University Handbook 2018

Doctor of Education (RDE)

Course code/s: RDE (current); EDEB (phased out)

Course details
Course abbreviated name EdD
CRICOS Code 009388B
Location - domestic candidates* Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, Melbourne (Bundoora Campus)
Location - international candidates* Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, Melbourne (Bundoora Campus)
Course coordinator Professor Margaret Robertson
Course duration The standard duration for this course is three to four years.
Internship/exchange opportunities Yes
Leave of absence available Yes
Course queries Current students: Graduate Research School
Prospective students: Get a research degree

*Enrolment on any campus for any candidate is subject to the availability of supervision and appropriate research environment. 

Course-specific information:

The Doctor of Education (EdD) is a degree of advanced professional study providing the opportunity to reflect on, develop, or evaluate practice.

The EdD is undertaken via one year of doctoral coursework (or the equivalent part-time) followed by supervised research culminating in a thesis of no more than 60,000 words.

Course overview:

The Professional Doctorate degree consists of coursework (one third of the degree) and research (two thirds). The research component requires you to pursue an independent and sustained investigation into a research problem of your own design that will culminate in the submission of a thesis for examination.
Upon completion of your candidature you must demonstrate through your thesis that you have developed a substantial body of knowledge at the frontier of your field of work or learning, including knowledge that constitutes an original contribution to your profession.
The discipline-specific coursework subjects within the degree are designed to develop skills and knowledge that will assist you in conducting your research.

You will be supported by a minimum of two supervisors throughout your candidature.

The following conditions must be met in order to gain admission into a Professional Doctorate:

  • you must meet the minimum entry requirements for the degree as outlined below
  • the department or school in which you seek enrolment must be able to provide appropriate facilities, resources and supervision for your chosen area of research.

Course intended learning outcomes:

Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOS) are brief statements defining what candidates are expected to demsontrate they know and can do by the end of a course.

  • Generate knowledge that makes original contributions of direct relevance to the profession.
  • Critically appraise relevant literature and available research and, with understanding of the wider professional field of knowledge, apply to diverse and complex settings.
  • Develop appropriate methodological approaches to address research questions in the professional field.
  • Disseminate new insights and expertise to peers and the community in a clear, concise and authoritative manner. 

Standard duration of study:

You will be expected to complete your professional doctorate within three to four years or the equivalent part-time.

Your research project must be conceived from the outset as clearly achievable within three years full-time (or the equivalent part-time).

Entry requirements:

In order to apply for candidature, you should:

  1.  have graduated with or qualified for an Australian Master’s degree at a minimum H2A standard or equivalent
  2. have graduated with or qualified for an Australian Bachelor’s degree with an Honours year at a minimum H2A standard or equivalent
  3. hold qualifications and/or have demonstrated skills, experience, research, or publications, which in the opinion of the Board of Graduate Research are considered at least equivalent to, or are a satisfactory substitute for, any of the qualifications described in (a) and (b) above
  4. have at least three years of relevant professional experience.

Candidates may also be required to provide evidence of research expertise.


The award of the degree depends on both your successful completion of all required coursework at a satisfactory level and the successful examination of your thesis of typically 60,000 words or less. Your thesis will be examined by at least two examiners, including at least one from outside Australia and must demonstrate the following course learning outcomes:

  • A substantial body of knowledge at the frontier of a field of work or learning, including knowledge that constitutes an original contribution of direct relevance to the profession.
  • Ability to provide a critical appraisal of relevant literature and available research, to appreciate and understand the relationship of the investigations undertaken to the wider field of knowledge with particular reference to the profession in which these investigations are located, and to draw out the contribution to knowledge made by these investigations.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the methodological techniques used in the research and any shortcomings associated with these techniques.
  • A satisfactory level of literary presentation reflecting an ability to communicate in a clear, concise and authoritative manner appropriate to the field of research and to the professional area to which it is addressed.

The coursework consists of two year-long subjects that enable advanced-level study of professional issues, and each of these requires a 15,000-word essay or equivalent assessment approved by the coordinator of research programs. You are required to attain at least a B average (70-79%) for the coursework in order to proceed to the thesis.

Papers written by you during your candidature may be included in your thesis, where these are of direct relevance to the research you describe in your thesis.

Policies and guidelines:

You can access La Trobe University’s official policies and guidelines for candidature, supervision, progress, examinations and thesis requirements on the Graduate Research School website.

Areas of study:

The School of Education’s research strengths include: adult learning, applied linguistics and TESOL, cross-cultural communication, educational leadership and management, e-learning pedagogies, ICTs, experiential and holistic education, innovative curriculum and effective classrooms, mathematics and science education, outdoor and environmental education, and vocational education and training.

For further information, please visit the School of Education website.

Fees and charges:

Citizens of Australia and New Zealand and Australian permanent residents will not normally pay tuition fees, as research degrees are funded by the Australian Government via the Research Training Programme. This provides eligible candidates with a Commonwealth-funded Research Training Programme Fees Offset Scholarship for up to a maximum period of four years’ full-time equivalent study for a Professional Doctorate.

All domestic students are required to pay a bi-annual Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). Details about the SSAF, including costs and payment options, can be found at the webpage - Student services and amenities fee.

Tuition fees for international students will vary, depending on the research area. Detailed information about tuition fees by research area can be found at the webpage - Tuition fees for international students

Study plan:

The study plan shows the progression for full-time enrolment, however many students enrol part-time in this course.

Year One -

Teaching period Subject title Subject code Credit points
TE-SEM-1 Innovation and Convention in Education A EDU6ICA 30
TE-SEM-2 Innovation and Convention in Education B EDU6ICB 30
TE-SEM-1 Research Approaches to Professional Issues A EDU6RAA 30
TE-SEM-2 Research Approaches to Professional Issues B EDU6RAB 30

Years Two and Three -

Thesis only

Contact details:

The Graduate Research School


Research links


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