Learning and Leadership EdD
The EdD is a research degree for experienced professionals from education and related fields who would like to extend their professional understanding and develop skills in research, evaluation and high-level reflection on practice. The student cohort provides an important element of the programme.
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Applicants should have acquired at least four years' full-time experience in a relevant professional area and should normally hold a postgraduate Master’s degree. We require a transcript of the Master's degree.
Applicants should also provide a 2,000-word statement summarising the research they would like to conduct if admitted to the EdD programme, stating how they feel the programme would enhance their professional development. To be invited for interview, applicants must have a principal supervisor confirmed before the application closing date.
The English language level for this programme is: Level 4
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.
About this degree
Research undertaken on the EdD programme can be based in any area of education, subject to the applicant being able to identify suitable principal and subsidiary supervisors within IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society. Potential candidates should explore staff profiles and the IOE department and centre list to identify appropriate supervisors before submitting an application. Applications submitted without agreement from a principal supervisor from within the Department of Learning and Leadership cannot be considered.
Who this course is for
The EdD programme is designed for individuals who have a passion for exploring educational and social research related to their professional employment context. An EdD research exploration may span the entirety of your professional experience and can encompass various subject domains, as well as broader socio-economic, political, and cultural transformations. Typically, applicants are expected to have attained a Master's degree and most importantly, a genuine commitment to further cultivate expertise in a particular research domain. Whether you come from an educational background or a related field of study, the EdD is well-suited to individuals who wish to reflect on and advance their career.
What this course will give you
The IOE EdD programme has been running since 1996. It is one of the longest-running EdD programmes within the UK and frequently recruits the largest EdD cohort in the country, granting our students access to a valuable selection of fellow education practitioners to work with during the programme. You will study at the IOE, rated number one for Education in the QS world rankings by subject (2023) for ten consecutive years.
Based within an education institute with an exceptional reputation for high-quality research we offer access to a very experienced and well-regarded EdD programme team. In addition, each EdD student will work with both a principal and subsidiary research supervisor.
The first module Foundations of Professionalism in Education on our programme is taught face-to-face. We offer a flexible design for the rest of our taught modules, comprising a mixture of both face-to-face and blended/online learning. This enables the EdD student to select the modes of delivery best suited to their needs at different stages of their programme.
The foundation of your career
Research undertaken at IOE will help students build connections between education and other related areas, such as economic and social status, employment, medicine, health and welfare, child development and families. In searching out answers to major questions and looking for solutions to fundamental social issues, our students will develop careers which have a direct bearing on all members of society. Through their research, students will make a contribution to both professional and academic knowledge.
EdD graduates are currently working as teachers, university and college lecturers and researchers, college principals and directors, policy analysts and education consultants in a variety of fields e.g., teacher education, medical education, early years, compulsory and post compulsory schooling including Further Education and Higher Education.
You can share information about your research interests via your own research page.
The Doctoral School Virtual Learning Environment noticeboard outlines current events and opportunities. Our website provides information about IOE facilities, training courses, conferences and other events, and advice on applying to study at IOE.
The induction and UCL Doctoral School welcome events provide the foundation-stone to networking opportunities and to the research community. These events support the development of the EdD cohort identity irrespective of which department you applied to.
Teaching and learning
Details of approaches to teaching and learning are explained below.
Students work with tutors and EdD students in developing professional understanding and insight and research skills.
Three assessed modules and a 'Portfolio Reflective Statement'. The three modules are:
- Foundations of Professionalism in Education;
- Methods of Enquiry 1;
- Methods of Enquiry 2.
In addition, students should complete at least two research courses (non-assessed), drawn from the Centre for Doctoral Education's Advanced Research Training Programme and the UCL Doctoral Training Programme.
The Institution Focused Study (IFS) is unique to the EdD programme. It enables students to study an institution or organisation concerned with educational provision, organisation and support and with which students are professionally connected, under the guidance of the student's research supervisors. Supplementary support is provided through the eight compulsory IFS workshops in years 2-3. The IFS is the transition phase between taught modules and thesis phase. The IFS is submitted as a 20,000-word research report.
