Professional Doctorates: EdD Education - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Only available as a part-time study option

The EdD TESOL aims to provide experienced senior professionals within the field of language teaching with an opportunity to study at advanced level for a doctoral degree by means of a taught programme plus a thesis. The course involves an in-depth examination of issues related to language learning and teaching and language teacher education. It also provides a solid grounding in research methodology appropriate for undertaking research at doctoral level within these fields.

We are committed to and actively engaged in undertaking research into a number of different aspects of TESOL and our students have published in a wide variety of journals. We are a very multicultural course, with students from over 30 countries including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bahrain, Botswana, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Canada, China, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, England, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Iraq, Ireland, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, South Africa, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Wales.

The programme is divided into units of study called ‘modules’ which are assigned a number of ‘credits’. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.

The programme carries a total of 540 credits and is completed in two ‘Phases’.

The programme recognises the particular needs, interests and policy contexts of students who are also professionals in their own right, and is flexibly organised to enable doctoral level study alongside existing work commitments.  It can be studied on a part-time basis.

The EdD TESOL programme is divided into two phases:

Phase 1 (pre-thesis)

Part 1 of the programme consists of six modules, delivered through a combination of lectures, personal study, and reflective discussion amongst peers. It is equivalent to 1 year of full-time study or 2 years of part-time study.

All students will complete the following shared core modules:

EEDD041 Educational Research: Theory and Practice-Part 1 30
EEDD042 Educational Research: Theory and Practice-Part 2 30
EEDD043 Perspectives on Professionalism 30
EEDD040 Research Networking 30

In addition shared core modules, you will also take the following 'special field' modules:

EEDD044 Critical Issues in Teaching English 30
EEDD045 TESOL Classrooms and Pedagogy: Theory and Practice 30

In this phase you are guided through various readings and assessed assignments which allow for professional networking and collaborative learning, and which give you the opportunity to:

  • explore the theoretical, historical and policy contexts in which your professional work is set, as well as the ways in which these contexts impact upon current practices in your professional field
  • explore research methodologies that may inform your research in phase 2
  • reflect critically upon your own professional practice, before embarking on the research phase

Stage 2 (thesis)

This is the research phase of the degree. In this phase you will undertake properly informed and ethical research within educational settings (which may include your own workplace) and produce a doctoral dissertation.

EEDD039 Thesis for the Doctor of Education 360

The thesis of approximately 50,000 words is expected to demonstrate a deep knowledge of the research process at doctoral level, including ethical dimensions and the selection and defence of an appropriate methodological approach; and to make an original contribution to (professional) knowledge. Two supervisors are nominated for research supervision and a mentor is also allocated to each student.

The College of Social Sciences & International Studies has a dedicated Graduate Research School which is committed to supporting its vibrant postgraduate research student community. It helps to support both intellectual and social contact between graduates of different disciplines and from different backgrounds and countries.

Students are required to attend intensive residentials at Exeter each year, for 2 weeks each July. (TESOL students are not required to attend the March residential but may wish to do so in order to attend some classes, meet with supervisors, etc.)

During the research phase attendance at residential periods becomes optional but is still strongly advised as they allow for professional networking and collaborative learning through pre-arranged workshops and lectures that will assist you with your dissertation work.

I would definitely recommend the EdD in TESOL at the University of Exeter to those who want to gain more professional knowledge in this field. The modules I’ve taken really opened my eyes to the opportunities within the subject, the academic staff are knowledgeable and supportive, and the library is an excellent resource for my research. 

Oliver Yi Kuo Li, EdD TESOL (Exeter)

Professional Doctorates: EdD pathways