Doctor of Education

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The Doctor of Education (EdD) program has been suspended for RP3 and RP4 in 2015, and all of 2016. The information below was correct for enrolled students on 11 May 2015.

Further course information

Areas of research

Doctor of Education candidates may undertake research in one of the following areas: educational history, sociology and philosophy; health and sport; research on teaching and learning; social work and social policy; educational systems; administration, management and leadership; learning sciences - psychology of education, social structures, inequalities and social justice; and teaching English to speakers of other languages or an area negotiated with a potential supervisor.

Further information about research courses

Research at Sydney

Your research at Sydney

Research at The University of Sydney is dynamic and always evolving; inspiring the active mind and providing new tools and ways of thinking that lead to innovation. A postgraduate research degree is a training exercise in which the candidate acquires knowledge of research methods and experience in planning, performing and publishing research under the guidance of a supervisor. The success of that training is assessed through a thesis, which in the case of a PhD is expected to provide some evidence of originality and thereby make some significant contribution to knowledge, at least some of which is publishable. A successful research master’s thesis will likewise demonstrate a grasp of training in research methodology but may make a less original contribution than a doctoral thesis. Over the years, The University of Sydney has consistently outperformed other Australian universities in the measure of research performance used by the Australian Government to allocate funding. The numbers are impressive, but what really matters is the research this funding supports. This exceptional outcome is testament to the breadth, depth and scale of Sydney’s research enterprise and demonstrates the superior quality of Sydney researchers in the eyes of their research peers.


The supervisor is that member of the academic or, as appropriate, senior research staff, appointed to take primary responsibility for the conduct of a student's research candidature. The supervisor must be available at all stages of the candidature for advice, assistance and direction and is responsible for the progress of the candidature to the head of department/school and the faculty or college. At least one associate supervisor is also appointed. The role of the supervisory team will change over the course of the candidature but will generally always comprise: ensuring sufficient resources are available to support the candidate; providing advice about an initial research plan; ensuring that the candidate is aware of the particular research skills to be acquired and that appropriate techniques are established for gathering and analysing data; monitoring progress made within the context of the research plan; agreeing on a timetable for frequent and regular contact and acknowledging the need for periodic review of these arrangements; establishing agreed indicators of progress; providing regular and constructive feedback on written analysis and drafts; and providing sound advice about relevant administrative matters.


The University of Sydney offers a number of research scholarships to outstanding domestic and international students. Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and citizens of New Zealand are domestic applicants. Scholarships information for domestic applicants Overseas nationals (citizens of all other countries) are international applicants. Scholarships information for international applicants

About RTS

The Research Training Scheme (RTS), administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), provides course fee exemptions for Commonwealth-funded higher degree by research (HDR) students for the duration of an accredited HDR course, up to a maximum of four years full-time equivalent study for a doctorate by research (including a professional doctorate which meets the research program criteria), and two years’ full-time equivalent study for a master's by research. RTS students may be enrolled full-time or part-time.

Progression and completion

Progression rules

A candidate for the Doctor of Education will have an annual review of progress, in which the candidate will be required to provide evidence of progress in their research and towards the completion of their thesis. On the basis of the evidence provided, the faculty will recommend the conditions of candidature to apply in the following year, and may request a further review at the end of a semester.

If a candidate is not progressing satisfactorily towards the completion of the degree, they may be asked by the faculty to explain why their candidature should not be terminated.

Annual progress review

The Academic Board has determined that all research candidates are required to undertake an annual progress review (APR). The APR comprises a written report and a mandatory interview. The report requires written statements from the candidate, the supervisory panel, the staff member responsible for coordinating or directing research within the department, and the Chair of the review panel. The interview is conducted by the review panel, which should include the participation of an academic staff member or members from outside the department. Members of the candidate's supervisory panel may be present for part of the interview, but the interview must provide the candidate with the opportunity to speak freely to the review panel without the presence of supervisors. On the basis of evidence provided and the interview, the head of the department recommends the conditions of candidature to apply for the following year.

Completion requirements

To qualify for award of the degree of Doctor of Education, a candidate shall:
(a) successfully complete two units of study giving credit for a total of 12 credit points and in accordance with the specifications set out in the Postgraduate Handbook of the Faculty;
(b) on completing the specified coursework component and research, present a thesis to the maximum of 80,000 words in length embodying the results of the work undertaken, which shall be a substantially
original contribution to the subject concerned.

Thesis submission requirements and examination procedure as set out in the Academic Board resolutions for this course and the Higher Degree (HDR) Rule 2011.

How to apply

Admission requirements

A successful applicant for admission to the Doctor of Education will have at least three years' professional experience in education or a related field and may apply for direct entry into the program, provided they satisfy one of the following:
(i) Bachelor of Education (or related area of study) with first- or second-class honours, or
(ii) Master of Education (Research) with a dissertation mark of at least 75% or equivalent, published research-based work acceptable to the faculty , or
(iii) Master of Philosophy (Education), or
(iv) Master of Education (Coursework), awarded with merit, which included a dissertation of 12,000–15,000 words with a grade-point average of at least 75 per cent in the degree (a thesis or dissertation that was based solely on a review of the literature is not acceptable).

Applying for admission

To apply for a research degree, you are expected to contact the appropriate faculty with an expression of interest before submitting a formal application. When you submit a formal application online, you will be required to upload some or all of the following documents electronically with your application:

(i) email correspondence from potential supervisor who has agreed to support your application;
(ii) a certified academic transcript or transcripts for your previous study, if they were not completed at The University of Sydney;
(iii) a CV, providing a summary of your work experience and other relevant activities;
(iv) up to two academic references (international applicants);
(v) a research proposal 500-1000 words;
(vi) a one page cover letter outlining your reasons for applying;
(vii) proof of your Australian residency status (a certified copy of the main page your Australian passport, or a certified copy of the main page(s) of your own passport with evidence of your visa);
(viii) English language qualifications (if your prior study was completed at an institution where English is not the medium of instruction).

Some courses have further, specific admission requirements, including other documentation or the submission of a portfolio of work, and/or an interview as part of the application process - see Additional application requirements.

Additional application requirements

A Research Proposal approximately 500-1000 words not including a reference list.

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

This 2016, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2015 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.

Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents

Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.