EdD Doctor of Education

Are you an education professional who would like to develop your knowledge and research skills at the doctoral level while focusing 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 that prepare you for independent, in-depth research into a specific area of interest.

Doctor of Education

Key information



Mode of Study:



72 months


University of Bolton

Start date:


Course Details

The Doctor of Education course was the first of its kind to be introduced at the University of Bolton, 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 research 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 thesis.

Our welcoming team of experienced, professionally and academically qualified staff will help you 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.

The doctorate takes six years part-time. During the first two years, you will study the taught modules and begin preparation for the research phase. You will then spend four years carrying out your research, analysing your data and writing your thesis. Your final year will be dedicated to ‘writing up’ and submitting 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 every month for seminars and supervision.

  • The EdD is a high-level, nationally-recognised qualification. It is well respected in the education sector 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 to complement 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 emphasises 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 in developing 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 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 from inception through to submission and the oral examination.
  • You may have the option to complete your studies within a shorter timeframe.

  • Normally, you should have an honours degree and a master’s-level professional qualification.
  • Normally, you should have at least three years of experience working in education or training.
  • You are expected to have an ongoing professional engagement in the education sector while undertaking your doctoral study.
  • Normally, you will be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • Normally, you will need to provide satisfactory references before 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 is 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.
  • 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.

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 develop further 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 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, 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/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 £4,250 for the academic year 2024/25.

Overseas students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Overseas fee of £7,975 for the academic year 2024/25.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on www.gov.uk for information.

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.


Click here for more information on our 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

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

This programme is structured in two stages of taught and research elements. In stage one (the taught element), you will develop and submit your research proposal and undertake literature reviews. You will also conduct a pilot study and evaluate your results. We will assess your performance in these areas and provide feedback.

The stage two research element is 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 from inception to submission and the oral examination. They will have expertise in your proposed research area so that 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 your Director of Studies will guide.


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
  • Practices of Inquiry
  • Research Methodologies
  • Pilot Research Project
  • The Thesis
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 84%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 16%


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
Programme Leader and Admissions Tutor


+44 (0)1204 903219

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton


+44 (0)1204 903903


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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant