Doctor of Education (EdD)

Become a research-informed, inquiry-based leader in your field with a Doctor of Education from the University of Stirling.

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Key facts

  • Award EdD
  • Start date September 2024, January 2025
  • Duration EdD full-time; 36 to 60 months, EdD part-time: 60 to 96 months
  • Mode of study full time, part time
  • Delivery blended


Our Doctor of Education (EdD) is an ideal development opportunity if you’re a senior professional seeking to enhance and utilise your research expertise in an educational context. Whatever your area of education – from professional learning, higher education, schools, colleges, early years provision or policy development – earning an EdD will position you as a leader in your field.

From the curriculum design in accountancy in higher education to learning in adult communities and, from medical professional learning to digitally-supported education, the Doctor of Education provides a context for advanced inquiry across a wide range of sectors, cultures, contexts and ages. 

Our Doctor of Education is tailored to the needs of senior professionals and combines an excellent grounding in research methods and educational theory, with the opportunity to put your research to work in improving professional policy and practice.

Through your self-directed research, you will produce an original, significant and rigorously-derived contribution to your field of practice. Combining the richness of our faculty-wide international research culture, peer-reviewed global research, the expertise of peers, and your own experience, you will utilise the Doctor of Education course to produce new impactful knowledge in your field. These impacts may, in part, be derived from practice and/or be applied as an innovation as new practices.  Your research may incorporate a focus on practical knowledge and may lead to professional or organisational change.

You’ll work towards your Doctor of Education either full or part-time under the guidance of expert researchers who have helped to secure the University’s reputation in the field of education.

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

The course will enable you to develop research on your own chosen topics in ways that are deeply connected to important professional interests, practices, policies and impacts. Like a PhD, the EdD qualification meets the requirements for the production of a significant, original and rigorous contribution to the field. Distinctively, the course starts with taught modules before the supervised research phases begin. The taught modules look at theories and paradigms of research and orientations to methodology and inquiry.

Flexible learning

There are part-time and full-time options. Students may also study via blended provision in the taught phases for the six core modules. All modules make use of some form of synchronous online and/or face-to-face attendance.

There is also the use of a virtual learning environment (Canvas) and most modules have considerable asynchronous participation in learning tasks online. Most of the classes for the initially taught modules are timetabled for synchronous activity, be that face-to-face or other, on Fridays (occasionally on other days of the week) but check ahead for the semester timetable.  

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

Research overview

Our expert interdisciplinary teaching team from across the Faculty of Social Sciences are on hand to introduce you to cutting-edge empirical and theoretical research applicable to your professional context and educational environment. We have a vibrant and collegial research community of students and staff at Stirling. As you can see from our staff listings and publications, we have expertise across many diverse areas of research which can be deployed in doctoral supervision. 

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

To be considered for admission to the degree, you’ll normally have a good honours degree in Education or related subject from a Higher Education institution in the UK, or a degree of equivalent standard from an institution outside the UK. In exceptional cases, you may be considered for the course if you have extensive professional experience in the field. Candidates are expected to have good numeracy skills and a willingness to engage with in-depth statistical analysis.

International entry requirements

View the entry requirements for your country.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in reading and writing and 6.0 in speaking and listening.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 62 overall with a minimum of 62 in reading and writing and 60 in speaking and listening.
  • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with a minimum of 19 in reading, 24 in writing, 21 in speaking and 19 in listening.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Course details

Previous students taking the Doctor of Education degree have included school teachers, early years, and Further Education staff, senior leaders in education provisions, educational policy professionals, and professional educators in areas such as medicine, pharmacy, nursing, accountancy and life sciences. You too may use the Doctor of Education to refine your education expertise and gain the skills needed to exact change. Importantly, students are gaining the skills to enact research projects and utilise research in practice, so the focus is not directly on improving how we facilitate learning, teach or educate. (If the latter is your main or first goal, we suggest you do one of the Masters degrees offered by the faculty).

The Doctor of Education course uses the same six core modules as are offered on Stirling’s ESRC-recognised MRes Educational Research. These modules are recognised by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council), which means they are designed to create rounded and expert research-aware professionals. We highly value our interprofessional, interdisciplinary and increasingly international student cohorts' contributions, our ability to match students to research-active staff, and our focus on criticality and impact via research.

No full research proposal for the thesis stage is required for  admission, but we do like applicants to scope out one area of inquiry at the outset and to express this research interest when applying. You may approach staff to discuss possible supervision for the dissertation and thesis phase but we will of course articulate this match for you once you get to that point.     


The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the academic year that starts in September 2024. Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course Details


The initial phase includes six taught modules about research understanding and research practices – for example, different modules focus on topics such as educational and social research paradigms, data collection, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and digital research methods. After completing the six core modules, you will go on, under supervision, to complete a ‘Professional Practice' enquiry dissertation (ASRP020 / ASRP021) before commencing the thesis stage.

The Doctor of Education (EdD) is an innovative interdisciplinary course, offered on a flexible full and part-time basis. The course comprises six core modules, which are taught both online and face-to-face. Study of the modules is followed by the conduct of an empirical study focused on an aspect of professional practice and, thereafter, the production of a doctoral thesis of up to 60,000 words.

Candidates not proceeding to the EdD thesis may aim to complete the Master of Science or Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Research.

Students who pass the six core taught modules EDRP001, ASRP002, ASRP004, EDRP002, ASRP001, ASRP005 and the dissertation, ASRP020 (if part-time) / ASRP020 (full time) will successfully exit with a Masters.

Students who pass these six core taught modules EDRP001, ASRP002, ASRP004, EDRP002, ASRP001, ASRP005 will successfully exit with a Postgraduate Diploma.

Approximate days and commitments for scheduled taught components are below. Days of the week are indicative only; students should refer to live timetabled events in a given semester.

  • EDRP001 The Nature of Educational Inquiry
    Eight Friday afternoons: online and some optional face-to-face classes
  • ASRP002 Qualitative Research Design
    Eight Friday mornings: a mix of online, blended and face-to-face classes
  • ASRP004 Quantitative Data Analysis
    Eight to ten Monday mornings: – a face-to-face module. It may be appropriate for some students (with good mathematics/statistics backgrounds) to take an online version of this module: ASRP104.
  • EDRP002 Theory and Methods of Digital Social Research
    Six to eight Friday afternoons: – online. One or two optional face-to-face sessions.
  • ASRP001 The Nature of Social Inquiry
    Five or more Friday mornings – blended, mostly face-to-face classes
  • ASRP005 Qualitative Data Analysis
    Five or more Friday mornings – blended, mostly face-to-face classes

Modes of Study






3 years min, 4 years max

30 months

12 months


4 years min, 8 years max

3 years

18 months


You'll be assessed in each course module through assignments approximately 3,000 words in length but many modules have more than one assignment and take creative approaches to the use of digital, creative, and collaborative assignment production for assessment. The Doctor of Education also leads to the production of a dissertation (ASRP020 / ASRP021) of 15,000 words, and, thereafter, a thesis (up to 60,000 words) under expert supervision by education staff from the Faculty of Social Sciences. 

Classroom hours

Part-time students may find it easier to have a minimum of a day or two a week (or equivalent if you study in the evenings) to commit to study. You will need considerable time dedicated to study in certain phases to complete assignments and projects. Either way, the commitment is important to realise, with each module carrying 20 credits (approximately 200 hours each for total study time which includes both shared, synchronous and independent research and assignment production).    

Whilst the Doctor of Education involves gaining credit for taught modules via assignments in the first phase, later phases are much more project-oriented and student-led. In later phases, we require you to be quite independent. This is especially so at the dissertation and thesis stage when your contact with faculty will be via supervision meetings.  

Across the faculty, there are many research groups, events and training opportunities. Many students also contribute by leading research interest groups. There is an annual student-led postgraduate student conference. There is a plethora of training events on research (e.g. ethics, use of NViVo etc) led by our dedicated team in the Institute of Advanced Studies. The faculty is a member of the Scottish Graduate School for Social Sciences which also runs excellent free events for any doctoral student at Stirling. Students contribute to and are a valued part of our thriving research culture. Many also actively get involved in funded research projects and initiatives where specialist expertise can be gained.

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

2023-24 fees
  UK students International (including EU) students
Full course fee £16,700 £47,000
Full-time annual fee (charged years 1-3) £5,567 £15,667
Part-time annual fee (charged years 1-5) £3,340 £9,400


2024-25 fees
  UK students International (including EU) students
Full course fee £17,000 £47,900
Full-time annual fee (charged years 1-3) £5,667 £15,967
Part-time annual fee (charged years 1-5) £3,400 £9,580
If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

This fee is charged as an annual course fee. For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fees policy.

Doctoral loans

If you're domiciled in England or Wales, you may be eligible to apply for a doctoral loan from your regional body.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Scholarships and funding


Eligible international students could receive a scholarship worth between £4,000-£7,000. See our range of generous scholarships for international postgraduate students.

University of Stirling alumni will automatically be awarded a fee waiver for the first year of Masters studies through our Stirling Alumni Scholarship.

Applicants from the UK or Republic of Ireland who hold a first-class honours degree or equivalent will automatically be awarded a £2,000 scholarship through our Postgraduate Merit Scholarship.

If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

International (including EU) students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

After you graduate

91% of Education students at the University of Stirling felt their course has enhanced their employability

Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2021

Previous students taking the Doctor of Education have included school teachers, early years, and further education staff, senior leaders in education provisions, educational policy professionals, and professional educators in areas such as medicine, pharmacy, nursing, accountancy, surveying and life sciences. These students have drawn extensively on their newly developed research capacity and original studies to improve their personal, organisational, and wider professional spheres of practice and policy.

  • Gain the skills to exact change in professional policy and practice.
  • Become a leader in your field and join a network of professional experts.
  • Continue your career as you study and put your growing expertise straight to work.

What our students said

Alexandra Morris
Alexandra Morris
Scotland, United Kingdom
Doctor of Education (EdD)
My work as a college lecturer in a further and higher education college has been greatly benefitted through my learning. I feel more current and up to date in my field and it has challenged me to think more deeply about what I do in my professional practice.
Read Alexandra's story
Heather Bain
Doctor of Education (EdD)
I enjoyed the relation this programme had to my professional practice and that throughout the doctorate journey I was able to influence policy and practice
Read Heather's story
Elaine Cook
Doctor of Education (EdD)
The support I have received during my studies has been outstanding. I know the University of Stirling Faculty of Social Sciences was the right choice for me and would urge others to come and enjoy it too.
Read Elaine's story

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