The title ‘Professional Doctorate’ signals that it is both for professional people and about the nature of professional practice and its development. Indeed, exploring the meaning of ‘professionalism’ is central to the programme and, as such, the term should be interpreted widely.
Similarly, the word 'Education' should be interpreted in a broad sense to include all aspects of what we do to support learning, development and participation of those we work with: children, young people and adults in their social/cultural worlds.
The programme as a whole therefore encourages you to consider how professional practice is manifested in your working context, whatever this may be, and to use this as the starting point for developing new ideas about its development. Whilst it is likely to be attractive to those working in mainstream education and schooling, it is equally intended for anyone who has a role in leading learning and professional development in any professional practice.
Unlike many EdD programmes which are essentially modular methods courses followed by a thesis, this programme focuses attention on the nature of professional practice itself. This means it offers much more than being simply a ‘modular PhD’, providing you with an opportunity to really understand the nature of your professional work and its influence on practice.
Part 1: modular stage
- Policy and professional practice
- Professional learning
- Communities, culture and change
- Social research
Part 2: thesis stage
You will undertake a substantial piece of original research into an area of practice of your own choosing, through which you will make an original contribution to knowledge. The research will be presented as a thesis of approximately 50,000 words which will be assessed through a viva voce examination.
Diagram outlining the programme structure
Provisional session dates for 2014
Please note that session dates are published formally each year in the student programme handbook and, although we do our best not to make last minute changes, we reserve the right to do so.
Module 1 (EDD611 - Year 1 students)
Meeting dates (all Friday 1230 - 1900 and Saturday 0930 - 1600):
Jan 31st / Feb 1st 2014
Feb 28th / Mar 1st 2014
Mar 28th / 29th 2014
|Assignment deadline : Monday June 2nd 2014, 3pm |
Module 2 (EDD612 - Year 1 students)
Meeting dates (all Friday 1230 - 1900 and Saturday 0930 - 1600):
July 18th / 19th 2014
Sept 26th / 27th 2014
Oct 24th / 25th 2014
Saturday 28th June 2014 (provisional date) - PG Conference (attendance is required for all students)
Part One: Taught Modules
You will undertake four compulsory 30 credit modules, normally across two years; two modules per year, as follows.
Policy and professional practice
The programme starts by considering policies appropriate to the educational aspects of professional disciplines, the ideologies that underpin them and how they compare to those in other professional areas. Students will examine the relationship between policy and practice in the light of their understanding of these ideologies.
This module critically evaluates models of professional learning set within the context of theories of expertise. It argues that, for genuine organisational improvement, strategies and approaches must evolve from practitioners themselves. Models, methods and the many issues surrounding practitioner research are explored.
Communities, culture and change
The aim of communities, cultures and change is to consider the nature of professional organisations. Viewing organisations from a variety of perspectives, for example as communities of practice, students will consider their cultural and social dimensions and use these to develop new approaches to organisational leadership and change.
In this module students will consider how, why and where people do research. They will critically examine epistemology and theoretical perspectives underpinning research methodologies and methods, particularly as relevant to an applied practitioner research context. The module aims to equip students with the skills to design, conduct, analyse, write up and critically evaluate research.
Each module will be assessed by work amounting to about 5000 words or its equivalent.
At the end of the first year/start of the second year of the programme you will be allocated a learning mentor who will support you through year 2 with a view to development of a proposal for the thesis in year 3.
Part Two: Thesis Stage
You will undertake a substantial piece of original research into an area of practice of your own choosing through which you will make an original contribution to knowledge. The research will be presented as a thesis of approximately 50000 words which will be assessed through a viva voce examination.
It is an expectation that students at the thesis stage will open their work to the wider research community of the faculty (and, where appropriate, beyond) through regular participation in conferences and/or seminars.
Learning and assessment
Teaching and learning will involve a range of activities, centred around the residential sessions. These will include:
- Seminars and workshops
- Reading from a wide range of accounts of education from different discourses
- One-to-one sessions of mentoring and tutorials with university staff
- Peer, collaborative sessions to share knowledge and experiences
- Reflective diaries and doctoral learning logs
Between these residential workshops you will undertake study that builds on them. Though independent to some extent, an online environment will help to ensure that you can continue to draw on support and ideas from both tutors and other members of your cohort.
Assessment on the programme is wide ranging and aims to be a robust measure of progress but also a productive and useful learning activity in its own right. Modules will carry 30 D-level credits each, amounting to 120 credits in total. Each module will be assessed by work amounting to 5,000 words or its equivalent and assignments will reflect the kinds of tasks that authentically represent participation in a research community (a paper for submission to a journal; a conference paper, associated presentation and short rationale; a small scale research project to explore methodological issues; and a traditional essay).
The thesis stage will carry 420 credits at D-level, made up of the thesis proposal (20 credits) and the thesis itself.
The Thesis Proposal module forms a ‘gateway’ to the undertaking the thesis itself. It is intended to ensure that as well as looking forward to the thesis you have looked backwards at what you have achieved so far and used this well to prepare you to begin work on what will be a major study.
The thesis itself will be equivalent to 50,000 words and is assessed through a viva voce examination. You will have a supervisory team to support your research and are also expected to attend termly workshops during the first two years of your thesis work. These workshops provide support both in terms of information and ideas about how to undertake the thesis, but also in terms of sharing ideas with colleagues and maintaining the sense of collegiality developed over the first two years. A further expectation is that you attend the annual research conference within the Faculty and present your on-going ideas in what should be a challenging, but supportive, environment.