Doctor of Education


The Doctor of Education is a specialised doctorate designed for professionals in education, health sciences, and related fields. Built on a cohort model of inquiry, the Doctor of Education provides a structured, supportive, rigorous approach to doctoral study.

The Doctor of Education builds leadership and commitment, fosters scholarly excellence, and allows candidates to connect educational research with questions of professional practice, in particular leadership.

Doctor of Education graduates will:

  • Meet high international standards in the quality of their scholarly work
  • Adopt an investigative, probing, open-minded, reflective, dialogical stance in addressing scholarly and professional problems
  • Draw on insights from their studies in seeking to make a worthwhile difference in the lives of others
  • Be able to link, in a coherent and rigorous manner, theory and research to questions of professional practice
  • Be adept at presenting their work in conferences and seminars, and in publishing their findings
  • Value the process of peer review in advancing scholarly and professional understanding
  • Be willing and able to demonstrate leadership in their domains of professional endeavour
  • Have a strong sense of global awareness and participate actively in wider scholarly and professional communities.

Entry requirements

Every candidate, before enrolling for the degree, must be approved as a candidate by the Dean of Postgraduate Research.

Every candidate for the degree must either:

  • have qualified in New Zealand for a Bachelor’s degree with first or second class honours, or a master’s degree at the standard of first or second class honours, or the equivalent
  • have been admitted with Ad Eundem Statum to the status of a graduate equivalent.

Candidates will normally have a minimum of five years’ experience in a relevant professional role. Candidates usually continue to work in a relevant professional role while completing Part One of the degree.

The Dean of Postgraduate Research must be satisfied that the candidate has adequate training and ability to pursue the proposed course.

In special circumstances, the Dean of Postgraduate Research may approve the enrolment of a graduate who does not hold one of the qualifications above, but who has produced satisfactory evidence of adequate training and ability to pursue the proposed course.

For the full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Doctor of Education or use the admission requirements checker.

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification structure and duration

This qualification tends to take between four to five years to complete, as a mixture of part and full-time study (or part-time only).

How to apply

EdD students start as a group on 1 March. Find out how to apply for PhD and Doctoral degrees.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, entry into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline. 

Useful resources:

More information

For full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Doctor of Education.

For study planning help contact the Postgraduate Office:

Postgraduate Office
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 369 2244
Email postgraduate-office@canterbury.ac.nz