Study a PhD or EdD

Study a PhD or EdD

Why research at Aberdeen?

  • We’re Flexible
    Our research degrees are offered on a full or part time basis and delivered on campus or via distance or blended learning, so you can find a route that works best for you.

  • We’re International
    We have a thriving community of about 50 research students from all over the world; you could join our community of students from the Bahrain, Cyprus, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and USA.

  • We’re Experts
    Our international body of staff encompasses a wide range of subject specialisms in which supervision can be offered.  Our academics are involved in research and contribute to academic and professional bodies.  Find out more by visiting our People page.

What can I study?

We offer a PhD in Education.

You can also study for a Professional Doctorate of Education (EdD). This is a distinctive two-part programme that offers you the opportunity to develop your capacity as a reflexive researcher before moving on to complete your own original doctoral thesis.

The programme is ideal for anyone working in any part of the education sector (school, university, museum) as well as anyone working in education-related services or disciplines such as health and social care.

Find out more 


What is the focus of an EdD?

An EdD has a practice-based focus. An EdD thesis makes a significant contribution to knowledge in the student’s selected area, but, unlike a PhD thesis, it also makes a contribution in relation to practice or understandings of practice.

As a result, candidates are expected to be working in a relevant practice context. This is not a requirement for a PhD.

How is an EdD structured?

There is a structured approach in which the taught component scaffolds students in designing their EdD research project. A PhD involves more independent doctoral research.

What are the modes of study for an EdD?

The EdD is part-time only. The PhD can be full time or part time, and on campus or online.

What should be in my personal statement? Should it cover what I would like to research?  

Your personal statement should explain why you wish to undertake an EdD in relation to your personal and professional/career development. This can involve an explanation/outline of your professional trajectory to date, and where you see yourself in the future.  A research proposal related to a specific topic is not necessary at this stage, but an indication of the sorts of research topics, issues and questions you envisage engaging with in the research stage of the EdD programme, is helpful.   The following headings may be useful in constructing your personal statemen: Why I want to study for a professional doctorate; How my professional experience makes me suitable for this programme of study; How I plan to manage my doctoral study with my current work commitments; How I hope my EdD studies will also benefit my employers and/or my clients; Potential areas of research interest to explore for my doctoral thesis and why.

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How do I get started?

Find out more PhD study.

Find our more about EdD.

All the advice you need to get started, including how to apply and finance advice, can be found at the Postgraduate Research site.

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