Course details

Study options

Part-time: 4-6 years

Course level




Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus
Distance learning

Course description

Claire Scott, Doctor of Education (EdD) student, shares her thoughts on the advantages of studying at the University of Derby

If you’re a working professional committed to extending your understanding and improving your practice, the Doctor of Education (EdD) is an excellent choice.

Education in its broadest sense

Our Doctor of Education (EdD) has a broad appeal: you don’t have to be a teacher, tutor or lecturer to benefit. The programme is relevant to professionals engaged in learning, teaching, coaching, development, education policy and administration in a vast range of occupations and settings.

Our students work in education establishments, health and social care, commercial management and training, organisational development and improvement, business and the voluntary sector. 

Research with real impact

This is an intellectually challenging programme which stimulates your professional thinking. We will equip you to undertake a substantial, robust research project in the context of your own practice.

Directly relevant to your working role, your independent study enables you to create and interpret new professional knowledge, support innovative approaches and improve quality. It yields significant benefits for your organisation and your own potential for further career development.

Structured for success

The first two years of the programme are designed to build your skills and confidence to engage in doctoral level study and to research your professional field. Individual tutorials offer essential guidance to steer your progress and thought-provoking seminar groups enable you to share experiences with fellow students from a wide range of backgrounds.

This provides a firm foundation for your independent research during years three to six as you develop your thesis under the supervision of a Director of Studies.

Academic rigour and expertise

Our Doctor of Education (EdD) is delivered by experienced tutors and supervisors who have expertise across all educational spheres and regularly publish their work. They will keep you abreast of latest thinking and challenge your perceptions.

The programme draws on the cutting-edge educational research for which the University is renowned. Conducting influential studies on everything from early years to adult learning, we provide consultancy for Government, schools and the wider education sector. It means your learning will be underpinned by innovative ideas which are changing the face of the education professions.

What you will study

Theory for Practice

The first stage of the course is the Theory for Practice stage and usually takes two years to complete.

You will study the following modules over the first two years of the course:

  • Engaging with Study at Professional Doctoral Level
  • Identifying Your Research Area
  • Philosophy and Practice of Research
  • Independent Research

During years three to six, you will be registered on the Independent Research for Practice module where you will develop your research thesis.

You’ll study the Independent Research for Practice module:

During this module, you'll prepare a substantial piece of research that will form the thesis element of your Doctorate. Your thesis will be between 50,000 and 60,000 words and, following its submission, you will undertake an oral exam that will enable you to discuss your ideas and arguments with experts in your academic field.

You’ll be supervised by two qualified supervisors from your field of study throughout this period.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Side-on black and white portrait of a young student looking to the sky for inspiration with bokeh lights

Postgraduate Live Online Events

While we’re not able to welcome you in person to our campuses at the moment, we’re not going to let that stop us showing you all the great things about studying at Derby.

We’re currently planning our autumn Open Events to bring you the best possible online and on-campus experience.

Book your Live Online EventBook your Live Online Event

How you will learn

During the Theory for Practice stage, you will be taught as a cohort in seminar groups supported by individual tutorials. These sessions will enable you to build a close relationship with your tutors and other students. Each module is organised as blocks of intensive teaching of between 3 and 8 days.

How you're assessed

Assessments provide a variety and range of tasks which go beyond the requirements of the academic essay. These facilitate professionals such as yourself in articulating and disseminating your expertise.

Over the course of the whole programme, you will undertake the following:

Entry requirements

You will usually hold a masters award in an appropriate academic field, and have significant experience of work within your professional practice (usually two years minimum).

You should have high levels of competence in English. If necessary, this should be demonstrated by IELTS 6.5.

All suitable applicants will be interviewed.

As the EdD programme is only delivered part-time, we regret that we cannot take international students as this would contravene UKBA regulations.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees (August 2020 - July 2021)



£3,000 per year




Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

How to apply


Our students choose this programme as a crucial part of their personal and professional development. You will gain impressive skills in research, analysis, critical and strategic thinking which will enhance your performance in your current role while paving the way to further career opportunities. The doctorate is often a stepping stone to more senior leadership roles.

You will also have the satisfaction of contributing to the body of professional knowledge in your specialist area, raising your profile and status.

“The University has helped me to develop my skills as an educator and a researcher. It has supported me in being creative, reflective and passionate about what I do. Colleagues willingly ‘took me under their wing’, nurtured and supported me, and allowed me to fly in ways that I never thought I would be able to.”
Dr. Simon Brownhill, graduate


“An excellent opportunity to not only research, but to research in your field of practice.”
Kuldeep Banwait, current student

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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† Additional information about your studies

Part-time only: Minimum of four years. Normal registration period is six years.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.