EdD Doctor of Education

Are you an education professional who would like to develop your knowledge and research skills at doctoral level, while maintaining a focus on the issues and challenges that arise from your practice The Doctor of Education (EdD) programme is designed to meet this need, with taught modules which prepare you for independent, in-depth research into a specific area of interest.

Doctor of Education

Key information



Mode of Study:



48 months


The University of Bolton

Start date:


Course Details

The Doctor of Education course was the first of its kind to be introduced at the University and it has become a popular route for education professionals to obtain qualifications at the highest level. In a professional doctorate, it is expected that you will carry out research into some aspect of your own professional context, although this need not necessarily be your own workplace. The programme differs from the traditional PhD in that it is in two parts. Stage one, the taught element, covers the development and submission of your research proposal. Stage two is a programme of directed and independent study leading to the production and defence of your own critical commentary.

Our welcoming team of experienced, professionally and academically qualified staff will help you to understand how you can align your research topic of interest to current research in relevant fields, and apply it to your own professional practice and context. The EdD provides you with an invaluable opportunity to demonstrate your ability to implement a research project and opens up opportunities for higher education lecturing and/or research posts.

If your inquiry into your practice and your professional activities can be aligned, it may be possible for you to study full-time while you are working. The full-time route takes four years. As a full-time student you will: (1) Study the taught modules in the first year together with the part-time students (but you will need to do more intensive reading and preparation for the research phase than your part-time colleagues); (2) spend two years carrying out your research, analysing your data and writing your thesis (as opposed to four years in the part-time option); (3) have one year ‘writing up’, during which you can submit your thesis. If you need more time you can apply for it.

We do not offer a distance education option for the EdD, and all students must be resident in the UK. You should expect to attend the University on a monthly basis for seminars and supervision.

  • The EdD is a high-level, nationally recognised qualification that is well respected in Education, and compares exactly in status to a PhD.
  • Professionals who hold a University of Bolton EdD take back to their organisations a greater knowledge and a deeper understanding of today's diverse educational world, gained through a research-driven programme.
  • We will work with you to mould your EdD so that it complements your employment and interests within the research framework.
  • The research (thesis) phase requires you to design, implement and disseminate an original research study. You will be strongly encouraged to bring your own education-related issues to the table as the basis of your research.
  • For many students, this partly taught doctorate offers a more effective route to a doctoral qualification than the independent research project involved in a traditional PhD.
Key Features
  • Our EdD emphasizes your development as an independent researcher, oral and written communication, and understanding of contemporary educational assessment and research. You will examine a specific area of interest in detail via a thesis, and be encouraged to develop your research, analytical, conceptual and critical thinking skills to a very high level.
  • We will support you to develop a thorough understanding of research methods so you can make informed research decisions and become skilled in shaping learning materials towards your own specialism. This makes the course relevant to specialists in every sector of education, from early years through to higher education.
  • Using collaborative learning methods, you will be encouraged to work with other course members and your tutors as co-developers of knowledge, drawing from work-based experience to share best practice. You will also have the opportunity to develop a strong working relationship with your fellow students and tutors before you embark on your research phase.
  • The course is designed to fit around your current employment commitments and responsibilities. Classes are usually held monthly, on Saturdays, and include seminars, face-to-face teaching and online activities.
  • For your thesis, you will work with a named supervisor - your Director of Studies. Your supervisor will guide you through to submission and the oral examination.
Professional recognition

  • Normally, you should have an honours degree and a master’s-level professional qualification.
  • Normally, you should have at least three years’ experience working in education or training.
  • Normally, you will be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • Normally, you will need to provide satisfactory references prior to enrolment on the course.
  • In your application you will need to provide: 1) a personal statement, including a discussion of the area of practice and issues that you would like to investigate in your research, and references to any existing research that you think are relevant. This can either be typed into the ‘personal statement’ field in the application form or uploaded as a separate document together with your application; 2) a full CV, which should be uploaded with your application.
  • If you are an international applicant, you should include in your personal statement an explanation of how you will be able to research into your professional practice while you are resident in Bolton.
  • We'll also consider applications where appropriate work experience can be demonstrated in lieu of, or in addition to, the published academic qualifications in line with the University’s Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) procedures.
  • If English is not your first language you will also need IELTS 7.5 with normally no less than 7.0 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at enquiries@bolton.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 903.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

The Doctor of Education (EdD) is a doctoral degree with a research focus in the field of education. It is designed to prepare you for academic, research, administrative, clinical, or professional positions in educational, civil, private organisations, or public institutions.

The EdD is aimed at experienced educational professionals wishing to further develop their research, analytical, conceptual and critical thinking skills. Employers in education and elsewhere recognise doctoral qualifications as an indicator of high-quality performance which may lead to promotion within your current role.

What can I do with this qualification?

This qualification can enhance your career opportunities, including progression into senior education leadership and management. The EdD provides an opportunity to prepare for academic, administrative or specialised positions in education.

The EdD is recognised for the purposes of appointment as a lecturer and may even, alongside a comprehensive list of additional achievements and experience, help support an application to the post of professor.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification as a stepping-stone into a range of other careers. For some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required. Some of these careers include:

  • Quality inspection
  • Consultancy
  • Local Authority senior management
  • Department for Education senior management
  • Journalism and writing
  • Educational charity work
  • Educational policy
  • Social work
  • Local government
  • Higher education

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £4,328 for the academic year 2020/21.

Overseas students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Overseas fee of £12,000 for the academic year 2020/21.

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The university is currently awaiting government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2021/2022.


Click here for more information on our 2020 Master's Bursaries.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or admissions@bolton.ac.uk

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit www.ucas.com.

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email international@bolton.ac.uk

This programme is structured in two stages of taught and research elements. In stage one, the taught element, you will be assessed for the development and submission of a preliminary research proposal and a review of relevant literature.

The stage two research element is made up of a programme of directed and independent study, leading to the development, production and defence of your thesis. The thesis is a comprehensive study of the application of knowledge to a professional practice issue or issues with a shared theme.

You will work with a named supervisor, your Director of Studies, who will guide and advise you through to submission and the oral examination. They will have expertise in the area of your proposed research so you can discuss your ideas in tutorial sessions.

Classes are usually held on Saturdays and will include seminars, face-to-face teaching and online activities. There are also open postgraduate research student sessions. You will be required to engage in a substantial amount of independent study, including library research and further reading, which will be guided by your Director of Studies.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Policy and Practice in Education
  • Research Methodologies in Professional Education
  • The Thesis


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Daniela Bacova
Admissions Tutor


+44 (0)1204 903219

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton


+44 (0)1204 903903

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