Professional Doctorates

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Doctorate in Childhood Studies

This Doctorate in Childhood Studies (DChild) aims to enable experienced professionals working with children and/or young people to build upon professional expertise by developing skills in research, evaluation and evidence-informed practice.

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The EdD is a partly taught and partly research-based doctorate designed for senior professionals in education and related fields. The EdD may be taken on a part-time or full-time basis. We offer taught modules in research methods, education policy, education management and professional development. Dissertations are supported within our specialist research centres including effective education, shared education, children’s rights, and behaviour analysis.

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The EdD TESOL is focused on developing creative and critical thinking as well as relevant workplace skills through its part-taught, part research course. We undertake a wide range of research in the areas of TESOL and Applied Linguistics including young learners, parent-teacher communication, spoken corpora and academic English, spoken language and pragmatics in relation to second language acquisition.

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The School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work is a thriving and dynamic research unit with a strong research culture and ambitious research strategy. We are committed to ensuring that it undertakes the highest quality research that contributes fully to the development of policy and practice locally and globally. Pioneering research is the lifeblood of the School and is evidenced by the most recent REF Results (2014), in which our educational research was ranked 4th within the UK in relation to research intensity with 87% of the research undertaken within the School assessed as ‘internationally excellent or world leading’.

Undertaking a Professional Doctorate is a highly rewarding experience and you will have the opportunity to work with some of the most passionate researchers in their field.  Our Doctoral Centre has over 200 full time and part time research students from 25 countries worldwide, and therefore enjoys the many benefits that this brings to its research community.

We run regular School research seminars which often attract leading researchers in the field and an annual doctoral conference which is organised by research students in education at University College Dublin (UCD) and Queen's University.

You can learn more about the School's research activities, our facilities and internationally recognised research centres by visiting our Research page.

Syllabus and Timetable

Module Timetable to 2018

Further Information

What is the course structure?

These courses are partly taught, partly research doctoral degrees. Each taught module is assessed by one 5,000 word assignment. There are three stages to each taught module which covers a four month period.  The first stage is pre-reading.  The second stage is attendance for the intensive teaching, normally over a consecutive period of two and a half days.  The third stage involves the completion and submission of an assignment.

The dissertation is assessed by an oral examination (a viva-voce).


This course is only available on a part-time basis, comprising eight taught doctoral modules (of which four must be research modules) and a research dissertation of 50,000 words.


These courses may be taken on a part-time or full-time basis. The EdD and EdD Tesol comprise nine taught doctoral modules (of which four must be research modules) and a research dissertation.  The research dissertation has the same level of challenge and high standards as a PhD but is approximately half the scale at 40,000 words. 


What are the fees and payment options?

Professional Doctorates are worth 540 CATS points. Module and dissertation fees for Home/EU students are charged at the standard PGT rate per CATS point.  Thereafter Home/EU students may avail of 1 year Thesis Only status, followed by, if they do not complete, Part-time or Full-time fees (depending on the original mode of study) at the standard PGR rates. Fees change on an annual basis.

DChild Professional Doctorate is 8 x 30 CATS points per module; dissertation is 300 CATS points.

Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD / EdD Tesol) are 9 x 30 CATS points per module; dissertation is 270 CATS points.

Further information and International Student fees can be found at Student Finance Tuition Fees page.

There are currently no university scholarships applicable to Professional Doctorates courses.


How do I apply?

Applications to study for an EdD are handled centrally by the University’s Postgraduate Admissions Office.
To apply, you should use the online application system.

Also, take care to describe clearly the level of your primary degree. If you obtained your primary degree from a university outside the UK it can speed up the process if you can relate your qualification to the UK system.

Recognition of Prior Learning

The University operates a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Scheme which recognises relevant prior assessed and certified learning for credit purposes.  This is also known as credit transfer where the credits were awarded by another Higher Education (HE) provider.  Applicants who have completed a masters degree within the last 10 years that involved a substantive element of educational research methods training, including a research-based dissertation or project, may be eligible to transfer credit. Applicants for RPL should submit the RPL Application Form (23KB, Word) to the Research Administrator, 69-71 University Street, Belfast, BT7 1HL. Applications for RPL should be made at the same time as your online course application.


Is there a closing date?

Our closing date is 31st July at 5pm for entry in September 2018.


For more information please contact:

Ms Karen Wylie

EdD Programme Secretary

Tel:  (028) 9097 5937


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