Department of Education

Research student insight

Brian Poole

Brian PooleBrian Poole joins us as a distance learning student on the Doctor of Education (EdD) programme. He has just completed his research thesis on Perspectives on the EdD from Academics at English Universities.

He works closely with his supervisors Dr Mary Hayden and Emeritus Professor Jeff Thompson; both are experts in International Education.

Brian already has more than 30 years of teaching experience in over 10 different countries. He has had to combine his full-time work with his doctoral study, whilst also being based in Oman (working as a Quality Assurance Manager at Sohar University) and Singapore (lecturing in the Centre for English Language Communication at National University Singapore).

This proved particularly challenging for me, as I have been at a great geographical distance from the people whose views I was researching.

Research focus

Brian has been investigating the different perspectives surrounding the EdD within the academic community. The Doctor of Education is a relatively new programme in Britain (since the early 1990s) and some people think that a PhD in Education or related disciplines is the ‘gold standard’.

I wanted to find out to what extent those teaching on EdD programmes felt that way.

Brian’s thesis has shown that most academics regarded the EdD and PhD in an Education area as equally challenging.

Most academics on EdD programmes regard it as a modular doctorate which takes the student to an equivalent ‘doctoral’ endpoint as compared to a PhD in an Education area, but by a different route or learning experience. However, a few do indeed regard the PhD as the ‘gold standard’ and the EdD as a notch below.

This research may contribute to on-going debates surrounding the nature and value of the EdD, and other professional doctorate programmes.

Studying by a distance learning

Being a mature student primarily based overseas has meant Brian has relied on web based learning, but has also attended Summer Schools to further his learning.

He has found the academic and support staff at the University to be very helpful and approachable.

I am very satisfied with the support I received from my co-supervisors and all the lecturers I’ve had contact with were helpful and approachable. My learning experience at the University of Bath has been an enriching and excellent one.

Next steps

Looking ahead, Brian would like to adapt parts of his EdD thesis and publish them in appropriate Education journals.

Further information

If you would like to find out more about Brian’s research then you can contact him by email:

Related pages