The thesis, (no more than 45,000 words in length) will make a distinct contribution to the knowledge in the field of study and afford evidence of originality and a capacity for autonomous research. The thesis usually relates to the IFS and the work carried out in the taught part of the programme. We provide support through meetings with your specialist supervisors and regular thesis workshops. The thesis is submitted between years 4-7.
Modes of delivery vary for the taught modules on the EdD:
- The first module, Foundations of Professionalism in Education (Term 1), must be attended face-to-face either through an intense week at the start of the course or through three weekends in Term 1 (the first runs Friday, Saturday and Monday and the remaining two on Friday and Saturday);
- Methods of Enquiry 1 (Term 2) and Methods of Enquiry 2 (Term 3) are taught through three Friday and Saturday weekends. All students must attend the first Methods of Enquiry 1 and Methods of Enquiry 2 weekends in person. There is then the option to attend the remaining two weekends on each of these modules either face-to-face or online synchronously.
- Year 2 comprises mandatory Workshops 1-6 and in Year 3, Workshop 7 is optional, but strongly recommended. Workshop 8 is again mandatory. It may be possible to engage with these elements of the programme online synchronously.
- There are Thesis Workshops (Years 3-4 onwards) and whilst they are usually offered face to face at IOE, it may be possible to engage online synchronously.
Dates for the next academic year are available on request.
Assessment criteria specific to each element of the EdD programme are set out in the examination guidance issued annually.
Assessment for the first year of taught modules involves the submission of written assignments. For each assessment, a draft is submitted, and formative feedback is given before a final assignment is submitted and a grade awarded.
Of the 4 assignments submitted, two must be awarded a Grade B to allow progression to Year 2. In the second year, students complete a 20,000-word Institutional Focused Study (IFS) and this is graded by two markers – students must again achieve a grade B or above to progress to preparation for an upgrade proposal that outlines a final thesis.
The upgrade proposal is read by a panel of two academics and the student attends an interview to discuss the proposal. If, after this, it is judged as being of a suitable academic calibre and methodological rigour, the candidate can the move to the final thesis stage which is assessed with the presentation of a 45,000-word thesis to two external examiners and a viva (oral) examination.
Teaching and tutorial time are approximately 60 hours per module, with an expectation of at least 30 hours self-study.
Research areas and structure
Each EdD student is based within one of the six IOE departments depending on where the principal research supervisor (nominated and approached by the candidate and approved by the supervisor before application) is located:
- Culture, Communication and Media
- Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
- Education, Practice and Society
- Learning and Leadership
- Psychology and Human Development
- UCL Social Research Institute
You will apply for this Learning and Leadership EdD if your confirmed principal supervisor is located in the Department of Learning and Leadership.
IOE is a world-leading centre for research in education and related social sciences. We host the UK's largest doctoral cohort in these areas. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject, the IOE was ranked first for education for the tenth year running, ahead of Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge. In the UK's recent Research Excellence Framework (2021), we were ranked first for research strength and research power in Education, according to the Elsevier REF 2021 Results Analysis Tool. We attract extensive research funding each year and host many prestigious research centres and projects.
As a research student in the department, you can participate in the seminars organised by department research centres and special interest groups within your department and across the whole of IOE.
EdD is only available as a part-time programme. Students are required to be in employment in an education-related field.
Fees and funding
Fees for this course
|Tuition fees (2024/25)
|Tuition fees (2024/25)
The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
Students should take into account any travel, accommodation and expenses involved in their Institution-Focused Study and/or thesis.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
Funding your studies
EdD students should enquire with their employers about the possibility of full or partial funding. You may also be eligible for a UK Doctoral Loan - more details about who can apply and what you might get are at https://www.gov.uk/doctoral-loan
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Before you apply for the EdD you should contact a potential principal supervisor: see our guidance on finding a supervisor. Applications will not be considered without agreement and confirmation of a principal supervisor.
Applicants should provide a 2,000-word research proposal summarising their proposed research should they be admitted to the EdD, stating how the programme would enhance their professional development.
All students are interviewed by the programme leader and potential principal supervisor before being offered a place on the EdD. Interviews usually happen within six weeks of the complete application being received. The EdD has a rolling application process so early application is advised if a place is to be secured for the coming academic year. Potential supervisors may not be available in July/August. Therefore, securing a principal supervisor before July is strongly advised.
Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.
Choose your programme
Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.
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