Doctorate in Education (EdD)

Doctorate, MSc, Postgraduate Diploma


Whatever your professional interest in education—from schools, colleges and universities to professional, work-based and lifelong learning, or policy development—a Professional Doctorate (EdD) may be the right choice for you.

A Professional Doctorate in Education is rewarding and challenging, and can even be a life-changing experience. At Stirling, you will join a multi-professional group of students and academics focussing on research that has a beneficial impact on professional practice and policy.

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a postgraduate taught degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: Doctorate, MSc, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Study methods: Full-time, Part-time, Mixture of online and classroom delivery, Campus based
  • Duration: Full time: EdD 3 years minimum, 5 years maximum MSc 30 months Diploma 12 months Part time: EdD 5 years minimum, 8 years maximum MSc 3 years Diploma 18 months
  • Start date:

    January or September

  • Course Director: Dr Greg Mannion
  • Location: Stirling Campus
Download course leaflet
Download postgraduate prospectus

Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Stirling

  1. You will be contributing to the overall research capacity in Education, thereby making a difference to practice and/or policy.
  2. You will gain a Professional Doctorate from the Faculty of Social sciences which one of the best in the UK and was the first in Scotland to offer an EdD.
  3. You will be supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding of research by expert researchers in Education and the Social Sciences.
  4. You will be introduced to leading edge empirical and theoretical research in a multi-disciplinary and multi-professional environment.
  5. You will have the benefits of a flexible programme that supports you through different stages of the research process.

Course objectives

The Doctor in Education (EdD) at the Faculty of Social Sciences is an ideal professional development opportunity for senior professionals seeking to enhance and utilise their research expertise. Professionals taking our EdD come from a wide variety of fields and countries but all share a concern with education and professional learning in organisational settings such as schools and further / higher education, in social or health-related organisations, or in private and government bodies. The EdD 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 the PhD, the EdD meets the requirements for the production of a significant, original and rigorous contribution to the field. Distinctively, the EdD programme commences with taught modules before the supervised research phases commence. The taught modules look at theories and paradigms of research and orientations to methodology and inquiry. The EdD leads into the production of a 60,000 word thesis under expert supervision by Education staff from the Faculty of Social Sciences.

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

To be considered for admission to the degree, a candidate will normally have a good honours degree in Education or cognate subject from a Higher Education institution in the United Kingdom, or a degree of equivalent standard from an institution outside the United Kingdom. Exceptionally, a candidate with learning gained through extensive relevant professional experience may be considered for admission. Candidates are expected to have good numeracy skills and a willingness to engage in depth and breadth with statistical analysis.

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: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Flexible Learning

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

Fees and costs


2018/19 Overseas  £2,285 per 20 credit module, £6,845 per 60 credit module. £17,475 for thesis (360 credits)
2018/19 Home/EU £820 per 20 credit module, £2,470 per 60 credit module. £6,280 for thesis (360 credits)

Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

For information on possible sources of funding, visit:

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Year 1 Autumn Semester FT - Year 1 and 2 Autumn Semester PT

EDRP001 The Nature of Educational Enquiry Core module (20 credits at SCQF level 11)
Drawing upon specific research projects and debates, this module will introduce you to the differing ways of conceptualising the purposes of education, and the theories informing knowledge claims in research. It will enable you to engage with the different traditions of ideas informing research into education, and their strengths and weaknesses. The module therefore involves a critical examination of different approaches to and traditions in educational research and their underlying assumptions.
ASRP002 Research Design and Process Core module (20 credits at SCQF level 11)
The module takes students through the process of designing a research project. It enables them to think up an interesting research idea, to carry out a literature review, identify appropriate theoretical frameworks, refine the research question and then work out which methods to use. It introduces students to some of the more common research strategies and methods. It invites reflection on the ethics and politics of the research process, and encourages students to think systematically about dissemination of findings, knowledge exchange and research impact. The assessment for the module reinforces what has been learned: it involves thinking up a research topic, refining it into some researchable questions and then writing a proposal for funding.
ASRP004 Quantitative Data Analysis Core module (20 credits at SCQF level 11)
The module introduces quantitative data analysis, covering a selection of those statistical techniques which are most commonly employed in social science research. It also covers practical training in the application of quantitative methods to social science data. The emphasis will be on the analysis of data collected in social surveys, particularly the secondary analysis of large scale surveys.

Year 1 Spring Semester FT - Year 1 and 2 Spring Semester PT 

ASRP001: The Nature of Social Enquiry Core module (20 credits at SCQF level 11)
This module aims to introduce students to the theoretical foundations that underpin social scientific research and analysis. The module begins by examining the main themes and issues within the philosophy of science and social science and then investigates different classical and modern theoretical perspectives for exploring the social world. The module will examine critically the connection between the epistemological claims made by these perspectives and the methodological possibilities they offer.
ASRP005: Qualitative Data Analysis Core module (20 credits at SCQF level 11)
This module forms a core element of the above Masters’ programmes that widens our approach to social science research training. This module is designed to bring students from different disciplines together to enhance the range of learning possibilities and promote a greater diversity of input.
This module introduces students to qualitative data analysis. It aims to provide them with understanding and experience of conducting the analysis of qualitative data (including visual data), as well as a critical awareness of the role of computer assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS).
EDRP002: Theory & Methods of Digital Social Research Core module (20 credits at SCQF level 11)
The aim of this module is to enable participants to develop theoretically and critically informed digital research practices through the study of theories of digital social research, understanding of contemporary digital research practices and issues, and the application of digital research methods through the collaborative creation of digital artefacts. Enhanced knowledge and development of digital research fluencies will be emphasized, enabling students to conduct digital research to contribute to new knowledge in professional or academic contexts.

Year 2 Autumn and Spring Semester FT - Year 3 Autumn and Spring Semester PT

ASRP021 - Professional Practice Module Core module (60 credits at SCQF level 12)
 This module focuses on major issues related to professional knowledge, professional learning and professional dispositions, and how these are brought to bear in discourses, projects, practices and interactions in students’ particular professional settings. The notion of a professional ‘discipline’ will be examined, and linked to academic enquiry through the use of various theoretical, ontological and epistemological perspectives. The module considers how these things may lead to the formation and deepening of professional identities, and/or contributions to practice improvement. The role of existing and/or new research in their professional practice will also be analysed.

Year 3 Autumn Semester onwards FT - Year 4 Summer/Autumn onwards PT

EDRP004: Thesis (45,000 words) Core module (360 credits at SCQF level 12)
Students are permitted to progress to the thesis phase as probationers following successful completion of all assignments in the taught phase including the Professional Practice module. After 6 months in the thesis phase the student must successfully undertake a formal assessment review of the completed thesis proposal and literature review coordinated by the supervisors and EdD programme director in order to progress. Some students may be required to complete successfully additional preparatory work as a condition of formal progression. Thereafter progress will be monitored formally in line with University procedures for progress reporting. 

Delivery and assessment

The Doctorate in Education (EdD) is an innovative interdisciplinary programme, offered on a flexible full and part-time basis by the Faculty of Social Sciences. Modules are taught on a face-to-face and blended basis.

Summative assessment for modules will be based on coursework and will be assessed through assignments approximately 3000 words in length.

The programme comprises seven core taught modules, followed by the conduct of an empirical study focussed on an aspect of professional practice and the production of a doctoral thesis of 45,000 words.

Modes of study

Full time 3 years min, 5 years max 30 months 12 months
Part time 5 years min, 8 years max 3 years 18 months

Study method

Face-to-face, blended, and self-study

Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

Programme of study - Full time (3 - 5 years)
Year 1Autumn EDRP001 ASRP002 ASRP004
 Spring EDRP002 ASRP001 ASRP005
Year 2Autumn   ASRP021  
 Spring   ASRP021  
Year 3 onwardsAutumn EDRP004 (Thesis)    


Programme of study - Part time (5 - 8 years)
Year 1Autumn 20 or 40 credits from EDRP001, ASRP002, ASRP004
 Spring 20 or 40 credits from EDRP002, ASRP001, ASRP005
Year 2Autumn 20 or 40 credits from EDRP001, ASRP002, ASRP004
 Spring 20 or 40 credits from EDRP002, ASRP001, ASRP005
Year 3Autumn ASRP021
 Spring ASRP021
Year 4 onwardsSummer/Autumn EDRP004 (Thesis)

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

Students who pass EDRP001, ASRP002, ASRP004, EDRP002, ASRP001, ASRP005 and ASRP021 will successfully exit with a Masters.

Students who pass EDRP001, ASRP002, ASRP004, EDRP002, ASRP001, ASRP005 will successfully exit with a Postgraduate Diploma.

Why Stirling?


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, our Educational research had the highest quality of research outputs of any Scottish university, with 100% rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


Currently, Education Studies ranks as:

  • 1st in Scotland and 12th in the UK (The Guardian University Guide, 2018) 
  • 7th in the UK (The Complete University Guide, 2018)
  • 5th in the UK (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2017)

Displaying our commitment to achieve a high level of Satisfaction with Course, Satisfaction with teaching, Satisfaction with Assessment Feedback, Student/ Staff Ratio, Value Added, Career after 6 months, and research in Education. In the most recent study by QS, staff from the University of Stirling received 5 out of 5-star rating for teaching.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .

Our staff

The Faculty's professional educational doctorate is tailored to the needs of busy professionals, combining an excellent grounding in research methods and educational theory with the opportunity to utilise educational research to understand and improve professional policy and practice.

Professor Mark Priestley

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Previous students of the EdD have included school teachers and Further Education staff, senior leaders in Education and Further Education, TESOL 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 impact on their personal, organisational, and wider professional spheres of practice and policy.


98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study withing six months of graduating - Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16
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