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Education EdD

Start date


Mode of study

5 years part-time



International £21,260

UK £4,786

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Research profile

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

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Find a supervisor

PhD topics

While we welcome applications from student with a clear direction for their research, we can also provide you with some ideas. Search for PhD topics for your chosen field of research.

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Research journey

Doctor of Education (EdD) programme of study

There are four study blocks in the taught component of the programme spread across the first two years (6 weekend study schools per year) with end of year papers as follows:

Year 1

ED6700: Improving education and enhancing educational professionalism

  • The (recent) history of educational improvement in the UK and abroad, particularly from the perspective of policy (including standards-based improvement; inspection and improvement; measurement, curriculum reform, learning outcomes; league tables)
  • The possible contributions of research to educational improvement (including action research; school effectiveness and improvement; teacher judgement; teacher activism)
  • The literature on professions, professionalism and professionality, and its relevance for education (including conceptions and definitions of professions, professionalism and professionality; teacher professionalism; teacher agency; teacher autonomy). Enhancing professionalism (including the role of teachers, of research, of policy; the role of accountability)

ED6701: Making sense of education: Theory, history and policy

  • Theories of education (with a particular focus on how educational theories and forms of theorising differ from theories and theorising in other practical fields and academic disciplines)
  • The history and development of education as a scholarly and academic endeavour, in the UK and elsewhere. The history of education (with a particular focus on the history of school education and educational reform)
  • Trends in education policy in the UK and elsewhere (including critical analysis of political dimensions of education policy and how such policy helps or hinders educational practice and educational professionalism)


End of year 1 task: 10,000 words historical paper on a topic of personal choice

Year 2

ED6702: Making sense of educational and social research

  • The development of the social sciences and the interrelationships between science, social science and educational practice
  • The history of educational research and its status among the social and behavioural sciences
  • Normative and moral dimensions of social and educational research

ED6703: Close-to-practice research; design, skills and judgement

  • Understanding different approaches to research in education (including the difference between explanatory, interpretative and critical research)
  • Main approaches and designs of close-to-practice research (including action research, evaluation research, case study and ethnography). Principles of research design. Data collection, data analysis and data interpretation in close-to-practice research
  • Improvement of practice and the role of research. Values, ethics and politics of close-to-practice research

End of year 2 task: 10,000 words paper based on an empirical inquiry (topic of personal choice) within own professional context

Years 3, 4 & 5 – Thesis writing stage

There are four Saturday schools for each year group spread across the academic year

Annual research conference

The department organises a research conference in July each year and doctoral researchers in all year groups are expected to present either an oral or poster presentation based upon their ‘work in progress’

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

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Research support

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. The researcher development programme (RDP) offers workshops and seminars in a range of areas including progression, research management, research dissemination, and careers and personal development. You will also be offered a number of online, self-study courses on BBL, including Research Integrity, Research Skills Toolkit, Research Methods in Literature Review and Principles of Research Methods.

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. As well as the physical resources available in the Library, we also provide access to a wealth of electronic resources. These include databases, journals and e-books. Access to these resources has been bought by the Library through subscription and is limited to current staff and students.

Dedicated research support staff provide guidance and training on open access, research data management, copyright and other research integrity issues.

Find out more: Brunel Library

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Careers and your future

You will receive tailored careers support during your PhD and for up to three years after you complete your research at Brunel. We encourage you to actively engage in career planning and managing your personal development right from the start of your research, even (or perhaps especially) if you don't yet have a career path in mind. Our careers provision includes online information and advice, one-to-one consultations and a range of events and workshops. The Professional Development Centre runs a varied programme of careers events throughout the academic year. These include industry insight sessions, recruitment fairs, employer pop-ups and skills 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). A Masters degree is desirable and relevant experience in an education related field is essential.

An interview will be required as part of the admissions process and will be conducted by at least two academic staff members remotely via MS Teams, Zoom, or face to face.

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: 59 (59 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 63% (min 58% in all areas)
  • TOEFL: 90 (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

2024/5 entry


£21,260 full-time

£10,630 part-time


£4,786 full-time

£2,393 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%.

Scholarships and bursaries