Taught course

Professional Doctorate in Education

University of Brighton · School of Education
EdD by taught

Entry requirements

MA in education or related discipline. Minimum four years professional experience.

Months of entry


Course content

This programme is intended for experienced, practising education professionals. It supports an individual's development as a researching practitioner with a critical and interrogative approach to the understanding of their educational practice. Students on the programme represent a range of formal and informal educational settings in schools, youth work, further and higher education, and other organisations with a focus on education. Students currently on the programme include those involved in teacher education, business school, language teaching, nursing and midwifery, medicine and physiotherapy.

The programme provides a research-based, flexible and practice-focused experience, advancing professional knowledge in practice. Most students are already successful practitioners who wish to retain their professional practitioner focus; the programme design is founded on this premise and aims to support practice through critical enquiry at doctoral level.

The EdD comprises two parts: Stage 1 comprising three assessed assignments and Stage 2, the thesis stage, comprising a research plan and a 50,000 word thesis. Stage 1 usually takes two years to complete and Stage 2, the research element, a further three years. The assignments and modules in Stage 1, together with a viva voce examination at the end of this Stage form a Master of Research in Education (MRes).

In each of the first two years (Stage 1), students attend three intensive two-day, and one one-day study blocks, and in each of years 3, 4 and beyond, students are invited to attend these study days and are supported to develop their own action learning sets. There are monthly Saturday morning methodology sessions designed to introduce methodological concepts in Stage 1. Stage 2 students are expected to present work in progress at these sessions. These structured elements of the programme introduce students to research methods, tools for critical reflection, theoretical perspectives and research ethics.

Teaching within the programme and the organisation of the programme is designed to suit the needs of part-time students. A distinctive feature of the programme is that students should take advantage of opportunities offered by a small cohort of similarly interested professionals.

The structure of the EdD allows for significant emphasises in collaboration and discursive learning during Stage 1, with a greater emphasis on individual work with supervisory support, together with continued opportunities for continued networking during Stage 2.

Within Stage 1, you will be allocated one Professional Doctorate Advisor (PDA) with expertise and academic interest in your chosen area of study. Your PDA will support you in completing your three assignments during Stage 1. Your PDA in Stage 1 usually becomes a member of your supervisory team in Stage 2, along with at least one other academic member of staff, chosen to provide appropriate expertise in the focus of your study. Your supervisory team will jointly guide you through the various stages and formal requirements of producing your final thesis. It is usual for PDAs and supervisors to offer feedback to students on their work via email as well as through face-to-face (or Skype or other technology) sessions.

Qualification and course duration

EdD by taught

part time
60-96 months

Course contact details

Helen Mclaren
+44 (0) 1273 64 19 31