Skip navigation


The online Doctor of Education - Higher Education programme has nine taught modules and culminates in a thesis. The first module takes 11 weeks and each subsequent module takes 10 weeks. Running alongside each of the modules are nine Doctoral Development Planning (DDP) modules.

Core modules

View All

Becoming a Doctoral Practitioner (11 Weeks)


To introduce students to the ethos and ways of working on this online EdD, set the pattern for doctoral-level practice and start creating an international academic community.


As a student, you will gain insight into the potential for learning by working with a diverse cohort of international students in an online classroom. You will articulate your own motivations for entering the programme and engage in collaborative discussion on the origins of, and variations in, Higher Education in your home country and the home countries of other students. You will consider how your own and others’ approach to leadership is influenced by contextual and cultural factors, and how research might play a part in promoting the development of your professional practice. This module begins the process of forming a cohesive, international, cooperative, academic community.

Learners and Learning (10 Weeks)


To explore the nature of the learner, and learner/ facilitator relationships, learning theories, and the relationship between research and learning.


This module is designed to increase your ability to read and critique literature on learning theories and research findings, and to assess the relevance of various theories within your own practice. As a student, you will consolidate your understanding of a range of models of learning, both generic models and those which focus on individual differences. In doing so, you will develop your ability to select and apply different models to the interpretations of different learning goals and the design of different learning tasks.

Learning: Environments, Infrastructures and Organisations (10 Weeks)


To explore the nature of learning environments, and the planning, creating, and structuring of those environments.


As a student on this module, you will develop a systematic understanding of the social, cultural and organisational context within which learning unfolds. You will learn to identify the constituents of a high-quality learning environment suited to diverse learners and to analyse the ways in which specific factors – from infrastructure and technology to national and global factors – influence that environment. This understanding will help inform subsequent practitioner research, and the scoping, evaluation, and leadership of transformative change in educational environments.

Ways of Knowing: Perspectives on Educational Research and Practice (10 Weeks)


To provide students with a philosophical and methodological underpinning of knowledge creation in education research.


In this module, you will develop your ability to critically evaluate the ways in which different views of knowledge, theory and inquiry impact approaches to educational issues and problems. You will consider individual, social and cultural influences on ways of knowing and will learn to recognise the value of clarifying ways of knowing in various educational and cultural contexts. The aim is to inform your practitioner research and leadership of transformative change in educational organisations.

Values in Educational Research and Practice (10 Weeks)


To encourage students to explore their personal values and educational philosophy, and understand the role of education in society and policy and the relationship between research and policy.


As a student, you will learn to recognise the nature of educational values and how they are manifested in policy and practice. With this knowledge – and a recognition of the correspondences and conflicts between personal and cultural values in different contexts – you will be able to better inform your own decision-making. This will enable you to develop personal and institutional strategies for bringing about educational policies and practices which are more consonant with your own educational values.

Leadership, Policy and Institutional Change (10 Weeks)


To explore theories of change and the context for institutional change, as well as models for facilitating continuous improvement, leadership and personal effectiveness as a change agent.


This module develops your capacity to drive transformative change within an organisation or other social setting, ensuring that your focus extends beyond acting as a collaborator to acting as a leader. You will develop a clear understanding of theories of change, organisational learning and models for facilitating continuous improvement in institutional and professional environments. The module also paves the way for extended forms of practitioner research within the practice setting.

Educational Research Methods (10 Weeks)


To introduce the student to a range of inquiry frameworks, including those based on the behavioural theories of naturalistic and positivistic assumptions.


This module supports students in understanding the complexities underlying research production, dissemination and application. It will enable you to develop a well-articulated understanding of the nature of educational research and the features that constitute good education research. You will come to recognise the factors that drive the questions we ask and the methods we use to seek answers. By the end of the module, you will understand the tools that can be used in educational research and will be ready to apply rigorous practitioner research in your own professional context.

Action Research for Educational Leadership (10 Weeks)


To explore the notion of action research in its many varied forms, and gain an in-depth understanding of the approach and application of action research within a practical context.


This module enables students to critically examine action research - a form of practitioner research of significant value to leaders in educational organisations. You will explore the research method’s underlying values and diversity of approaches, and will learn to apply action research to an existing issue in your own practice. You will critically evaluate action research as a powerful tool for use in your wider leadership roles, professional practice and your EdD thesis.

Internationalisation and the Impact of Global Trends (10 Weeks)


To explore globalisation in education and national policy issues, as well as global trends relevant to Higher Education.


As a student, you will develop a critical understanding of the relationships between international and national factors that enable and constrain effective practice in particular contexts. You will consider the ways in which interactions at different levels, from personal through to global, affect practice settings and the scope for change. You will also examine policy setting and policy enactment in light of global trends relevant to Higher Education. This module also helps students to develop and sustain a personal and professional network to underpin their practice.


Doctoral Development Planning Modules

Alongside the core modules, students complete Doctoral Development Planning (DDP) modules to reflect on their development as doctoral practitioners and researchers. Students will be supported by DDP mentors who support students throughout their engagement with the Doctor of Education programme in their progress from the development of doctoral-level skills to the application of those skills.


Students complete their qualification with an original thesis based on practitioner research that is relevant to higher education.

While we interpret the field of higher education in a broad sense (e.g. to include higher-level learning in a range of settings), one would not expect a thesis to focus primarily on the learning of pupils in schools or the learning of routine skills. Any students on the programme in settings where such learning is promoted are expected to focus their academic study on the education of the professionals involved.

The primary focus of the aims and outcomes of the programme concern education, rather than specialist areas present within the higher education sector in their own right (e.g. facilities management, financial reporting, ICT systems, etc.). Research clusters in the thesis stage of the programme currently focus on Learning and Teaching, Organisation and Management, Technology Enhanced Learning, Internationalisation and Professional Education.

Please note that current scheduling may be subject to change and that we cannot guarantee that all modules will be offered in every calendar year.

This is your chance to set yourself apart from others.

Request Information

Join thousands of students from all over the world who have achieved the personal and professional success they were seeking.

Fill the form below and your personal Enrolment Advisor will call you to review your CV, Financial and Academic Qualifications

Some information is missing. Please make sure you have completed the form

By submitting this form, I provide my express written consent for the University of Liverpool’s online learning partner Laureate Online Education to contact me via email, text, telephone, and pre-recorded message regarding furthering my education. I understand that calls may be generated using automated technology. You may opt-out at any time. Please view our Privacy Policy or Contact Us for more details.

Let’s Go

This is the best programme of its kind and I want to use this type of environment for a school I will open after I earn my degree.

Adam Carmer - Education - United States
90% of University of Liverpool online alumni say they are likely to recommend the University to others*

* Results gathered by the University of Liverpool in 2014 from 533 online alumni who responded to our survey (10% of those contacted).

You are visiting from United States of America

University Of Liverpool
University of Liverpool Online
Laureate Online Education
Haarlerbergweg 23C, 1101 CH Amsterdam Z.O., The Netherlands

What country are you visiting from: