Doctoral programmes

Join our community of over 330 doctoral students from 40 countries who all play an integral part in our thriving research culture. Our large international community of students is vibrant and dynamic, which benefits all students and the school.

We offer the following three doctoral programmes (full or part time):

Why choose Bristol?

Doctoral study at the School of Education offers:

  • full access to a large range of seminars (often featuring national and international visitors);
  • research student seminars and workshops;
  • access to specialist methodological support;
  • excellent specialist library services;
  • the opportunity to be part of one of our active research centres and networks, which have their own regular research events, seminar;
  • access to three high quality dedicated doctoral study spaces;
  • a full range of computing and information technology facilities.
  • each year there is a two-day research conference run by doctoral (PhD and EdD) students and an EdD conference in Hong Kong. In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the School of Education held its first-ever online Doctoral Conference, which brought together academics from all over the world.


How does the EdD differ from a PhD?

The EdD carries the same status as a PhD, and is a careful balance of taught units and a research dissertation. Excellent doctoral-level research is the main aim of the programme, and the taught units are key to supporting candidates in developing and broadening their theoretical, methodological and subject knowledge and research skills in preparation for their own research. All units are designed and taught by world class academics with excellent research records.

The EdD programme recruited its first students in Bristol in 1991, and was the first taught doctorate outside of North America. Following the success of this programme, the Hong Kong EdD was launched and is now offered in partnership with the School of Continuing and Professional Education at the City University of Hong Kong.

The programme’s success in recruiting and retaining high-achieving senior and mid career professionals with demanding jobs lies in the top quality of its teaching and in its comprehensive support structures for participants. Our priority is to support candidates to complete the programme and to succeed in their professions at the same time.

The EdD is designed to allow working part-time candidates to study flexibly at their own pace with intensive two and a half day units. While a full-time EdD students value the more structured nature of the qualification, in comparison to PhD and will typically complete all taught units in the first two years, and their dissertation in the final two years.

Postgraduate Virtual Open Weeks

Discover and explore your reason to pursue postgraduate study at our open weeks. Register your interest for live events in March 2021.

REF 2014 results

In the most recent REF, the School of Education was ranked in the top ten leading UK centres for high quality and high impact research on education.

Results are from the most recent Research Excellence Framework 2014, conducted by HEFCE.

We have also been ranked:

  • 5th in the UK (Times Higher Education Research Intensity rankings)
  • 27th in the World and 5th in the UK (QS World University rankings by subject

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Student Services Office
Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 4234

School of Education
University of Bristol
35 Berkeley Square
Bristol, BS8 1JA

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