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The University of Otago College of Education Doctor of Education (EdD) is a research degree designed for senior educational professionals.

The Doctor of Education provides the opportunity to:

  • Engage in higher professional development
  • Become a knowledgeable and critically reflective practitioner
  • Acquire the knowledge and skills through coursework and supervised thesis research to conduct independent and high quality research in their workplace
  • Contribute original knowledge to improving their profession

As an alternative doctoral-level degree to the PhD, the EdD is designed with an explicitly professional orientation. This programme graduates researching and scholarly professionals, rather than professional researchers, as is the expected outcome of the PhD programme.

Who Should Do an EdD?

You should be doing it if you are:

  • A professional in education or related fields.
  • Keen to acquire advanced research skills to study your own practice, investigate issues or problems that arise from the workplace, or to improve institutional practice.

What is the Programme of Study?


In the first year of the programme (July–June), you will complete a taught paper (EDDC 911).

Research Proposal

In the second year you will complete a research proposal and present it at a Confirmation Seminar.

Thesis Research

Thesis research will begin after confirmation of the thesis proposal. The thesis should be between 50,000 and 60,000 words in length.

Research to Practice Portfolio

As part of your thesis research you will submit a research to practice portfolio consisting of evidence documenting the connection between your research and professional practice and how the research has informed and enhanced your practice. The portfolio should be between 10,000 and 15,000 words in length.


The coursework will normally comprise part-time study while you complete EDDC 911 for a 12-month period, followed by 5–7 years of part-time study, or equivalent in full-time study. You should complete the whole programme in between six and eight years of part-time study, or equivalent in full-time study.

Entry Requirements

You should have:

  • A Bachelor's degree in education or related fields, with first or upper second class Honours or equivalent; or
  • A Bachelor's degree with a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (with distinction or credit) or a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching (with distinction or credit); or
  • A Master's degree in education or related fields.

You are also required to show evidence of knowledge of research methods, and independent research experience. You should also have at least five years of professional experience in education or related fields.

What are the Delivery Methods?

  • Primarily delivered as a distance programme.
  • One-week compulsory residential school at the beginning of each year (early in July) for the first two years of study.
  • Online seminars and workshops.
  • Cohort-based, collaborative learning in a community of practice.
  • Coursework taught by a team of senior academics and professionals.
  • Theses supervised by leading researchers, facilitated by face-to-face meetings and/or advanced communication technologies.

Further information and application

Read more about the Doctor of Education and the postgraduate admission process. To apply, please use the yellow "apply now" button.

Applications open on 30 June and close 31 March annually. Please note that since this is a cohort-based programme, all applications are assessed together as a group, so you will not be informed of the outcome of your application until after applications close.


If you would like to talk to someone about the EdD, please contact

This information must be read subject to the statement on our Copyright & Disclaimer page.

Regulations on this page are taken from the 2023 Calendar and supplementary material.

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