Why a higher degree?
I'm been working in Cardiff University since 2002. I completed a Masters in Public Health and considered pursuing a PhD in a clinical area. But.... it was not the right time in my personal life and instead I took on increasing teaching responsibilities and found myself enthused.
Having a higher degree is not necessary for or a guarantee of promotion on the basis of excellence in teaching, so this is not the reason I am committing myself to another 5-7 years of study. Some would argue that pursuing a PhD is unlikely to develop the skills and expertise necessary for an excellent teacher and I struggled with this myself.
Why an EdD?
I came across the professional doctorate programme last year. This seems to me to provide a better structure for personal development for someone who aspires to excellence in teaching. I will complete 8 taught modules over the next two years, on a range of topics related to education, and research design. The Cardiff course is unusual in that it is within Social Sciences rather than education. The first module 'Changing Modes of Professionalism" had students from the education, health and nursing streams which I found a considerable strength.
After 2 years I will have 3-5 years to complete a doctoral thesis of 40-60,000 words. I am not yet sure what the subject of the thesis will be and will use the next year to refine ideas. I have already had tentative supervisors allocated and will meet regularly with them throughout the course.
What do I expect to gain?
- high quality learning opportunities
- to join a local network of professionals engaged in doctoral study
- the challenge of studying within a different discipline
- a qualification