Doctorate in Education (EdD)

The Doctorate in Education (EdD) is a part-time programme designed to offer high quality research training and career development for professionals employed in a broad range of areas related to education. By providing a detailed understanding of research techniques and enabling students to relate theoretical concepts to their professional field, the programme aims to enable students to critically reflect on their professional contexts as well as explore and understand the research and values that inform practice.

If you would like to learn more about pursuing your EdD research at the IoE, please click here.

If you are looking for a potential supervisor to supervise your research, you may find the IoE Research Staff and their Projects page useful.


EdD Alumni

Read on to see what some of our EdD alumni think about their time at the IoE and what they have been up to since their graduation.

Dr. Catherine Foley

Title of thesis: Girls’ perceptions of mathematics: An interpretive study of girls’ mathematical identities

Year of Graduation: 2016

Research focus: My EdD thesis explored girls’ perceptions of mathematics and how they make sense of their mathematical identity, using a mosaic of qualitative methods to gain insight into their positioning as mathematicians.

Memorable experiences at the IoE: I chose the EdD route as I wanted to develop my own professional practice as well as exploring an area I was passionate about in depth. The structure of the EdD at the Institute of Education allowed me to develop my confidence in reading, writing and researching at doctoral level, and I particularly enjoyed the regular opportunities to meet with other students across a wide range of backgrounds. As a full-time working parent, a highlight for me was the insightful and supportive supervision which challenged me whilst understanding that doctoral research was only part of my daily life.

Career: I currently work at the University of Reading’s Institute of Education as Programme Direct of our Primary School Direct initial teacher training programme, and aspire to ensure that every beginning teacher in our care enters the profession as a well-informed, empathetic and enthusiastic teacher of mathematics.


Dr. Fiona Curtis

Title of thesis: Keeping it real: An action research investigation into the use of manipulatives in the secondary maths classroom

Year of Graduation: 2015

Research focus: As a secondary school mathematics teacher, I was very concerned about the struggle my students had with algebra. For my EdD, I designed an action research project (meaning I researched my own teaching) and found out that although manipulatives seemed to have a role in engaging students and helping them understand algebra, their test results were not improved. However, the research gave me greater understanding of students’ attitudes to challenge.

Memorable experiences at the IoE & Career: I chose an EdD rather than PhD as I felt there was a recognition of the relevance of my professional knowledge already accumulated. I really appreciated the diverse modules of an EdD rather than PhD, so that in Part A of the EdD programme, I studied so much more than the focus I finally chose for my thesis in Part B. I was exposed to new and thought-provoking ideas, such that it was not unusual for me to start an essay with one point of view and have the completely opposed view by the end! In fact, I found the mental challenge so stimulating that I hung around the place (University of Reading’s Institute of Education), and am now a lecturer in Education here.


Dr. Louise Pagden

Title of thesis: Free school Policy Enactment in two case-study schools: Motivation, vision and reality

Year of Graduation: 2016

Research focus: The thesis focuses on two case-study Free schools in England: one championed by a consortium of churches and a fourth-sector organisation; the other spear-headed by parents. The study is longitudinal in nature and the data have been collected over two years: the first set of data was collected in the year prior to the schools opening and the second set at the end of the first year of operation. The thesis examined the extent to which the schools were able to achieve their initial visions, as well as the enabling and disabling factors. Within the study, both systems theory and institutional theory were applied to understand the schools’ situations.

Memorable experiences at the IoE: I chose to do an EdD, rather than a PhD for two key reasons: firstly I was unsure of the focus of my thesis and wanted a chance to explore educational issues in more depth; secondly I wanted to embark on doctoral study as part of a group. I found the taught elements fascinating and inspiring – I never imagined I would ever go on to study leadership and management for my thesis!

Career: Since completing my doctorate, I became the leader of the undergraduate teacher training programme at the University of Winchester (UK) where we have 700 students on roll. More recently, I was appointed the co-director of the Institute of Education at the University of Winchester. I have also spoken at a number of international conferences on the topic of my thesis. My research now predominantly focuses on supporting the education of refugee and asylum seeking children and I am collaborating with European colleagues on a number of projects.



