Name of Programme
EdD by Professional Record
Final Award
Awarding Institution/Body
University Of Buckingham
Teaching Institution
University Of Buckingham
School of Study
School of Education
Programme Code(s)
RDEP6PEDPR / Part Time / 3 Years
Professional Body Accreditation
Relevant Subject Benchmark Statement (SBS)
QAA 2008 Benchmark statements for level 8 (page 30)
Doctoral Degree Characteristics August 2019
Admission Criteria
To apply for this course, you must have: an Honours degree or equivalent and a Master’s Degree, at least three years’ experience as a practitioner in Education
Applicable Cohort(s)
September 2020
FHEQ Level
Summary of Programme
The Practitioner Doctorate is a research degree that brings together professional practice with relevant academic theory, and applies this to the student’s own educational setting. The programme recognises that practical problems provide complex challenges to the world or work in education. Students are expected to be able to
appreciate the importance of being able to consider issues and problems from a variety of perspectives and, where appropriate, draw theory from different academic disciplines to synthesise ideas to develop workable solutions.

Nevertheless, students will be expected to identify a core underpinning discipline theme through which they will articulate their research in order to achieve the depth of study necessary for a doctoral level qualification. This we explain as choosing from a number of possible options a suitable ‘lens’ through which they study in depth the subject of their research. The form that this doctorate takes is a portfolio of professional record. This allows a wide variety of materials to be included in order to create a portfolio that grapples with educational challenges incorporate the professional context of the student as well as meeting the Level 8 requirements of advanced scholarship and/or research.

Our programme thus draws together the concepts of self–reflection, critical reflective practice, research methodology, the nature of professions and the professional with a practical approach to addressing workplace issues and making a difference to the profession.

The Portfolio should demonstrate 5 essential characteristics:
 Innovative or creative thought applied to the work of an educational institution/workplace;
 Awareness of the wider national (where appropriate, international) context of issues covered;
 Evaluation of the effect of progression on practice in the target institution(s) and the community;
 Understanding of broader educational issues (for example, political, economic & social) that precede choice of the study theme/topic
 A personal professional record of professional growth achieved through the programme itself.

Students will initially be registered for the degree of EdD. Their status will be probationary until the proposed research has been assessed as viable, normally two years from first registration. The degree is designed to be
undertaken on a part-time basis over three plus years. Doctoral work is supported by residential study days.

The Practitioner Doctorate award is distinct from a PhD award in the following respects:
 The Practitioner Doctorate typically focuses on research ‘in’ organisations rather than research ‘on’ organisations.
 Practitioner Doctorates are expected to include implications for practice as part of the portfolio process.
Educational Aims of the Programme
This programme aims to develop critically aware teachers who have a clear understanding of educational theory and how learning takes place so that they can consider how this informs their practice as reflective practitioners. In addition, the programme aims to develop teachers who:
• Reflect on their personal and professional development and respond positively to feedback through critical analysis of their practice and target-setting
• Research their own practice and reflect on effective strategies for effective teaching and learning
• Critically analyse, engage in and reflect on educational issues, philosophies and initiatives
• Take responsibility for their own learning and study independently
• Function as independently-minded professionals capable of contributing to wider educational debate

Reflection: We aim to develop established professionals as reflective practitioners to enhance their professional practice and act as thought leaders within their field;

Integration of theory and practice: We aim to develop within established professionals the ability to synthesise ideas,
concepts and approaches from their profession with theoretical frameworks to create solutions, drive change, innovate, and make a difference in their workplace;

Systematic enquiry: We aim to develop within established professionals the ability to adopt evidence-based practice
systematically to make a contribution to practice within their profession;

Motivation: We aim to provide opportunities for personal fulfilment, professional development, and career enhancement.
Programme Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

For the award of EdD students will be able to demonstrate the following knowledge:
1. The creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research or advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy
peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication;
2. A systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of their area of professional
3. The general ability to conceptualise, design, and implement a project or piece of advanced scholarship for the generation of
new knowledge, applications, or understanding at the forefront of their area of professional practice, and to adjust the
project design in the light of unforeseen problems;
4. A detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic scholarship;

And demonstrate the following skills:
1. An ability to make informed judgements on complex issues in their specialist field, often in the absence of complete data, and be
able to communicate their ideas and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
2. An ability to continue to undertake applied research and/or scholarship at an advanced level, contributing substantially to the
development of new techniques, ideas or approaches;
3. The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment that requires the exercise of personal responsibility and
largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations in professional environments.

