University · School of Education

Entry requirements

At least four years full-time experience in a relevant professional area, normally have a postgraduate masters degree from a recognised university. Provide a research proposal with your applications (details of this are available from the Graduate Office). We will be looking for a good grade (normally Merit or Distinct Level) in your Masters and you will need to provide a copy of, or a substantial extract from, your Masters dissertation. We are currently looking at whether a Portfolio route will be open to those with extensive professional experience (15 years or more) who do not hold a Masters Degree

Months of entry


Course content

The Programme is in Part-time mode only, minimum duration of five years - maximum seven years and is structured to meet the needs of experienced practitioners in educational settings who wish to extend their professional expertise and develop skills in research, evaluation and informed reflection on practice. It is relevant to a wide range of professionals: teachers from schools, colleges and universities; administrators or senior managers in schools, further and higher education colleges; senior academic and administrative staff in universities; educational administrators and planners in local and national government and non-government agencies; health and welfare professionals and educational psychologists.

Several threads run through the programme and establish coherence between your writing skills, development as a researcher and subject interest. The core modules, Researching the Real World and Writing for Academic Practice, enhance your awareness of the epistemological and methodological perspectives that inform social and educational research, promote critical awareness and support academic writing skills.

Researching the 'Real' World (1) provides an introduction to research in professional settings, and in particular your own research stance, and identity. You will be introduced to a variety of theories, tools and models to enhance your understanding of yourself as a professional and your ontological and epistemological standpoint. We provide an opportunity to examine and critique your own professional identity and its relationship to you as a developing researcher.

Researching the 'Real' World (2), extends knowledge and understanding of a range
of research paradigms, methodologies and techniques. It offers an opportunity to examine reflexively and critique the context of applied research and the use of evidence-led / knowledge based practices in the work-place. A thematic focus is the dynamic inter-relationship between educational theory and practice in the forms of structure and agency as experienced in the institutional (practitioner) setting.

Writing for Academic Practice is unique to Brookes and involves the analysis and evaluation of research articles, peer reviewing, editing, drafting, reformulation of written work, and gives a principled and theorised basis with which to do so.

Choosing a pathway from either Learning and Teaching or Leadership and Management in Education enables you to focus on your specific area of interest, discuss and debate within that area, and prepare your research proposal. Finally, you follow your doctoral interest through Advanced Research Methods, building on the work from earlier years in order to acquire the knowledge necessary to generate an excellent thesis.

The modules are delivered through blended learning but face-to-face is the main mode of delivery. The year starts with an autumn Residential School, which runs from Friday night through Saturday, each semester, three Saturday Schools, with expert input, student-led discussions and presentations. These will be supplemented by work on the programme's virtual learning environment (VLE), which is designed to follow up and extend the face to face sessions. Support is provided by staff, research seminars, web-based workshops, on-line discussion forums and support materials. You also have the opportunity to attend seminars provided by the University, the Graduate School and School of Education.

Department specialisms

Leadership/Management; Special Needs or E-Pedagogy, E-Learning in Education CPD - social media, Web2 technologies Sociolinguistic, educational aspects of linguistic variation. Action research in teacher development, teacher education Teacher and leadership narratives,reflective practice Internationalisation of curriculum and international university HE pedagogies Creativity in language curriculum: story, narrative, poetry and text development

Fees and funding

Funding opportunities can be found at:

Qualification and course duration


part time
60-84 months

Course contact details

Research Administrator
+44 (0) 1865 488533