Current EdD students

Name Thesis Title
BAMBER, Valentina Primary EFL teachers’ experiences and perceptions of Continuing Professional Development in Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
BUCKWELL-NUTT, Karen Career journeys of nurse academics influence and transition
COCKAYNE, Amanda Mary  An investigation into the professional roles and identities of school based mentors of trainee teachers
CRACKNELL, Julie Reflective teaching in an age of performativity
ELLIOT, Grace Reading for Meaning: Interventions to ameliorate children’s reading comprehension difficulties
ENNIS, Fergal Anthony Who should design the contents of an optometry course: a stakeholder analysis of ethical practice teaching
FARLEIGH, Anna Constructions of Literature in GCSE English Policy and Practice: A discourse analysis
HARRUNA ADAM, Wasilatu Exploring the education of children with physical disabilities in Ghana
HICKMAN, Deborah Who and where are the readers? Secondary school perceptions of reading
HOOD, Sonia I believe I can write:  exploring the impact of writing workshops on self-efficacy for foundation degree students
HORTON-WALSH, Sarah How do Chinese postgraduate students make sense of their learning experiences and employability in the UK to become a novice professional
JEFFREYS, Peter To what extent can social media influence parental engagement in primary schools?
KANUGA, Ingrid A student perspective on the relation between assessment methods and retention of learning in higher education
KESHINRO, Khummit Understanding academic underperformance in Jamaican secondary schools through the students’ voices
KILNER, Georgina Connectedness as a protective factor and as a part of coping: an exploration of undergraduate students in a UK business school
LEWIS, Patrick Investigating the interactions between the University of Reading and local secondary education
LLOYD, Kate What is the impact of compulsory Functional English and GCSE English retakes on 16-18 year old vocational students in Construction and Hair & Beauty and their learning identities
MAJID, Nasreen Career Trajectories of Primary Teachers who become Primary Mathematics Specialists
MARTIN, Clare The impact of the inclusion in schools of pupils with visual impairment: to what extent do any changes of philosophy, practice and pedagogy impact on the teaching and learning of others?
MATTERFACE, Jill A participative inquiry about the development of new training for the RAF
MOSHER (THOMPSON), Denise The effect of mode of presentation (paper vs electronic), cognitive load, and individual differences on recall
MOUNTSTEPHEN, Mary A case study into how primary teachers acquire and apply knowledge in working with children with SEN
MVALO, Steve Developing Computer Network students’ computational thinking: The case for the use of simulation software
NOAKES, Amy Understanding the impact of music on children with severe and complex needs
OKERIKA, Caroline To what extent do children believe their opinions are considered by educational stakeholders who are involved in decision making about issues that affect and are of interest to children?
OLIVER, Alison What it means to be a teaching professional in and for the 21st century: a case study of a learning organisation
PAWSON, Gemma An exploration into the discourse of practicum supervision within the context of Early Childhood, Care and Edducation (ECEC)
PURI, Navin Newly Qualified Teachers’ experiences and perceptions of managing disruptive pupil behaviour in the classroom
RICHARDS-BRAY, Julie Can pre-departure activities impact positively on host-culture adjustment for sojourning students?
RIMMER, Wayne To what extent do Teaching Associations influence EFL teachers’ perceptions of professionalism?
ROBERTS, Rachel Critical conversations: The role of evaluative language in mentor meetings in Initial Teacher Training
ROGERS, Michelle Children’s drawing: Perceptions and practice in primary education
ROGERS, Sarah Early Education in the United Arab Emirates: where is it now and where is it trying to go?
RUTHERFORD, Stephen Investigation of individual and collaborative self-mediated learning activities in Year 1 undergraduate students
SAMUEL, Ruth The transformation potential of reflective practice in India: Examining teacher values in Bangalore, India
THOMPSON, Christina Exploring the use of a drama teaching intervention to engage law students with key disciplinary concepts
TIPPER, Sally Investigating language and images used in the context of STEM teaching and recruitment initiatives in relation to gender
VAN WALWYK, Paul Exploring the introduction of mental health professionals as part of the staff team in a maintained primary special school
VICARY, Anne Margaret Exploring and enhancing reading proficiency of international Master’s students with English as an additional language in the School of Law (University of Reading)
VIRDI, Sheralee What  is the understanding of practitioners using extrinsic motivation with children in the Foundation stage and its’ effect on their learning and well being?
WILSON, Charlotte Resilience-based intervention programmes and the impact upon female student’s levels of achievement, future aspirations, resilience factors and retention into Sixth form or College post Year 11
ZULU, Zenia Accounting ethics education: An investigation on the teaching and learning of acounting ethics in the UK Higher Education