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EdD Professional Doctorate in Education

Course summary

The Professional Doctorate at the University of East London is a five-year part-time modular course specifically aimed at senior professionals working in all fields of education. 

The course gives you the opportunity and the skills to conduct robust, innovative research that will improve the policy, practice and the quality of education. Your doctorate will enhance your professional capability through critical analysis and the use of research evidence. 

You will be studying at one of the most diverse and multicultural universities in London, with the chance to meet and work with students and academics with different national and international professional backgrounds, each with their own experience and expertise that they bring to the course. 

Doctoral courses at the University of East London give you the chance to draw on this dynamic research culture as well as the research expertise of our academic staff, at least two of whom will serve on your supervisory team. 

The course consists of two stages. In Stage One, you will study four compulsory modules over two years. This is then followed by Stage Two, where you complete your research thesis.

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62%

of research rated 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'

According to the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014), 62% of our academic work was rated as ‘World-leading’ or ‘Internationally excellent’.

Join a superb research group

We provide an outstanding research group environment for you to critically develop and share your research with professionals in similar fields.


→ See our research

82%

of students were pleased with support and teaching quality

Postgraduate students score our academic staff highly in terms of support and the quality of their teaching - 82 per cent felt their research skills had developed during their course.

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What we're researching

Major areas of research within the School of Education and Communities include: early childhood policy and practice, learning and teaching, language and diversity, work-based learning, teacher education, race and community, education equality issues, comparative education, professional education, social work knowledge and practice and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL).

Making a difference

UEL is one of the UK’s leading modern research universities. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), 17 per cent of our overall research submission was classified as ‘world-leading’ for its quality and impact – almost double our previous REF score. A further 45 per cent of our work was considered ‘internationally excellent’.

What you'll study

We consistently review and develop our courses and modules to ensure they are up-to-date with sector and industry graduate skills demands. Course structure, modules and options are subject to change.

  • Critically engaging with the literature (core)
  • Philosophy and practice of research (core)
  • Research methodology – perspectives on research (core)
  • Integrating theory, research and ethical practice – Moving towards Registration (core)

How you'll be assessed

At Stage One of the Professional Doctorate, you will be assessed via assignments (written and visual) and presentations. These will be marked by two members of the course team and moderated by an external examiner.

Stage Two consists of a 50,000 word thesis. You will be examined orally (viva voce) on your thesis by an internal and external examiner.

You must successfully complete all assessed elements before we can award you your Professional Doctorate degree. Students with disabilities and/or particular learning needs should discuss assessments with the Course Leader to ensure they are able to fully engage with all the elements of the course.

Course specification

How you'll learn

The School of Education and Communities provides a dedicated study and research space for doctorate students at the purpose-built education building - a facility that is a unique hub for research and training as well as a focal point for the community.

We offer you extensive support in a wide range of research and study skills, as well as guidance and specialist support through our Graduate School.

Research is structured around several research groups that cover a wide range of fields including language, diversity and multilingual education, leadership and management and early childhood education.

Studying for a Professional Doctorate with us is a unique opportunity to join an international research and learning community through local, collaborative research groups and centres.

 Your study will take a variety of forms, including face-to-face tutorials, seminars and group workshops, written assignments and poster presentations. You will also be well-supported in your independent study and the writing of your thesis.

You will also have the chance to present at conferences at the University of East London and to have your work published in our well-respected research journal, Research in Teacher Education. You will also be encouraged to present at national and international conferences as and when this is deemed appropriate.

What you'll learn

A Professional Doctorate represents the highest form of research apprenticeship.  Throughout the course, you will be encouraged to challenge established ideas and concepts, and to develop your personal and professional skills to the highest level. 

You will study and acquire a substantial body of knowledge that is at the forefront of your academic discipline and area of professional practice.  

As you progress on your doctoral journey you will gain a detailed understanding of the techniques used for research and advanced academic enquiry. 

This will enable you to conceptualise, design and implement a project that will add new expertise and understanding to your discipline, placing you at the forefront of expertise, nationally and internationally.

View a list of previous students’ thesis topics

Your future career

This doctorate course at the University of East London is designed for professionals who are working within a range of contexts. 

Research is a rapidly developing phenomenon, both nationally and internationally. This doctoral course is aimed at professionals and practitioners who would like to advance their own professional development in the areas of research, policy, curriculum development and professional practice.

It also gives you the opportunity to help improve institutional practice generally.

Studying for a Professional Doctorate at UEL's Cass School of Education and Communities will benefit senior members of staff working in a variety of institutions, including social work settings, schools, colleges, universities, examination organizations and policy-related institutions.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal

Your research proposal

As part of the application process you will be expected to submit a research proposal of between 1500-2000 (not including references).

To find out more about how to write your research proposal, see our research proposal guidance.

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Meet us in your country

Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.
 

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