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Doctor of Education (EdD)

Start date


Mode of study

5 years part-time



UK £4,407

International £17,355

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Research profile

The EdD is targeted at senior professionals with responsibility for key areas within their organisations such as professional learning and teaching, curriculum development, policy reform and implementation. They may be college/university lecturers, experienced school teachers or they may be working in professions allied to medicine and social care, nursing or other public sector occupations such as the police and fire service. Our current students stem from an eclectic range of organisations such as the local authority; her majesty’s inspectorate; social work, nursing preparation and language learning in higher education; business enterprise, both nationally and internationally; as well as senior leadership positions in all phases of schooling.  

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 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

You can explore our campus and facilities for yourself by taking our virtual tour.

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Find a supervisor

Our researchers create knowledge and advance understanding, and equip versatile doctoral researchers with the confidence to apply what they have learnt for the benefit of society. Find out more about working with the Supervisory Team.

You are welcome to approach your potential supervisor directly to discuss your research interests. Search for expert supervisors for your chosen field of research.

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.

PhD topics

While we welcome applications from student with a clear direction for their research, we are providing you with some ideas for your chosen field of research:

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Research journey

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

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.

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.

This course can be studied 5 years part-time, starting in January.

Find out about what progress might look like at each stage of study here: Research degree progress structure.

The programme specification is in the process of being updated and may not be an accurate reflection of the programme.

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Research support

Excellent research support and training

The Graduate School provides a range of personal, professional and career development opportunities. This includes workshops, online training, coaching and events, to enable you to enhance your professional profile, refine your skills, and plan your next career steps as part of the Researcher Development Programme.

Find our more: Study environment for research students

Library services

Brunel's Library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 ebooks, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs.

The Library services boast:

  • state-of-the-art research information management tools including a research
  • publication and grant database
  • one of the largest UK's full text repository
  • an integrated data management system
  • analytical tools such as Altmertic and InCites
  • Open Access centrally managed fund

Find out more: Brunel Library

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Careers and your future

Tailored careers support is offered to all our current PhD students and for up to 3 years after you complete your research at Brunel. We help you to actively engage in career planning and managing your personal development right from the start of your research. Our careers provision includes online advice, one to one consultations and a range of events and workshops.

In addition, where available, you may be able to undertake some paid work as we recognise that teaching and learning support duties represent an important professional and career development opportunity.

Find out more.

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UK entry requirements

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (1st or 2:1). 

An interview may be required as part of the admissions process, and if so it would be conducted by one of the academic staff members remotely via Skype, phone or other means. 

Applicants will be required to submit a personal statement and a research statement.
Please contact your proposed supervisor, where possible, to receive feedback and guidance on your research statement before submitting it. Learn how to prepare a research statement here.  

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EU and International entry requirements

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.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
  • TOEFL: 92 (min 20 in all)

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

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 through our Brunel Language Centre.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants. This information is for guidance only and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Entry requirements are subject to review, and may change.

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Fees and funding

2020/21 entry


£4,407 full-time

£2,203 part-time


£17,355 full-time

£8,675 part-time

Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase.

Some courses incur additional course related costs. You can also check our on-campus accommodation costs for more information on living expenses.

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. Recently the UK Government made available the Doctoral Student Loans of up to £25,000 for UK and EU students and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

PhD studentships