Education: Learning, Leadership and Policy

Find a programme
Awards available EdD
Programme length Four years full-time
Seven years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Open to international students Yes
Start date September 2017

Programme overview

The EdD programme, which carries the same status as a PhD, is designed for ambitious, mid-career education and training professionals whose work requires them to have a high level of research capability.

You can study at your own pace (full or part-time) with our modular programme of intensive two-and-a-half day units taught in Bristol. Teaching is conducted by the distinguished academics at the University's Graduate School of Education, who are experts with international reputations for research in their field.

The programme attracts high-achieving participants interested in a wide range of aspects of teaching, learning, leadership, management, policy and evaluation. It has recently been updated and restructured to provide a coherent and structured learning experience that supports students to become independent researchers.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees


Part-time fees


Fees quoted are provisional, per annum and subject to annual increase.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2017/18

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The structured programme of six intensively taught units and a 45,000-word dissertation attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures.

Optional units can be chosen from a broad range, and are offered on a flexible timetable. For example, the Learning, Leadership and Policy pathway provides opportunities for mid-career professionals to develop and extend their professional skills. A comparative approach - across professions, educational institutions and locations (national and international) - enriches opportunities for mutual learning between students.

  • Core units
    • Understanding Educational Research
    • Conducting Educational Research: Theory, Methodology and Methods
  • Select 40 credits from these compulsory units:
    • Learning
    • Education Policy
    • Leading for Educational Change in Organisational Settings
  • Select 40 credits from these optional units:
    • Comparative Research
    • Leading, Managing and Governing the 21st Century University
    • Evaluating Educational Quality and Improvement in Organisational Settings
    • Learning
    • Education Policy
    • Learning and Teaching in the Global University
    • Leading for Educational Change in Organisational Settings
    • Special Independent Study (double unit)
    • Published Work (both single and double units)

You will work individually and in groups with unit tutors, academic advisers and other school colleagues throughout your period of study. During the dissertation stage you will work closely and intensively with a dissertation supervisor.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class undergraduate honours degree (or international equivalent) is normally required; a Master's degree, normally at merit level (or equivalent qualification); and normally at least three years' appropriate professional experience (eg employment in organisations that have an educational function or roles related to any aspect of education, training or individual learning).

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile E
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Research groups

The overarching mission of the Graduate School of Education is to develop learning and leadership for a changing world through research and teaching that promotes achievement, opportunity and social justice. The aim is to build the intellectual and practical leadership among policy makers, practitioners, students and the wider research community that is urgently required to enable education to adapt and thrive in a time of rapid local and global change.

Research in the school is concentrated into five main areas of inquiry and expertise within the following research centres:

  • Centre for Assessment and Evaluation Research in Education
  • Centre for Globalisation, Education and Social Futures
  • Centre for Comparative International Research in Education
  • Centre for Researching Education Across Boundaries in theory and practice
  • Centre for Multilevel Modelling

As a doctoral student you will join one of the research centres associated with these key areas of research and work with staff and other doctoral students who have similar research interests. Please see the school website for further details.


We offer academic and personal development opportunities to equip you for the intellectual, social and personal challenges you will encounter during your career. Our overarching goal is to enable our graduates to display the following characteristics:

  • Equipped to demonstrate impact, excellence and distinctiveness in their chosen field
  • Visionary, imaginative, innovative, reflective and creative
  • High ideals and values, including a strong sense of social justice
  • Highly employable throughout the world
  • Adaptable, with the potential to be a leader in work and in the community

Read more about the careers of some of our graduates.

How to apply
Application deadline:

We welcome applications at any time of year.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 44% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 36% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 19% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Get in touch

Student Services Office Phone: +44 (0) 117 33 14234 Email:

Graduate School of Education
University of Bristol
35 Berkeley Square


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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