Teaching/Learning Strategy

Each student will be assigned two supervisors.
1. Students will take part in annual study days and will receive
feedback on the submission on key portfolio documents. This
will enable students to develop their knowledge of and
competence in research and scholarship.
2. Students will be required to undertake self-directed reading
and research, based on their broad research topic in order to
build up an understanding of literature, methods, academic
writing etc.
3. Students will be required to maintain regular contact with
supervisor teams. This level of support will ensure students’
work is monitored and meets the requisite standards

Assessment Strategy

The key assessment output is a 50-60,000 word portfolio, this
would usually include, for example, 2 papers presented at peer
reviewed academic or practitioner conferences (or the equivalent). An alternative form of evidence could be the practical outcome of published articles.

Journals targeted for article submission and / or conferences
must be approved by the research supervisors and Programme
Director. The portfolio will be defended in a traditional doctoral
viva voce examination.

Each of the modules will be summatively assessed by an individual written assignment submitted at the end of the module. Some modules also include a summatively assessed presentation. In addition to passing the assessment on the taught modules, students are required to present aspects of their work at 2 academic or practitioner peer reviewed conferences.

As modules will be delivered by small specialist teaching teams, it is possible to provide an enhanced feedback process on draft work, analogous to the peer review process for conferences and journals. All taught modules are designed to support students in developing their ability to articulate and defend their research.

The programme builds the portfolio throughout the modules. It
is anticipated that the assignments developed will form the
foundation of the first 3 chapters of the final thesis.

Progression to and registration for the level 8 component of the
programme will be achieved via a successful presentation of
the proposed research to a Research Panel.
Programme Outcomes

Cognitive Skills

1. Analyse the relationship between learning theory and practice
2. Reflect on practice
3. Exercise independent judgement on professional concepts based on evidence
4. Engage in and apply knowledge and reasoning to professional debate
5.Critically assess educational ideas and present coherent arguments
6. Ability to use relevant quantitative and qualitative tools for data analysis in the specialism area
7. Critically evaluate evidence
8. Challenge existing educational practices within the specialism area
9. Make informed judgements on complex issues in the specialism area of education, often in the absence of complete data

Teaching/Learning Strategy

1. Study Days
2. Workshops online and during residentials
3. Face-to-face and remote supervision and support

Assessment Strategy

1. Written chapters of portfolio
2. Defence of work in viva voce examination
3. Preparation of peer-reviewed conference papers
Programme Outcomes

Practical/Transferable Skills

1. Utilise a research-based approach to solving problems.
2. Adopt a systematic approach to collecting and analysing data,
3. Offer an independent and open mind for the analysis and interpretation of evidence within the specialism area of education
4. Effectively communicate complex ideas and arguments, using a range of media to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
5. Develop organisationally relevant abilities, such as change management skills.

Teaching/Learning Strategy

1. Study Days
2. Workshops online and during residentials
3. Face-to-face and remote supervision and support

Assessment Strategy

1. Time management, achievable and appropriate research
2. Clarity of communication: written and verbal (e.g., in submitted chapters and peer-reviewed conferences, presentations, discussions and debates.
External Reference Points
QAA Characteristics Statement Doctoral Degrees 2015 Link
UK Quality Code for Higher Education Advice and Guidance for Research Degrees 2018
QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education Part B Ensuring and Enhancing Academic Quality Chapter B11:
Research Degrees
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each course unit/module can be found in the departmental or programme handbook. The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually by the University of Buckingham and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.
Date of Production
December 2019
Date approved by School Learning and Teaching Committee
Date approved by School Board of Study
December 2019
Date approved by University Learning and Teaching Committee
Winter UALTC 2020
Date of Annual Review
In line with the University's annual monitoring processes.