What our students say

Photograph of Owen BardenOwen Bardon, EdD Language and Literacy

I loved my job as a dyslexia tutor in a successful Sixth Form College, 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. I’m very happy to say that the EdD’s made a huge contribution to my career. I had my first academic journal article accepted for publication whilst on the course – the course does teach you a lot about the craft of writing.

Since then I’ve moved into Higher Education, and am now a Senior Lecturer in Disability and Education at Liverpool Hope University. 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.

I continue to publish - mostly on topics related to my EdD research - and to teach, including leading the Research Skills and Methods module on our own EdD, as well as undergraduate and Masters programmes. These doors wouldn’t have opened for me without the EdD.

Read more testimonials from EdD Language and Literacy Students

Maria Spiteri, EdD Educational StudiesMaria

"Learning has always been a passion for me; unfortunately, as a full-time music teacher, full-time study was not an option when I came to choose a doctoral programme in my line of work. After researching many universities who offer part-time courses, I opted to go for an EdD course at the University of Sheffield. The university also offers a part-time PhD course in Malta where I reside, but I decided on a taught doctorate for many reasons, mainly to up-date and enhance my research knowledge in a way that was directly connected to my professional role and to meet new colourful people who also endeavour to learn like me.

"The EdD is a flexible course which allows one to study while working full-time. As a teacher with daily ongoing demands from school and students, I managed to find time to study according to my own time-table, giving me the freedom to pursue other things besides work and studying and having a healthy work-life balance. As a second year student I must say that the course has met my expectations and more! Tutors are well read and established international researchers, always ready to help you and teach you new ideas. They seem to know what your passion is, even though it is still unknown to you! The three residential weekends during the academic year are structured around the students, giving us an opportunity to meet, learn, discuss ideas and progress our educational knowledge and skills.

"I recommend this course to any educator who wants to learn more about educational practices and research from professionals who will always be ready to assist you in any ways possible and more. I chose Educational Studies because it is the route with the broadest programme and skills to accommodate different individuals with different professional backgrounds. I wanted to learn more about what goes on backstage in schooling and educating future generations, and because I want to make changes. I want to help future generations achieve their full potential through Education. I know I have made the right choice in choosing Sheffield’s EdD."

Read more testimonials from EdD Educational Studies Students


Sapna Thapa, EdD Early Childhood Education

"I had always wanted to obtain a higher education degree, and early childhood was my passion; even before I completed my MA degree, I was certain that I wanted to continue with the EdD. Dr. Rachael Levy was an amazing mentor who guided my doctoral studies. Her continuous support helped to raise the standards of my assignment papers to a very high level. My doctoral thesis explored the elusiveness of equity and quality in Early Childhood Education policies, and compared polices of two diverse countries (Nepal and USA). The excellent support and encouragement I received from my thesis supervisor, Professor Elizabeth Wood, helped me overcome many constraints and barriers and led me to complete my thesis within four years, despite the devastation that followed after the massive earthquakes in my home country, Nepal.

The thesis was recently selected as the “Rhedding-Jones Outstanding Dissertation 2016” by the Re-conceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE) organization. The award was presented during the RECE conference in New Zealand. The EdD degree has opened many doors and I am currently working as a full-time tenure track faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. I am grateful to have had such an amazing group of people as my mentors. They continue to inspire me to question the status quo, to reflect, and to be passionate about research and teaching. "


Frank McMahon, Early EdD Student

“The School of Education was most welcoming and supportive, and I formed friendships with fellow students that continue to this day.

The programme turned out to be exactly what I needed, and by graduation I was prepared to undertake a new role of Director of Academic Affairs. This role involved responsibility for academic policy, quality assurance, graduate studies, admission, library services, a learning & teaching unit and other central units.

Most recently I have become the Honorary President of a Chinese university, offering guidance on how it might reform its practices. The Sheffield EdD has facilitated all of my activities since my study. Undertaking the EdD was truly a life-changing experience.”