What our EdD students say about the Programme
This course really blows your mind. It lifts the lid on what you thought you knew and radically redefines the boundaries of your knowledge. It is difficult to recommend it highly enough. Ultimately, it develops you into a world expert in your chosen subject and manages to do all this whilst being totally absorbing. Peter Harrison, Curriculum Manager, Employability and Innovation, The Sheffield College 19-05-09
For me, the great strength of a professional doctorate is its relevance to practice. From the outset students are encouraged to tailor their writing to their own interests and professional contexts. Isolation can be a problem when undertaking doctoral research; while the Sheffield EdD is intellectually very challenging and as rigorous as a PhD programme, it provides a more supportive environment. The staff are all very helpful and recognise the pressures of having to do the `day job´ as well as studying. Although the EdD is offered globally as a distance learning course, the residential study weekends bring everyone together three times a year. The chance to share experiences and ideas with your peers on a regular basis is a real bonus and has helped me to network and make useful contacts around the sector. Rachel Birds, Department Manager Field Laboratories University of Sheffield 19-05-09
Starting doctoral level studies after a long gap since obtaining my Masters would have been impossibly daunting without the support provided by the programme and the staff who deliver it. It has been an exhilarating experience. Jackie Gresham, Director of Learning and Teaching Services University of Sheffield 19-05-09
I loved my job as a dyslexia tutor in a successful Sixth Form College and still do, but after seven years of doing pretty much the same thing I was ready to move on to something new. The trouble was, I didn't know what. Being a specialist teacher, without a 'subject' as such, has many advantages but it does tend to narrow your career options and reduce the amount of jobs people think you're suitable for. I was also keen to develop my research interest and develop a broader perspective on education, and that's why I felt the EdD was ideal for me. As I approach the end of my second year of the course, I'm very happy to say that the EdD´s made a huge contribution to two major career developments for me. Firstly, I've had my first academic journal article accepted for publication – the course does teach you a lot about the craft of writing. Secondly, I'm about to take up a second part-time post as a Senior Lecturer in SEN and Inclusion at MMU. Being able to talk about my own research and that of others at the cutting edge of my field was without doubt one of the things that clinched the interview for me. These doors wouldn't have opened for me without the EdD. Owen Barden, Senior Lecturer, SEN & Inclusion at Manchester Metropolitan University.
When I started my EdD in 2004 I felt two things; excitement at undertaking an ambitious venture and fear at maybe biting off more than I could chew. Now that I have successfully completed the course I have to say that not only has it been the most valuable and interesting course I have ever undertaken, but it has also been a life-changing experience. Having entrenched biases and prejudices challenged, having new and dangerous ideas to consider and being allowed to build valuable relationships with fellow students and EdD staff has given me the confidence to explore new ways of thinking and expressing myself. I sincerely commend the course to any postgraduate student wanting to expand their horizons and develop new freedoms and disciplines in thinking about education. Albin Wallace FBCS CITP, Director of Educational Development and Technologies, United Church Schools Trust
Studying at Sheffield gave me an opportunity to come home to England to study, something that I value greatly. Leaving the United States to pursue a degree might seem odd in the world of US Higher Education. Certainly as a student affairs practitioner it did to many of my US student affairs colleagues. What attracted me to this program was the structure, the opportunity to study education as a whole, not a specific discipline or area of study within the field. As a full-time practitioner I was not interested in a program that mirrored my day-to-day work. Sheffield gives me an environment that is challenging, beyond the everyday norm (at least as a US Higher Ed professional), and exposes me to a cohort group that I could not experience if I had stayed in the US. Helen Woods, Director, Center for Student Involvement and Associate Director, Norris University Center. Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA
I am a teaching principal in a 'disadvantaged' primary school in Ireland. Being on the EdD programme in the University of Sheffield has been a very positive experience for me. Before I undertook my dissertation I had little experience of educational research. The knowledge I have acquired during my time on the EdD programme is enormous. Initially I was anxious about doing an EdD - the main question I asked myself was, did I have the ability to do this course? All through the four years I spent on this programme, I was encouraged and supported by all the staff and other EdD students, reassuring me that 'I could do it'.
I decided to do my EdD studies in the University of Sheffield and not in Ireland for three reasons. Firstly, the University of Sheffield is very accessible by plane, train and bus. Secondly, a colleague of mine in Ireland who had just finished his EdD highly recommended the programme to me. He commended the excellent and high calibre of staff that worked on the EdD programme. He also praised the efficiency of the programme. Thirdly, I liked the idea of three residential weekends over the academic year, and in hindsight being in a residential setting was very beneficial. I met people from the UK, Malta, Canada and Oman, who since have become my friends. Having such a diverse group in the lectures led to great debates and interesting conversations. Being part of a group was important for me because I never felt isolated or alone, there was always a friend to call or e-mail for advice, reassurance or simply just to off-load. Susan Frawley, Primary School Headteacher, Ireland.
Since starting the EdD programme I have been appointed Director of Education for an international educational charity. Being on the programme was definitely a factor in advancing my career in this way. Sue Rivers, Acting Dean, School of Lifelong Learning, Coventry University.
I heard about the EdD from a colleague and it sounded just what I was looking for. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two years, receiving input from the course team and learning about the experiences of the other students. I felt we really developed a community of practice that was beneficial to all. The second part of the programme was very different working with a supervisor to produce a thesis and coming together with the other students 3 times a year to share progress. The viva was also a great learning experience. I can contrast this with colleagues at work who are undertaking PhDs and they seem so isolated and see it as a chore, whereas I saw it as fun and developmental. Joining the EdD was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Jenny-Joy Matthews.
I have found the course to be excellent in terms of the academic input and organisation. The library services are excellent and I find the on-line journals invaluable. Distanced learning is the only way I believe I could possibly access this level of study due to my employment and family commitments. The weekend schools provide the opportunity not only to attend lecturers by experts within the field, but also to share experiences with other EdD students. I have made many new friends and find the support from the group and tutors extends beyond the weekends. All staff are approachable and helpful both in terms of support with assignments and providing constructive feedback to further enhance research and writing skills. I feel I have really developed over the last two years of Part I. Danielle Carey, Dean of School of Childhood and Education, University College Birmingham.