Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Doctor of Education (EdD)

PhD Gown

Apply for the Doctor of Education (EdD) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

Apply Now


The Doctor of Education (EdD) is also available through Distance Learning.

Contact Details

University of Otago College of Education
Freephone 0800 TO TEACH (0800 86 83224)
Tel 64 3 479 4914
Website Postgraduate programmes at the College of Education

^ Top of page

Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Education (EdD)

Nature of the Degree

The degree of Doctor of Education is awarded on the basis of submission of a thesis and the completion of coursework. The coursework is an integral and constitutive part of the thesis research of the degree. The thesis should give evidence that the candidate has the ability to carry out research, has shown originality and independence, and has made a significant contribution to knowledge in their particular profession. A research to practice portfolio consisting of evidence documenting the connection between the candidate’s research and practice and how the research has informed and enhanced practice should be submitted as part of the thesis. It is expected that some of the work in the thesis would be worthy of publication. The programme should be of a kind which a diligent and competent student might reasonably be expected to complete within six years of part-time study.

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).
    2. Every applicant must have
      1. a Bachelor’s degree in education or related fields, with First Class Honours or Second Class Honours (Division I) or equivalent; or
      2. a Bachelor’s degree with a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (with distinction or credit) or a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching (with distinction or credit), including an appropriate research component; or
      3. a Master’s degree in education or a related field (with distinction or credit).
    3. Every applicant must have at least five years of experience as a professional in education or related fields and be a leader in their field.
    4. The applicant should present evidence of ability for advanced level academic study.
    5. Exceptionally qualified professionals, who meet the equivalent of the admission requirements under 1(b) above, may be admitted to the programme on the recommendation of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).
    6. Initial admission to the degree programme shall normally be provisional; it shall be confirmed after attaining at least a B+ grade for the coursework (EDDC 911), and after the research proposal has been satisfactorily presented at the Confirmation Seminar.
    7. If admission to the degree programme is not confirmed, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) may approve provisional admission for a further period of up to one year or the candidate shall be required to withdraw from the programme.

    ^ Top of page

  2. Structure of the Programme

    There are two components to the programme:

    1. Coursework: the candidate is required to complete coursework to the value of 60 points on a part-time basis (undertaken by enrolling for EDDC 911 twice; in the second half of the first year of study and the first half of the second year of study).
    2. Thesis research: once admission to the programme is confirmed, the candidate may proceed to thesis research (EDDC 9).

  3. Duration of the Programme

    1. A candidate shall normally satisfy the requirements of the degree within a period equivalent to three years of full-time study.
    2. The minimum period of study shall be equivalent to 2.5  full-time years and the maximum period shall be equivalent to 4 full-time years. Exceptions shall be permitted only with approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).
    3. No programme of study shall exceed eight calendar years from the date of first admission.
    4. The coursework will normally comprise part-time study for one calendar year.
    5. The thesis may be completed by either full-time or part-time study.

  4. Progress Reports

    1. Once confirmation has been granted, progress reports signed by the candidate, supervisors and the EdD programme co-ordinator of the College of Education shall be submitted annually.
    2. If progress is unsatisfactory, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) may, after appropriate consultation, terminate the candidacy.

  5. Supervisors

    1. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) shall, on the recommendation of the College of Education’s Postgraduate Committee, appoint at least two supervisors, or one supervisor supported by a departmental advisory panel, to oversee the work of the candidate.
    2. One of the supervisors must be an appropriately qualified member of the academic staff of the University.
    3. In the case of a dispute between a candidate and a supervisor, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) shall have discretion to replace the supervisor.

    ^ Top of page

  6. Withdrawal from the Programme

    If the candidate fails to be confirmed or withdraws from the programme after completing the coursework, the 60 points gained may be credited towards another postgraduate programme.

  7. Submission of the Thesis

    1. Four copies of the thesis shall be submitted for examination, in accordance with the regulations governing Presentation of Theses.
    2. Theses shall be limited to 100,000 words of text, excluding appendices, footnotes and bibliographies.
    3. A research to practice portfolio consisting of evidence documenting the connection between the candidate’s research and practice and how the research has informed and enhanced practice shall be submitted as part of the thesis.
    4. A candidate may not present a thesis which has previously been accepted for another degree.

  8. Examinations

    1. Coursework

      The coursework shall be examined by three examiners: one from outside New Zealand and two internal examiners from the College of Education. In appropriate cases, examiners with special expertise in Māori matters shall be appointed instead of or in addition to the normal categories of examiners.

    2. Thesis Examination
      1. The thesis shall be submitted to three examiners appointed by the Senate on the recommendation of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) and the EdD programme co-ordinator in consultation with the supervisors.
      2. One examiner shall be from outside New Zealand, one shall be from within New Zealand but external to the University, and one shall be internal to the University. In appropriate cases, examiners with special expertise in Māori matters shall be appointed instead of or in addition to the normal categories of examiners.

        Note: Normal patterns may be varied in exceptional circumstances.

      3. A supervisor shall not be an examiner of the thesis.
      4. The entire examination shall be supervised by an independent Convener appointed by the Senate on the recommendation of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).
      5. The supervisor shall make a report on the work of the candidate which may be released to the Convener of the examiners.
      6. Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis, together with a preliminary recommendation for an examination result.
      7. An oral examination on the topic of the thesis and on the general field to which the topic belongs may be held.
      8. The oral examination shall be conducted by at least two examiners, one of whom is external to the University.
      9. At the discretion and invitation of the Convener, the supervisors and EdD programme co-ordinator may contribute to the oral examination.
      10. After consultation with the examiners, the Convener may approve the attendance of others at the oral examination.

    ^ Top of page

  9. Examination Result

    1. Coursework

      A candidate who fails to achieve at least a B+ grade for the coursework may, on the recommendation of the examiners, be permitted by the Dean of the College of Education to be re-examined one further time.

    2. Thesis
      1. The Convener of examiners shall report to the Senate the recommendation of the examiners.
      2. The examiners may recommend that a thesis
        1. be accepted, or be accepted with minor editorial corrections, and the degree be awarded;
        2. be accepted and the degree be awarded after amendments have been made to the satisfaction of the Convener of examiners in consultation with the internal examiner;
        3. be revised and resubmitted for examination;
        4. be rejected and referred to the appropriate authority within the University for consideration of the award of another degree;
        5. be rejected with no right of resubmission.
      3. Where the examiners cannot agree on a result, the Convener shall so report, and the Senate shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee from outside the University.
      4. A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination once only.

  10. Variations

    On the recommendation of the Dean of the College of Education, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) may, in exceptional circumstances, approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.