Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) – Bath Spa University

Key facts

Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD)
School of Education
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Up to six years.

Entry requirements

Our Professional Doctorate in Education students come from a variety of academic backgrounds.

We would usually expect applicants to hold a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) from a recognised university, as well as an MA, MEd, or MPhil in a relevant field. 

See "What we look for in applicants" for more guidance.

Enhance your career in education with our Professional Doctorate.

  • Aimed at experienced professionals in all areas of education, with opportunities to learn from innovative local research projects.
  • Taught by teams of practitioners, scholars, and researchers who are experts in their fields.
  • Particular areas of expertise include teacher education, professionalism, leadership, social justice, and education policy.

Due to Covid-19, we have made some changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year: we have blended high-quality virtual engagement with in-person teaching on campus when possible. Blended learning will continue to some extent in the 2021-22 academic year and we will continue to keep the situation under review in light of ongoing Government guidance. If you’re planning on joining us in September 2021 we will communicate with you about specific details of how your course is taught nearer the time.

This six-year part-time Professional Doctorate in Education combines a three-year taught programme with a three-year piece of independent research and a thesis of 50,000 words. You'll have the opportunity to conduct an original piece of empirical research based on your own practice in an educational field of your choice, which will make a new contribution to knowledge.

The course will offer you the opportunity to engage with the latest research in professionalism, early childhood studies, social justice and inequalities in education, education policy, leadership in education, pedagogies, and education philosophy. All of this will be underpinned by a rigorous study of research methods and theories in education.

This course is aimed at professionals working in education or education-related fields. You'll be encouraged to think, write, and research critically, innovatively, and rigorously. You'll learn how to analyse, critique and innovate in education practice, policy and research. You'll be encouraged to challenge established ideas and concepts and develop your professional and academic skills to the highest level.

Course structure

Course overview

The EdD is a part-time course in two parts. The first, taught element, will take three years to complete, the second, independent research element will take two to three years.

The taught element contains six modules. Two modules will run per academic year, one per semester. This will also involve planning a piece of original research. You must pass the taught element of the course to move on to thesis stage.

Once the taught part of the course is complete, you'll conduct an independent piece of empirical research which will make an original contribution to knowledge. This element will take two to three years. You'll work with two supervisors who'll guide your work, and you'll produce a 50,000 word thesis.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more details on which modules are core, required or optional.

  • Understanding educational research
  • Advanced educational research methods
  • Educational research proposal
  • Policy and professionalism in education
  • Leadership and pedagogy
  • Critical studies in early childhood
  • Education and society
  • Education and globalisation
  • Dissertation

Attendance and timetables

The programme is designed to be completed over six years.

The taught element of the course will last three years. There will be one module taught each semester over two teaching blocks, which you'll need to attend. These will normally take place on a Friday and Saturday.

In the independent research element of the course, you'll work with your supervisors to conduct a piece of research and write a thesis. You'll need to negotiate meetings with your supervisors, which will take place once every six to eight weeks.

There are also research training events throughout the year which you'are welcome to attend to top up the taught element of your EdD course, such as specific sessions on writing for publication or research time-management, and research seminars and open lectures across the University.

Once you enter the independent research element of your course, you'll be expected to present your work at a suitable academic conference.

You’ll be subject to the same processes and quality check-points of enrolment, registration, annual monitoring, progression assessment, and viva (the oral examination for a doctorate) as all of the University’s doctoral students.

Independent study time: 280 hours per semester.

Individualised, subject-specific research training

Each of the taught modules has an assignment equivalent to 5,000 words. You'll also be required to undertake an independent research study of 50,000 words on an approved topic. 


Each module is assessed via formative exercises and tasks, to include class discussions and group presentations. There will also be a summative assessment in the form of an assignment (5,000 words) which critically discusses the module content.

Part-time study and employment

The EdD is a part-time programme and there are no restrictions on employment during the course. In fact, it is expected that students will also be senior professionals in education.

However, you'll need to find ways to negotiate the balance between study and employment, as you're likely to run into difficulty if you don't give your research and study the time it requires.


Open lectures and seminars

Our School of Education runs a series of research seminars throughout the academic year, in which staff and postgraduate students present their research. You’ll be welcome to attend these seminars, and there's the opportunity for you to talk about your own research interests within an informal and supportive setting.

Research environment

Where you’ll be taught

Though this course is part-time, some modules will be taught at our Newton Park campus. You'll have access to a wide range of excellent facilities, including:

Staff and supervisors

Key contacts

Charlotte Chadderton, course director
Phone: +44 (0)1225 875463

Course administrator
Phone: +44 (0)1225 875593

Module leaders


UK students part time

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are no longer eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate.

Course fees
2020/21 entry £2,205*
2021/22 entry Published Jan 2021
2022/23 entry Published Jan 2022

*This course is offered on a part-time basis, and you can study for up to six years. You'll pay a fee for each year of study, and fees are revised on an annual basis.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in applicants

The EdD is designed for those who are already working in education in a range of contexts. The course is aimed at both professionals and practitioners who would like to advance their own professional development in the areas of research, policy, curriculum development, and professional practice. The course will benefit those looking to improve and develop their own practice, as well as institutional practice or policy.

We would normally expect applicants for this programme to hold a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) from a recognised university, as well as an MA, MEd, or MPhil in a relevant field. Where professional experience is extensive and has involved research practice, this requirement may be waived.

Previous experience of conducting research, or research methods training in the social sciences, is beneficial.

Professional requirements: appropriate professional experience in the practice of policy or a related field. Students in the programme will normally be expected to have at least three years' experience.

English language requirements: at least 7.0 average in IELTS with no lower than 6.5 in any one area.

References: Three references are required. At least two of these should be academic references.

Applicants will be expected to provide a research proposal, which will be assessed for originality, feasibility and rigour.

How are applications assessed?

Applications are considered by at least two specialists in the applicant’s proposed area, who then decide if the applicant should be called to interview. If the applicant is called to interview, a panel of three interviewers is assembled, consisting of a chair, a potential Director of Studies who is an expert in the proposed field, and an academic member of staff from another subject area.

How do I apply?

Begin your application or find out more on our how to apply page.

You can get in touch with our Graduate College at

If you’d like to talk to a member of the course team or arrange a visit, please email:

Please note the deadline for applications to this course is 30 June 2021.

Admissions service
Phone: +44 (0)1225 875 877

Academic representative: Charlotte Chadderton
Phone: +44 (0)1225 875 463

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