Skip to main content
St Mary's University

Professional Doctorate in Education EdD

Distance learning available


Student visa accepted?



4-6 years (part-time)

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023: Top 10 for Student ExperienceThe Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023: Top 5 for Teaching Quality

St Mary’s EdD offers a cohesive and coherent doctoral study experience as part of a community of student peers and of research practitioners. 

  • A combination of online and face to face teaching
  • The Naylor Library in Teddington holds a wide range of resources for teaching and education

Students are part of a vibrant research culture where the focus is on the process of development as a researcher in relation to personal and professional concerns and practices.

The curriculum and learning and teaching methods foster reflection on personal, professional and academic values and on the links between them. This knowledge is then related to evolving professional identities and roles as researchers.

Modes of learning and teaching forge meaningful links to policy, political and practitioner contexts. Readings, video and audio images, graphics, and online forums are some of the various stimuli provided to provoke thought and critical debate in weekend sessions and in personal student engagement.

Why St Mary's

The programme benefits from its location in St Mary’s School of Education, which has plentiful and robust partnerships with schools and other professional educational settings and contexts. The Institute is credited as an outstanding provider of teacher education.

Students are well supported through our individualised mentoring system and our consultative approach with students. In the first year, each student in each cohort is assigned a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) who will be their first point of contact throughout the first part of the programme. A Student Staff Consultative Committee meets regularly to share and address concerns or queries and cohorts develop their own peer-support networks through regular contact and sharing of ideas and resources.

Once students enter Part 2 of the EdD programme, they are assigned a supervisory team who provide tutorial sessions, professional guidance and research mentoring. Further support for research development is provided at this stage so that students are able to develop and refine their research, writing and presentation skills.

The EdD is also offered at our Edinburgh Campus at the Gillis Centre. Supervision an teaching on the EdD through St Mary’s Edinburgh Campus will principally be online. Select in-person supervision may be arranged in Edinburgh as well as opportunities to visit the Twickenham campus.

For more information please submit an enquiry to the course lead.


Dr Christine Edwards-Leis

Associate Professor - Education

View profile

Upcoming webinars and events


Postgraduate events

Join us at a postgraduate event

Open Days

Course content


The modules listed below are the modules that were available to students in the 2023/24 academic year and are illustrative of what may be offered for 2024/25. 

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Entry requirements

You will need to submit:

  • A 1000-word outline of your professional context and possible areas of research that offer potential for you to demonstrate how the research could transform your practice;
  • A CV which demonstrates that you have at least three years’ significant and relevant experience in a professional area appropriate to the programme of study;
  • A Master’s degree which matches the descriptor for a Level 7 qualification in the UK Framework of Higher Education Qualifications; OR An equivalent academic qualification; OR Evidence of equivalent experience and learning acquired in a professional context;
  • Evidence of proficiency in spoken and written English at IELTS 6.5 in accordance with St Mary’s standards for English language requirements; and,
  • Two professional referees.

Once your application has been reviewed, we will invite you to an interview which may be conducted either face-to-face or via an online platform (Zoom, TEAMS)

Additional requirement information

Equality Act 2010

St Mary's is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and nurturing an inclusive and diverse student population. As such, we welcome applications from all those interested in pursuing an academic programme of study. Throughout the application process and while a student is enrolled at St Mary's, we will ensure that individuals will not be discriminated against based on any of the characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010.

Further Information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Fees & funding

September 2024





Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme. Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken.

For further information about additional costs please see our additional costs webpage


Some research degree students may be eligible for a government loan of up to £25,000 to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

Teaching weekends in 2021/22 academic year

Sessions will be a combination of face-to-face and online.

October 2021

  • Friday 8th: 4-7pm
  • Saturday 9th: 8.30am-5.30pm

December 2021

  • Friday 4th: 4-7pm
  • Saturday 5th: 8.30am-5.30pm

February 2022

  • Friday 4th: 4-7pm
  • Saturday 5th: 8.30am-5.30pm

March 2022

  • Friday 18th: 4-7pm
  • Saturday 19th: 8.30am-5.30pm

May 2022

  • Friday 20th: 4-7pm
  • Saturday 21st: 8.30am-5.30pm

Assessment methods

The assessment strategy is intended to build student skills in rigorous and original research; it is also designed to foster a critical integration of academic and professional knowledge and values. Thus, critical reflection on the student’s own practice is a sustained element of the assessment strategy, alongside assignments designed to enhance skills and knowledge in selected fields of study and in the theory and practice of research. Assessment will derive from reflection and discussion about key matters relating to research and professional interests.

Outcomes in Part 1

By the end of their studies students should be able to:

  1. Analyse and critically evaluate demanding texts and ideas in the field of educational research, both orally and in writing, and relate this to specific professional contexts;
  2. Evaluate, from an informed knowledge base, practitioner approaches to educational research;
  3. Construct and communicate effectively sophisticated arguments relating to educational research and practice, with appropriate theoretical and evidential underpinning;
  4. Demonstrate the ability to conduct research which connects knowledge, ideas and concerns arising in academic and professional domains;
  5. Critically assess and apply a variety of philosophical methodologies; and,
  6. Conceptualise and design a significant and original research project in an area related to your professional practice.

Outcomes in Part 2:

  1. Successfully complete a piece of rigorous and original research in an area related to your professional practice and which demonstrates transformation of your practice;
  2. Appropriately analyse and discuss their data, demonstrating originality and creativity in its interpretation;
  3. Reach appropriate conclusions and findings, demonstrating a detailed knowledge and systematic understanding of the research process and any limitations of your research project; and,
  4. Effectively communicate the ethical considerations within your research.

Apply now

More from St Mary's

Open Days

Open Days are a fantastic opportunity for you to meet academic staff. You'll also be able to look around the campus, speak to current students and find out more about services such as Accommodation, Student Wellbeing and Study Abroad.

Book your place now