Doctor of Education

The Doctor of Education qualifies students as experts in their fields and enables practitioners from diverse education settings to extend their knowledge.

This is your opportunity to think deeply about your professional practice while developing the skills of professional and scholarly research as you explore an area of your interest within the field of education in a supportive cohort-based programme. The Doctor of Education qualifies students as experts in their fields and enables practitioners from diverse education settings to extend their knowledge. This professional doctorate suits a range of educational practitioners, including teachers, lecturers, middle managers and leaders whose work is education-related.

Explore our research expertise

AUT's academic supervisors are recognised world-class researchers who have the expert knowledge in their fields to guide you throughout your studies.

If you’re interested in discussing this research degree, email our course leader, Professor Jane Gilbert:

Browse research expertise

Download programme guides

Minimum entry requirements

Must have completed the following in a specialisation appropriate to the proposed research:

  • Master’s degree with honours OR
  • Bachelor’s degree with honours (equivalent to 4 years of study)

The degree must have a standard equivalent to first class or second class (first division) honours.

The degree should include advanced learning in research, execution of a research project and a written report on the research.


A minimum of two years’ relevant professional experience

International student entry requirements

Other requirements

  • Supervision of the Doctor of Education thesis is subject to the availability of staff

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.5 overall with 7.0 in Writing and all other bands 6.0 or higher; or equivalent

English language requirements

How to apply for the Doctor of Education

  • Make an appointment with the course leader, Professor Jane Gilbert ( to discuss your proposed area of research interest.
  • When applying, you will require a current CV and transcripts showing evidence of postgraduate qualifications and research capability (such as publications). This will be assessed to ascertain eligibility for entry to this doctoral programme
  • Working with the course leader, you will complete a research proposal (PGR2) to submit to the doctoral board for approval
  • A place on the programme is offered once board approval has been received, followed by your enrolment in the first research portfolio course

While you can apply at any time, the initial candidature process for enrolment in the programme can take up to two months. There is one cohort annually, and the closing date for the following year is the first Monday of September in the preceding year. The EdD is generally regarded as a domestic qualification, so international students are encouraged to apply for the PhD programme.

PGR2: Admission to a doctoral programme

Information we need to asses your application

We require the following information:

  • Academic transcripts
  • Grading scale for postgraduate qualification
  • Degree certificates (undergraduate and postgraduate)
  • 1-2 page document (maximum) outlining your proposed research project (develop this after initial discussions with the course leader)
  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • If English is not your first language you need to provide evidence of English language proficiency – IELTS (Academic) test results or recognised equivalent. If your postgraduate study was completed in English within three years, this may be waived
  • Evidence of a minimum of two years’ relevant professional experience

The Doctor of Education sets students up for their research thesis by providing a supportive and collaborative cohort-based learning experience. The support students give each other is a key element in this programme.

The programme has two parts:

  • Research portfolio (four courses)
  • Thesis

Research portfolio

The research portfolio comprises four 30-point courses that will develop your research competency, and enable you to make the transition from practitioner to researcher. All students are expected to attend portfolio blocs (usually four Saturdays each semester) throughout the year. You will have the support of your peers and the Doctor of Education team.

The 4 courses are taken sequentially, one per semester:

The portfolio development is designed to heighten your awareness of the broader context of education and develop critical academic and research skills. The research portfolio is integral to preparing your thesis, and satisfactory completion of the portfolio is required before starting your thesis.


Your thesis is an advanced study, based on independent research, aimed at contributing new knowledge to a relevant educational issue. You will have two supervisors for your thesis, who will have been identified during the portfolio development.

Graduates will develop skills that will assist them in a wide range of positions, including:

  • Academic roles in the tertiary sector
  • Research
  • Senior educational management
  • Civil service
  • Public institutional education
  • Formal and informal social and leadership roles
  • Senior roles in the education system

Graduates will also be favourably placed for promotion and leadership responsibilities.

Quick facts
Programme code:
2 years P/T (coursework – research portfolios), plus 3 years (thesis)
North Campus
10 Feb 2024
Apply by:
5 Sept 2022
$8,348 (for 120 points)
($7,274 tuition fees + $1074 student services levy)
$41,674 (for 120 points)
($40,600 tuition fees + $1074 student services levy)
  • Fees shown are based on a full-time workload for the points indicated next to the fee. The exact fee charged will depend on which courses you select at the time of enrolment.
  • Fees are subject to change year to year. If you are planning for study beyond the current year, fees may vary from those stated.
  • There may also be other fees and charges you need to pay.
  • International students' tuition fees reflect the full cost of tuition. Domestic students' tuition fees are less due to a proportion of the tuition fees being funded by the New Zealand Government.

Scholarships at AUT

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.

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