PhD student loans
The UK Government has introduced PhD loans of up to £25000 to UK and EU nationals, residing in England, for postgraduate research programmes starting in the academic year 2018-19. Read more here.
About the course
Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. The EdD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline.
The EdD programme is designed to equip students with skills in educational research and scholarship that enables each student to produce an original piece of practice-based educational research of doctoral standard. This means that every graduate from the programme, by the time they have graduated, will have produced a thesis, elements of which, at least, will be of publishable standard in good quality peer reviewed journals. Furthermore, the work will have real value for addressing a practical educational problem. This approach means that graduates will emerge from the programme with advanced research skills that complement their existing professional expertise.
The EdD is targeted at senior professionals with a responsibility for learning within their organisation. They may be schoolteachers or college/university lecturers but they may also be working in professions allied to medicine and social care, nursing or other public sector occupations such as the police and fire service.
Each student will be a member of a cohort of between 10 and 12 students who will be recruited at the same point and will follow the entire course at the same pace. This cohort model is intended to facilitate a sense of group identity and create opportunities for peer assisted active/cooperative learning and collaborative study. There will be six weekend study schools (Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon) in the first and second years of the programme (two per term) with the number reducing to three per year for years 3, 4 and 5. The reduction in number reflects the shift in emphasis towards an increasingly individualised approach to student learning through a growing emphasis on individual/personalised supervision as students focus on their respective theses from Year 3. During the first two years, weekend study schools will be divided between taught group sessions (96 hours) and individual mentoring/supervision (24 hours). Annual Summer schools for each year will be organised over four days and incorporate half day and evening activities.
The Applied Research Training (ART) taught component of this programme during the first two years is divided into the following study blocks:
- Improving education and enhancing educational professionalism
- Making sense of education: Theory, history and policy
- Making sense of educational and social research
- Close-to-practice research: Design, skills and judgement
Mode of study – Part time
Start date – January 2019
The main aims of this programme are to enable students to:
- develop research skills and knowledge relevant to the study of educational practice
- reflect critically on their own professional practice
- read, interpret, evaluate, conduct and disseminate research that is relevant to and has the potential to impact on their professional development and workplace practice
- undertake doctoral level research and meet the requirements of rigour and originality
Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)
Entry criteria 2019/20
The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree. All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis.
As part of our application process for entry on our research degree (MPhil and PhD) programmes, we ask you to provide a 500-1,000 word research statement, excluding any references/bibliography you may include, setting out your research motivation, ideas and aspirations. Learn how to prepare a research statement here.
DBS will be required by those students who conduct their research in school or other settings with children and young people. In addition, a declaration has to be made by the students in line with the Childcare Act for those researching with children under the age of 8.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU entry requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English language requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.
If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.
Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.
We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.
Teaching and learning
Since students on this programme are experienced educational practitioners, it is acknowledged they bring considerable professional knowledge and expertise to the programme. This means programme staff will employ a dialogic approach in their teaching which values students’ existing knowledge and facilitates the synthesis of this knowledge with cutting edge research scholarship and research skills. A diverse range of pedagogical strategies will be drawn upon including a blended approach to learning with online resources to support students between face-to-face sessions, and students will be expected to engage in set preliminary reading and writing tasks for the weekend study schools and other forms of preparation including the development of presentations and carrying out research tasks.
Every EdD student will have a supervisory team assigned at the start of their registration. During the first two years of study (the ART taught component) their role will be to guide and mentor students (since they do not necessarily join the programme with a pre-determined idea of their proposed research topic) toward successful completion of their Professional Contextualised Study and then they will supervise the research for the thesis from Year 3 onward. EdD Principal Supervisors have particular expertise in the student’s thesis topic and chosen research methods. Second Supervisors will have expertise in the student’s topic and/or chosen research methods. The division of labour between the Principal and Second Supervisor is determined by the particular needs of the student. Whilst the Principal and Second Supervisors focus on students’ research and the development of the thesis, the Research Development Advisors’ role is to provide broader support for the students’ career development as a researcher.
Individual supervision meetings will take place during study schools and at other times determined by mutual arrangement between student and supervisors. It is normally expected that part time EdD PGR students should meet for a formally recorded meeting with their supervisor(s) at least once every six to eight weeks. Each student is required to meet with the entire supervisory team at least once per term.
Part time students are expected to complete their studies within 5 years.
The award of the EdD is based on examination of a thesis of 70,000 to 80,000 words that is the original work of the student. The examination involves (i) assessment of the thesis by experts (usually 2 in number) in the chosen area of study, one of whom (at least) is external to Brunel University London, and (ii) an oral examination (the viva voce examination) which is conducted by the examiners who have assessed the thesis.
The Education department strives to be the most innovative in London. Based on the oldest teacher training colleges in the British Commonwealth – each with a radical history – we offer research-led programmes for teachers, youth and community workers, other education professionals and those with an interest in the academic study of Education and schooling. Our research is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, the Higher Education Academy and many other organisations and charities. We are committed to working locally and globally and the impact of our research reflects that aspiration. In the 2014 REF 60% of the Education department’s research was world leading or internationally excellent and 90% of our impact was graded as internationally excellent.
The Brunel EdD will offer a high quality doctoral training and supervision experience for a small cohort of experienced professionals who see doctoral study as a way of making a real difference to their profession as well as to themselves personally. Brunel has a great track record in this area with the old EdD and we believe that this new innovative programme will become distinctive both nationally and internationally.
Facts and figures
Brunel University London REF2014 Submission: Education
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The results of the REF2014 have been made public in December 2014, replacing the previous REF conducted in 2008. The next REF will be undertaken in 2020. Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - A Guide for PhD Students