Entry requirements

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities). Every applicant must have:

  • a Bachelor’s degree in education or related fields, with First Class Honours or Second Class Honours (Division I) or equivalent; or
  • a Bachelor’s degree with a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (with distinction or credit) or a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching (with distinction or credit), including an appropriate research component; or
  • a Master’s degree in education or a related field (with distinction or credit).

Every applicant must have at least five years of experience as a professional in education or related fields and be a leader in their field.

The applicant should present evidence of ability for advanced level academic study.

If your first language is not English you need to meet our English language requirements as follows: IELTS score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0); we also accept a number of other English language tests. Due to COVID-19, we currently accept Duolingo English Test (DET), IELTS Indicator Test, and TOEFL iBT Special home Edition.

Don’t meet the English language requirements? The University of Otago Language Centre "English for Otago" programme offers a pathway for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students to meet the English language requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Months of entry


Course content

The degree of Doctor of Education is awarded on the basis of submission of a thesis and the completion of coursework. The coursework is an integral and constitutive part of the thesis research of the degree. The thesis should give evidence that the candidate has the ability to carry out research, has shown originality and independence, and has made a significant contribution to knowledge in their particular profession. A research to practice portfolio consisting of evidence documenting the connection between the candidate’s research and practice and how the research has informed and enhanced practice should be submitted as part of the thesis. It is expected that some of the work in the thesis would be worthy of publication. The programme should be of a kind which a diligent and competent student might reasonably be expected to complete within six years of part-time study.

Structure of the Programme

There are two components to the programme:

  • Coursework: the candidate is required to complete coursework to the value of 60 points on a part-time basis (undertaken by enrolling for EDDC 911 twice; in the second half of the first year of study and the first half of the second year of study).
  • Thesis research: once admission to the programme is confirmed, the candidate may proceed to thesis research (EDDC 9).

Information for international students

Otago offers students an unrivalled campus experience and a vibrant, social student culture. The majority of Otago’s 21,000 students live, work and play in Dunedin - New Zealand’s only true university city. Otago is home to over 3,000 students, from over 100 countries.

Fees and funding

International students
NZ $28,805

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • EdD
    full time
    36 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details