Sunday, 24 January 2010

Why I am starting an EdD

On Thursday I started the first module of a Doctorate in Education in Cardiff University School of Social Sciences.

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
I hope to share much of my learning through social media so I hope you will join me on my journey.



  1. I think you have made the right choice as an educator - it's something I am now looking at having withdrawn from my PhD. What is exciting for me is the knowledge that I will learn from you , as you learn, here on your blog and Twitter.

    Can I suggest you meet up with Jeffrey Keefer-he's in New York doing his ED at Lancaster Uni (

  2. Jeffrey has a GREAT blog. Thanks for introduction:)

  3. I'm looking forward to following the process as you pursue your EdD. Thanks for posting.

  4. What ever is a PhD good for? Don't forget to have some fun underway. I do appreciate having a PhD although in medical science it's great for teaching as well, especially teaching young students and residents about the scientific base of our work. To my opinion a PhD in or on any other field of education helps you become a better teacher although it's not obligatory. Other qualities are also needed and probably more important but again I've never regretted it.
    Be sure to find a topic you really like, something worth your while, and don't forget about the fun part.
    Take care, Dr Shock

  5. Good to hear you've got started, and looking forward to seeing what you share along the way.
    All the best!



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