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Programme Description

Our Doctor of Education programme, offered since 1997, was the first of its kind in Hong Kong. It graduated its first group of students in 2001. The Doctor of Education programme is a professional doctorate that includes both coursework and research components. It offers a variety of relevant courses and supervised thesis research. The Doctor of Education programme aims to help experienced professionals to develop a deep understanding of their chosen areas of study, to encourage them in the search for innovative approaches to educational inquiry and practical insights, and to assist them in resolving educational problems.

The Doctor of Education programme is designed to suit the needs of professionals who seek to meet the challenges of educational change effectively and desire to have their work thoroughly grounded in the theory and practice of defined areas of study. Over the years, the majority of students admitted by the programme are school principals, senior teachers, lecturers and administrative staff in universities, and other professionals working for government agencies and social organisations. Their thesis studies have produced valuable indigenous knowledge to inform educational decisions and improve educational practices. The doctoral graduates are an important driving force in serving and leading our local / regional educational community.

Areas of Study

Applicants are required to choose one of the following areas of study:

Curriculum and Instruction

This specialisation is designed for education practitioners and professionals who aspire to conduct research into curriculum and instruction. It aims at guiding students to understand issues surrounding the design, implementation and evaluation of curriculum and instruction from multiple perspectives, to explore the theoretical foundations of effective strategies for curriculum development, and to conduct systematic inquiry on the social and individual factors influencing curriculum and instruction in schools. This specialisation attaches great importance to the connection between theory and practice. Students will be required to develop their rigorous theoretical exploration based on solid school practice and robust research data. Major areas of inquiry include curriculum development, instructional design, curriculum reform and implementation, curriculum evaluation, assessment in learning, and subject curriculum and teaching.

Required Courses:

  • Teaching: Theory, Design, Research and Application
  • Curriculum Organisation
  • Curriculum Inquiry: Paradigms
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Education is having profound changes and challenges at many different levels. These changes have inevitably brought a paradigm shift in educational policies and governance, as well as in educational administration, management and leadership. This specialisation is designed for experienced professionals who are leaders, or aspiring to be leaders in education-related institutions, and policy makers, or students who are interested in educational policy studies. It offers a well-structured and integrated coursework to students, to support them to have high levels of understanding of the foundations of educational leadership and policy studies. It also aims to equip candidates with advanced skills and knowledge in theoretical enquiry and educational research, to allow them to formulate their own proposals and investigations into important and critical educational issues. The Department can offer supervision for the following major areas of inquiry: policy analysis and studies, higher education, comparative education, economics of education, sociology of education, educational administration, management and leadership, school improvement and change, and other related fields or issues.

Required Courses:

  • Foundations of Educational Administration and Policy
  • School Reform in a Global Context
  • Educational Organisation and Leadership
Educational Psychology

As the highest professional degree in educational psychology, the Doctor of Education programme in Educational Psychology provides training in some of the major knowledge domains and specialisations constituting the field. These include learning and instruction focusing on the cognitive and motivational processes of student learning and classroom teaching, child and adolescent social and academic development including parenting and other socialisation and acculturation influences, student counselling and guidance and helping students with special needs, and psychological and educational testing and assessment. Students are expected to take courses in most of these specialty knowledge domains and are expected to conduct research in one of these or other areas of specialisation.

Required Courses:

  • Selected Topics in the Science of Learning
  • Organisation and Implementation of School Guidance and Counselling
  • Selected Topics in Psychosocial Development

Study Scheme

(1) Coursework Requirements

(a) Students are required to complete a minimum of 21 units of coursework before the granting of Doctor of Education candidature.

Required Courses
Specialization: Curriculum & Instruction - PEDU7101, 7102, 7103
Specialization: Educational Leadership and Policy Studies - PEDU7206, 7207, 7208
Specialization: Educational Psychology - PEDU7307, 7308, 7309
9 units
Research-related courses
Any 4 courses to be chosen from the followings:
PEDU6003-6004, 6401-6406, 7001-7004, 7006-7009, 7011-7014, 7016-7019, 7301, 7302
(There are pre-requisites for PEDU6404, 6405, 7301 & 7302.)
6 units
Elective courses
2 courses (except PEDU8000) to be offered by the Division of Education. Students should consult their advisors to determine what electives to be taken.
6 units

(b) PEDU8000 is a thesis monitoring course. Students are required to take PEDU8000 every term from the time of admission, throughout the preparation of thesis, until its completion.

(2) Qualifying Examination

Advancement to Doctor of Education candidature is conditional upon the satisfactory completion of the 21 units of coursework. No further qualifying examination is required.

(3) Other Requirements

(a) Students must fulfill the Term Assessment Requirement of the Graduate School. For details, please refer to Section 13.0 “Unsatisfactory Performance and Discontinuation of Studies” of the General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies which can be accessed from the Graduate School Homepage:

(b) A student must achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 in order to fulfil the graduation requirement.

(c) Students who fail in thesis monitoring course shall be put on academic probation. Students shall be required to discontinue studies unless 13.3 of General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies applies.

(d) Attending PhD Programme Annual Seminars / Doctoral Thesis Proposal Presentations (Applicable to students admitted in 2015-16 and thereafter)

  • Full-time students are required to attend not less than 15 sessions of PhD Programme annual seminar / doctoral thesis proposal presentation during normative study period.
  • Part-time students are required to attend 4 sessions of PhD Programme annual seminar / doctoral thesis proposal presentation each academic year after advancement to candidature.

(e) Normally within a year after advancement to Doctor of Education candidature, the candidate has to register for the course PEDU8010 (9 units), and to submit and present the thesis proposal in an open presentation. After the thesis proposal has been approved, the candidate should, under the supervision of her / his supervisor, submit a thesis and pass the oral examination within a prescribed period of time for graduation.

(f) Complete an Improving Postgraduate Learning (IPL) module “Observing Intellectual Property and Copyright Law during Research”. This will be an online module and relevant information can be accessed from the website:

(g) Students are required to complete an online Research Ethics Training (RET) module on “Publication Ethics” offered by the Office of Research and Knowledge Transfer Services (ORKTS) and obtain a valid Publication Ethics Certificate for graduation. Relevant information can be accessed from the RET website at (Applicable to students admitted in 2017-18 and thereafter).

(h) Complete an IPL module on “Research Data Management Training”. This is an online module and relevant information can be accessed from the website: Students are required to complete and pass the module in their first year of studies (Applicable to students admitted in 2022-23 and thereafter).