Research course


University of Plymouth · Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business

Entry requirements

You will normally be expected to have successfully completed a masters degree. You should also be working in a professional context where you are responsible for supporting learning. However, all applications will be considered on an individual basis.

You will need to be able to demonstrate the following:
  • The potential to study at doctoral level. This would normally be indicated by successful completion of a masters degree, but in exceptional cases may be through successful completion of a task set by the admissions tutor(s).
  • An ability to work collaboratively in exploring and developing experience and ideas.
  • That you are working in a professional context where you are responsible for supporting learning. Candidates not currently working in a professional context, but with appropriate and sufficiently extensive experience, may be considered at the discretion of the admissions tutor(s). If you are in professional practice but, in the opinion of the admissions team, do not yet have sufficient or appropriate experience to draw on, you may be deemed ineligible.
  • A strong commitment to educational enquiry and the ability to reflect critically on practice, as a means of professional learning.

The following points will also be taken into account in selecting candidates:

  • Accreditation for prior certificated learning (APCL) will be considered up to 120 credits and normally only for work completed at doctoral level within the last seven years.
  • Accreditation for prior experiential learning (APEL) may, exceptionally, be considered. This will be done in the line with the guidance in the programme and University regulations.

Months of entry


Course content

If you are responsible for leading learning in your organisation, whether it’s a school, college, higher education institution or as an educator in the public or private sector, this doctoral-level programme is a fantastic opportunity to study education at a deep level and relate this back to your own practice. The EdD helps you expand your knowledge and understanding of how education works and allows you to transform your own practice.

Key features:

  • Focus your attention on the nature of educational practice itself. Approach education in its broadest sense. Study and theorise the nature of your work from a social perspective - then relate this back to your own practice.
  • Engage with a range of new ideas with which to re-think educational practice on a carefully organised course with a clear structure based on a social perspective on education.
  • Study on a flexible and work-friendly programme that has been structured to fit around your existing commitments. You’ll probably study part time over five years (two years of taught modules and three years of thesis) but you can take up to seven if you need to. Choose to start at masters level if you are unsure about doctoral study.
  • Begin to engage with new educational theory at the University-based sessions. Participate in lively discussions and share ideas with others on your course in seminars, lectures and workshops.
  • Access a wide range of support and resources to fuel your independent study. Draw on books and journals and an online environment where you’ll communicate with and draw support from your peers and from staff with a long history of excellence in professional development.
  • Meet and share ideas with others in your cohort from a range of disciplines. Tap into this diversity to compare the interrelationships between policy and practice across different educational areas and institutions.
  • Make your mark on the future of education as part of our learning community where you can link into active and renowned research networks. Find out more about research within the Institute of Education.
  • Attend our annual postgraduate research conference and present your ongoing ideas in a challenging and supportive environment.

Information for international students

If you are an overseas applicant you can check the compatibility of your qualifications with the UK equivalent through UK ECCTIS, who provide an advisory service.

English language requirement

If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. The level of proficiency that is required can vary with the type of programme for which you are applying. For further advice on the appropriateness of overseas qualification and proficiency in the use of English, please contact our International Office.

The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is normally 6.5.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • EdD
    part time
    84 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions