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School of Sport and Education

Postgraduate Study

Doctor of Education (EdD)

August 2011

Education at Brunel — experience, expertise and excellence in one place Brunel University has a reputation as one of the leading institutions for the teaching of professional education in the UK. Our courses are consistently rated ‘excellent’ by external inspections such as the Quality Assurance Agency.

Dr Sue Collins leads Education at Brunel and is responsible for developing its teaching, research and consultancy activities. Sue was a primary/middle school class teacher before moving into Initial Teacher Education in 1992. She has many years experience as a lecturer in primary science education, undertaking her PhD studies in science education during the transitional phase from primary to secondary education. Sue has considerable experience as an education professional and personal tutor to students and for a number of years worked with practising teachers as a mentor. Sue has developed a range of research interests including science education at KS1,2 and KS3; assessment processes, procedures and outcomes in primary and secondary education; development of primary teachers’ practice through classroom-based research and underachievement of pupils in primary schools.


We offer innovative degree programmes geared to the challenges and changes affecting education in the 21st century and tailored to the needs of a broad range of educational professionals. A distinctive feature of studying professional Education at Brunel is that the process of learning is informed by our academics’ own research. External assessors particularly praise the way our staff ‘use their cutting-edge research in their teaching, making research integral to students’ experience’. Brunel University is a vibrant community that responds to external forces with expertise and enthusiasm, and backs this up with excellent learning and support services, newly refurbished teaching accommodation and first-rate sporting and arts facilities.

Why study for a Doctor of Education? • You will gain knowledge and expertise in a specialist field at the forefront of your profession; • You will acquire new research skills to make an original contribution to your particular field of study; • Already an experienced professional, you will be able to take new skills and ideas back to your current work or use them to help you move into new roles or educational environments.

Why study Brunel’s Doctor of Education? • This programme combines the academic rigour of a PhD with a distinctive professional orientation acquired through specialised taught components; • It is organised with the time-constraints of the busy professional in mind, using intensive periods of teaching supported by electronic communication and directed study; • Enthusiastic tutors combine broad-ranging expertise in a variety of aspects of education with the skills and knowledge needed to develop students’ academic and professional potential; • You are encouraged to enhance your career opportunities and to develop your capacity in your own working professional environment.

Why study Education at Brunel? • Brunel has unrivalled experience in professional education — a community which can trace its roots in education back to the 18th century. It has developed a vibrant, dynamic culture that promotes and supports change in a dedicated centre for the professional development of those in education and related fields; • Brunel is a leading research centre for work in aspects related to professional education including, for example, teacher education and working with more able children; • Supportive student learning groups.

August 2011

Professor Valsa Koshy is Director of research in Gifted and Talented Education at Brunel and founded the Brunel Able Children’s Education Centre, the first University-based centre for supporting the education of higher ability students, in 1996. Valsa teaches on the EdD programme and is the principal investigator on several research projects. She is the author of several books on gifted education and mathematics education and has written papers for both national and international journals. Her particular research interests include search and fulfilment of inner-city talent, provision for gifted children aged 4-11 and aspects of giftedness in mathematics.


About the Doctor of Education (EdD) How to apply

Mode of study

Apply for this course online:

Registration periods are:

EdD Education Research - Full-time (FT)

EdD Education Research - Part-time (PT)

Full time: minimum 36 months; maximum 48 months

In addition to a completed on-line application form, we will require a research proposal, two academic references and copies of your highest degree certificates. Your application will be considered by two members of the EdD teaching team. Subject to meeting our entry requirements, you will be invited to interview. During interview, you will have the opportunity to discuss your proposed research and professional experience.

Dr Deborah Jones leads the Doctor of Education Programme. Formerly a primary school teacher, Deborah then became part of the Education inspectorate and advisory service for a London Local Authority. Since joining Brunel University Deborah has had experience in managing a range of course, both undergraduate and postgraduate, including a degree programme in Hong Kong. Her research interests include gender and education, specifically male teachers working with young children and the teaching of literacy. Recent publications include “Men in the Lives of Young Children” and “Metacognitive Approaches to Developing Oracy”. Deborah’s forthcoming book “Unlocking Speaking and Listening” will be published by Routledge later this year.


Entry requirements You must have a good first degree (upper second or first) in an Education or Education related discipline and preferably hold a relevant Master’s degree obtained from a UK university or overseas equivalent. You should also have a minimum of three years of full-time experience in employment in a relevant professional area. Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate competence in English language to a minimum overall score (for reading, writing and speaking) of IELTS Level 7.0 or equivalent.

Part time: minimum 36 months; maximum 96 months Students are encouraged to submit their thesis for viva voce examination within their minimum registration periods.

Aims The programme is aimed at experienced professionals in education and education related fields who wish to extend their expertise and training through a taught programme of study and a research-based thesis. Our cohorts have included teaching staff in schools, colleges and universities; professional trainers in the private and public sectors; educational administrators in local and national government and educationrelated inspectors. The course is regularly reviewed to ensure it meets the changing needs of the education and education related professions.

Teaching methods We use a variety of teaching methods throughout the course, including lectures, seminars, workshops, small group discussions and directed study activities. You will be supported by two academic supervisors and the Programme Leader throughout your studies.

Course content The degree has three elements:

1. Taught Research Training Component This compulsory element is designed to provide you with a systematic and wideranging understanding of the traditions and methods relating to education related research. The training will support the selection of an appropriate research methodology and develop skills in the presentation of research findings. As well as writing a Critical Reflective Commentary, you will study three areas: •

Philosophical Issues in Research

Methods of Data Collection and Data Analysis

Research Design

2. Institution-focused study (IFS) The IFS is a report of approximately 10,000 words which provides you with an opportunity to reflect on and extend your understanding of their professional role and research expertise. You will also have the opportunity to apply your expertise in a practical way through an extended piece of research using the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired in the Research Training Component. The IFS is conducted in a specific education related institution to which you will have access and is focused on the professional activities related to your research in that institution.

August 2011

3. Research Based Thesis Your thesis (minimum 40,000 words) will demonstrate originality and independent critical ability within your chosen field of research. Conforming to University guidelines, it will also make a distinct and original contribution to knowledge within professional education and demonstrate its relevance to the professional context. Recent completions relate to research in these specified areas: “The disposition of university students towards communal e-learning styles” “Giving and receiving compliments: a Lebanese cultural phenomenon” “Joining the Dots and seeing the whole picture – initial teacher education for mental mathematics”

Assessment The research training is examined by an independent member of academic staff on completion through a Portfolio of approximately 18,000 words. The Portfolio must be passed as a whole before progressing to IFS/Thesis stage. The IFS will be assessed by an independent annual progression panel to which you will need to demonstrate how this study and your other work have contributed to your professional development and an extended understanding of your professional role. The IFS and Thesis are combined for summative final assessment through a viva voce examination.

“The implementation and impact of the Secondary National Science Strategy: a single school case study to explore classroom teaching styles and the responses of students to these initiatives” “Young people’s and employers’ perceptions of equal opportunities in the world of work” “Slowly walking backwards: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of students’ perceptions” “Learning English as a foreign language in a non-native country and speaking in the UK: lived experience of Nepalese students” “Working through change: an FE insider’s analysis of lived experience in a time of constant change”


Chris Lloyd-Staples was awarded his Doctor of Education degree in November 2010:

I’m the County Adviser for Science in Buckinghamshire, a role that I took on in year 2000 following 20 years teaching in schools. My job is very demanding, but there were some days when I could create a little space for my own professional interests. I decided that I’d like to gain a higher qualification, and that a part-time doctorate could fit around my workload. My motivation for doing this was entirely a matter of pride — several of my University mates had taken PhDs and I knew that I could too! The advantage of the EdD for me was the flexibility to work on it in the relatively slack periods in my work, and put it aside when work is hectic. It was very exciting when I got into the research and frustrating when I had to put it on hold for several months at a stretch. The initial phase of the EdD is partly taught, and the first lectures were a real eye-opener for me. My scientific background did not prepare me for discussions on the uncertainty of truth! My supervisors were always very prepared to support and assist, and their expertise was really important when making sense of the literature. The most significant help to me was their comments on what I had written, guiding my style and thinking processes. The benefits to me were two-fold. First, I’ve became much more aware of literature related to my work, and some of the influences that affect what goes on in schools. This has made me better able to contribute to professional dialogue, and even resulted in a BBC radio programme about my work. The second benefit was to open up a whole new way of thinking about the world and the philosophical standpoints that I had previously ignored. From a personal perspective, this enabled me to better understand other people’s views — though not necessarily agree with them. Overall, the EdD process was an extremely positive experience, full of intellectual excitement and new approaches. My advice to other students would be to always recognise changes in standpoint and greater flexibility of thought. My personal frustrations were linked to my inability to set time aside and you need to promise yourself this will improve!


Brunel University is in Uxbridge on the western edge of London, It is ideally located for reaching the transport network that serves London, the Thames Valley, Heathrow Airport and the rest of SE England. It is a short drive to the M4, M40 and M25 and has the added benefi t of being connected to the London Underground network.


other useful information

If you have any questions about the EdD or wish to arrange an informal meeting to discuss your application, please contact:

Brunel International:

Research Administrator School of Sport and Education Brunel University Kingston Lane Uxbridge UB8 3PH ENGLAND

Postgraduate Courses: Research at Brunel: School of Sport and Education:

Tel: +44 (0)1895 266492 Fax: +44 (0)1895 269769 Email: Web:

August 2011


Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this brochure and the University will take all reasonable action to deliver these services in accordance with the descriptions set out in it. However, the University reserves the right to vary these services, using all reasonable efforts to offer a suitable alternative. All costs, rates and prices stated in this brochure are subject to amendment and should be taken as a guide only.

25585 100811

August 2011

Doctorate in Education  

Brunel University has a reputation as one of the leading institutions for the teaching of professional education in the UK. Our courses are...

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