Research course


The University of Manchester · School of Education

Entry requirements

Candidates should have a master's degree completed at a level which indicates potential for research, or evidence of research training and/or experience of research.

Applicants should have considerable experience in their field. Those without these qualifications are still encouraged to discuss making an application.

The Doctorate in Education is a six year part time course and applicants must be eligible for home tuition fee status.

Applicants must demonstrate:

  • Potential to study at Doctorate level. This is indicated by completion of a Master degree or through successful completion of a task set by the admissions tutors.
  • The ability to work collaboratively in developing experience and ideas.
  • That they work in a professional context where they are responsible for supporting learning. Candidates not currently working in a professional context but with appropriate experience may still be considered. Those in professional practice but who do not yet have sufficient or appropriate experience to draw on may be deemed ineligible.
  • A strong commitment to educational enquiry and critical reflection on practice as a means of professional learning.

Students seeking to transfer their studies from another institution should:

  • meet the criteria above;
  • have the agreement of their current institution;
  • have progressed in their studies as we would expect for a student at their year of registration;
  • be in their first three years of PTE (3 semesters of FTE) study.

The award of Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) may be made for assignments completed in another institution if it meets the criteria for SEED EdD assignments.

Months of entry


Course content

The programme is aimed primarily at home students already engaged in education, training or professional development in the UK. This does not preclude international students applying for the programme, but is expected that participants will be employed in the UK and must be able to pursue a part-time student registration.

By undertaking an EdD at the Manchester Institute of Education you will be joining an internationally renowned research community. The EdD programme prepares you to conduct high quality research on aspects of your own professional role or professional culture. Providing experienced professionals with an opportunity to pursue doctoral level studies, the EdD programme is also relevant to personal and professional interests and needs. An EdD is equivalent to a PhD in relation to standards and workload. Specially, the programme aims to:

  • Promote an understanding of the issues in professional practice
  • Develop a critical awareness of the inter-relationship between policies and practice
  • Develop high level skills of enquiry which will be applied to individual research studies of relevance to participants' professional work

Current students include early years, primary and secondary teachers, FE teachers, head-teachers, support staff such as special needs support assistants, managers of institutions, HE lecturers, trainers in a range of professional organisations, health professional educators, administrators in national organisations focused on issues related to learning and teaching, adult educators, and local authority inspectors and advisors.

Programme aims

The main aim of the programme is to develop high standards of research that will be relevant to a range of professional careers. It will enable you to explore in depth a particular field of study and its implications for your own professional practice. This exploration is enhanced by being undertaken in the company of a group of other professionals who embark on and move through the programme with you, thereby creating an invaluable peer support network that often lasts well beyond the end of the programme. This programme is designed to enable each student to focus on issues relating to her / his own professional needs.

The EdD can help you to strengthen your skills in:

  • Designing rigorous research projects
  • Handling and evaluating evidence
  • Developing and deploying robust conceptual frameworks
  • Constructing and analysing arguments
  • Contrasting viewpoints
  • Making links between theory, policy and practice

Programme overview

The EdD is a five to six year part-time programme. For the first two years of the programme the EdD group meets seven weekends (Friday/Saturday) per year; these meetings include taught sessions, seminars, presentations from guest speakers and workshops. As the programme proceeds you will be expected to present and discuss your own work. The taught sessions focus on the development of research methodologies and substantive issues that reflect the specialisms of the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE) as well as the research interests of the EdD cohort.

The first two years of the programme are structured around:

  • Reading research
  • Planning research
  • Research methods in action

Participants are required to submit three research papers on these areas (each of approximately 10,000 words) in the first two years. This work will inform your thinking and writing for your research thesis of 40,000 to 50,000 words that will make up the other three to four years of study. In addition to support from the EdD team you will be assigned additional supervisors who will assist in the development of your work. All research papers have to be completed successfully before progression to the thesis element of the programme.

By undertaking an EdD at The University of Manchester you will be joining a vibrant research culture and have the opportunity to attend seminars lead by academics who are leaders in their field. Specialisms include educational policy and leadership. school improvement, urban education and disadvantage, pedagogy and assessment, educational equity and inclusive education.

As an EdD graduate you will have achieved a prestigious academic credential from a world leading university. During the programme you will have developed research skills and knowledge that is transferable both to additional research opportunities and to your professional practice. The EdD therefore provides a good grounding if you wish to become a researching professional. Through the contribution to knowledge from your studies you may also want to achieve publications in professional and / or academic journals, progress to jobs within Higher Education or gain promotion due to your doctoral work.

Information for international students

Candidates whose first language is not English require one of the following certificates:

  • IELTS test minimum scores - 7 overall, 7 writing, 6 other sections
  • TOEFL (internet based) test minimum scores - 100 overall, 25 writing, 22 other sections
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) minimum scores - 66 overall, 66 writing, 59 other sections
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) overall score of 185 or above, with writing 185 and no other sub-section below 169 -OR- Grade C if taken before 2015
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) overall score of 185 or above, with writing 185 and no other sub-section below 169 -OR- Grade B if taken before 2015

Please note that the Cambridge First Certificate in English is not acceptable

Please find full details, including country specific information, here.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Some EdD participants have financial support from their employer (negotiated on a case-by-case basis).

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months

Further details of qualification

The programme is aimed at home students already engaged in education/training in the UK. This does not preclude non-British nationals applying for the course but it is expected that participants will be employed in the UK.

Course contact details

School of Environment, Education and Development
+44 (0)161 275 0807