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Doctorate in Education – University of Reading

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  • A doctorate programme designed for educational professionals

    Make an original contribution to educational knowledge

  • Transforming lives through education

    Become an outstanding researching professional

Doctorate in Education

The Doctorate in Education (EdD) is a part-time programme designed to offer high quality research training and career development for professionals employed in a broad range of areas related to education.

By providing a detailed understanding of research techniques and enabling students to relate theoretical concepts to their professional field, the programme aims to enable students to critically reflect on their professional contexts as well as explore and understand the research and values that inform practice.

The programme has been running successfully for many years at the University of Reading and we welcome students from a range of backgrounds including: early years; schools; further and higher education; the NHS; the armed forces; and social work.  

Programme structure

Our EdD is available for study on a part-time basis, and students typically complete the programme in 4 - 5 years. The EdD is formed of two parts:

Part A: five compulsory modules. These modules are taught over three weekends per year in the first two years.

  • Research Methods Part I and Part II (double module taken over two years)
  • Professionalism in the 21st Century
  • Educational Leadership and Management
  • Theory in Education

Part B: an independent, supervised research study on an approved topic of approximately 50,000 words.

Teaching for Part A takes place only at weekends. These are normally the first weekend in February, the weekend after the Early May Bank Holiday, and the first weekend in October.


 6-7 February 2021  8-9 May 2021  2-3 October 2021

5-6 February  2022

 7-8 May 2022  1-2 October 2022
 4-5 February 2023  6-7 May 2023  7-8 October 2023


Each module in Part A is assessed via means of assignments totalling 6,000 words. Students must successfully complete Part A of the programme with an average of 60% before progressing to Part B. Students who successfully pass Part A and do not wish to move on to Part B may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma.
Part B is an independent, supervised research thesis on an approved topic of approximately 50,000 words which will be examined by viva voce. The thesis is required to make a distinct contribution to professional knowledge, be original, and demonstrate an ability to relate to the existing body of research within the field.


As well as the excellent training on research methods on the programme, all postgraduate research students automatically become members of the University-wide Graduate School. The Graduate School's Reading Researcher Development Programme (RRDP) offers a rich array of training sessions and workshops which have been especially designed to help you gain the additional skills that will enable you to carry out your research professionally and effectively. The RRDP is delivered primarily using the expertise of academic and specialist staff within the University and complements any subject-specific training that we provide. The RRDP includes training sessions on research methods, writing academic papers, getting published, public engagement and career planning.

In addition to the RRDP, doctoral researchers will also have the chance to access the following development opportunities:

  • Preparing to teach
    A programme focused on the skills needed for teaching and learning activities.
  • Developing your potential as a leader
    This leadership programme is jointly run with the triple accredited Henley Business School.  
  • Academic English Programme
    Supporting international students to develop their academic English skills with a range of classes and services.

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

Below are the current fees for both home and international students.

Please note that these fees apply to students who are enrolling from 2020.

  • Home fees: £3,300 per year
  • International fees: £9,000 per year

 Sources of funding

The majority of students on the EdD programme are self funded or sponsored by their institution. Those who are looking for funding information can visit the Graduate School fees and funding webpages.

Information on other studentships available at the University can be obtained from our Money Matters pages.

 Overseas students

A number of external organisations fund doctoral scholarships on a competitive basis. In particular, information on potential funding for students from Commonwealth countries is available from the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

You can find information on studentships open to international applicants on the Graduate School's Studentships for international applicants pages.

Alumni fee discounts

If you've previously completed a degree with us, you'll automatically receive our alumni discount (£1,500 off the cost of your tuition fees).

How to apply

EdD Guide

Step one: Check our entry requirements

To be accepted on our EdD programme, you will need a master's degree (or equivalent), in a subject related to your proposed doctoral research topic, as well as having at least three years professional experience. Candidates without a masters qualification, but with a relevant qualification and/or significant professional experience may be considered at the discretion of the Admissions Tutor.   

If English is not your first language, you need to have achieved (or will have achieved before starting your EdD) a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in all subsections) or equivalent. 

For more information on entry requirements, visit our Graduate School website.

In addition, all applicants must submit:

  • A 500 word statement outlining why they would like to undertake a professional doctorate and how the programme fits with their future career plans.
  • A research proposal of no more than 1000 words. 

Step two: Make an initial inquiry

We recommend that you get in touch with us before you make a formal application. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your ideas and get advice about your application.

 EdD Enquiry Form

 Step three: Select a topic and develop a suitable proposal

If you have a clear idea about a research project of your choice, you should first determine whether the project is suitable for study at doctoral level before compiling your written statement. The project must also be feasible within the resources and time frame available to you. In addition, it should address a perceived 'gap' in the literature and, most importantly, be of interest to you.

Step four: Make an application

Once you are ready to make a formal application, you can apply through our online application service. This allows you to complete the necessary information and attach copies of relevant documents, including the details of two appropriate referees. Although you will be working with a specific department or supervisor, all doctoral applications have to be made centrally. We will acknowledge your application and then pass it on to the appropriate school or department.

The course starts in February of each year and applications must be received by the end of October. Later applications may be considered at the discretion of the Programme Director, but we cannot guarantee this.

Once you have read and considered all the detailed programme information, please use our online application service to apply for EdD study at the University of Reading.



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