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The Doctorate in Education (EdD) is a part-time professional doctoral programme designed to offer high quality researcher and career development for education professionals from a broad range of sectors, from compulsory education to further and higher education to learning and development in the public and corporate sectors, as well as consultancy and other fields related to education. 

As a professional and practice-based doctorate, the EdD offers a post-experience qualification that is particularly appealing to mid-career professionals seeking challenging learning through innovative research that is professionally relevant, while working towards a doctoral degree.  

Programme structure

Our EdD is on a part-time basis, and students typically complete the programme in 4-6 years. The EdD is formed of two parts:

Part A: comprises of a cohort phase of two years that provides a programme of blended learning, with two mandatory weekends of learning at the University of Reading campus each year, plus one synchronous online study morning each year, combined with self-directed study and experiential learning through a research project. You will complete 120 credits allocated across a range of compulsory modules shown below: 

  • Year one modules: Educational Leadership & Management, Research Methods 1, Professionalism
  • Year two modules: Theory in Education, and a double module called Research Methods 2. 

Modules are assessed through assignments that include: a literature review, theoretical essays, small scale empirical research with written research report, and a research proposal.

The assessments are designed to be flexible enough for you to tailor what you focus on in the assignments to your own topic of research interest.

You must successfully complete Part A of the programme to progress to Part B. Students who fail to transfer to Part B or choose to exit the programme after successful completion of Part A may qualify for a PG Diploma.

Part B: involves an independent, supervised research study on an approved topic and a thesis of 60,000 words. Key stages in Part B are as follows:
  • Within 18 months of transferring to Part B students must undertake a formal review. This involves submission of two substantive chapters of the thesis and a contextual statement, which are presented and defended to faculty members/assessors (online or campus). This process, if successful, results in confirmation as an EdD candidate.
  • The remaining part of Part B will be devoted to completion of the research project and thesis of 60,000 words. The time allowed for submission of the thesis in Part B is 2-4 years (equating to year 4-6 of the programme). 
  • The thesis is examined by voce viva and 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.

Programme Dates

The next start date for the EdD is 30 September 2024. Dates for the study weekends in Part A are below: 

Year One
5-6 October 2024 (London Road campus)
8-9 February 2025 (London Road campus)
26 April 2025 (half-day online)

Year Two
4-5 October 2025 (London Road campus)
7-8 February 2026 (London Road campus)
25 April 2026 (half-day online)

Course Fees

The tuition fees for the 2024/2025 academic year are as follows: 

  • Home fees: £3,500 per year
  • International fees: £10,415 per year

EdD supervision

In Part B of the EdD you will be  assigned a supervisor with expertise that aligns with your research topic.

Our expert academics are leaders in their areas of research, and will work closely with you to ensure your time with us as a EdD student is as rewarding as possible.

Find out more about our EdD alumni and their research

Find out more about our staff and the areas of doctoral research they supervise


As well as the excellent training on research methods on the programme, all postgraduate research students automatically become members of the University-wide Doctoral and Researcher College. The College'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 - the programme is jointly run with the triple accredited Henley Business School. 
  • Supporting international students to develop their academic English skills with a range of classes and services.

Find out how to apply


Doctoral supervisors

Become part of a vibrant and diverse research community, working alongside leading experts within the research field of education.


Research impact

Research at the University of Reading’s Institute of Education has had a direct impact on school curricula as well as learning and teaching strategies, both in the UK and abroad.


Latest research news

Find the most up-to-date information about research projects being undertaken at University of Reading’s Institute of Education.