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Doctor of Education (EdD)

Doctoral Programme

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Course Registration No. 262066

Part Time

Doctor of Education (EdD)

The education system in Hong Kong has been undergoing major reform. Education professionals are encouraged to advance their skills to meet future challenges. This Doctor of Education program comprises extensive and integrated coursework and research components that help educators and educational administrators become transformational leaders with a broad range of leadership and management skills.

This doctoral program aims to instil in experienced educators and educational administrators to cultivate skills and knowledge for transformational change in Hong Kong’s higher education reform. A majority of prospective students looking to embark on this program are those having serviced the education sector for years including lecturers, teachers, administrators, advisers and inspectors. In the course of study, they will learn to develop their research skills to be applicable to their workplace.

In Hong Kong, Northeastern University is able to provide supervision in 2 principal areas of research:

  • Higher Education Administration Concentration

  • Organizational Leadership Studies Concentration

Candidates who successfully complete the program will be awarded the prestigious Doctor of Education (EdD) degree of Northeastern University. The degree is the same as that awarded to on-campus candidates of the University. Graduates will be allowed to use the title EdD after their names. Students normally take 3 years to complete their coursework and doctoral thesis.

Students take 13 courses and a Doctoral Thesis Seminar in support of their doctoral thesis.

Program Details

Program Structure^
Period Concentration
Higher Education Administration Organizational Leadership Studies
Year 1 Term 1 Introduction to Doctoral Studies Introduction to Doctoral Studies
Term 2 Transforming Human Systems Transforming Human Systems
Term 3 Learning and Human Development Learning and Human Development
Leadership Theory and Research Leadership Theory and Research
Term 4 Global and Historical Perspectives of Higher Education Organization Theory and Design
Organizational Systems and Institutional Governance Organizational Learning and Systems Thinking
Year 2 Term 5 Fundamentals of Research Fundamentals of Research
Legal Environment of Higher Education Contemporary Models of Leadership
Term 6 Research Design Research Design
Financial Decision-making in Higher Education Global Perspectives on Organizational Culture
Term 7 Proposal Development Proposal Development
Student Engagement in Higher Education Organizational Communication
Term 8
Strategic Management in Higher Education Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Leadership
Year 3 Doctoral Thesis Seminar*
During the Doctoral Thesis Seminar students work on their doctoral thesis under the supervision of their faculty research advisor.

Doctoral Thesis Continuation
Students have four quarters to complete the doctoral thesis (submit an approved thesis report and successfully defend before the doctoral thesis committee), starting with the term they enroll into the Doctoral Thesis Seminar.

*Candidates who do not defend their thesis within four terms are enrolled into the thesis continuation section and charged one quarter hour of tuition per term until they satisfied the requirements to complete the program.

^Program structure is subject to change and final approval.

Higher Education Administration Concentration Modules

  • Global and Historical Perspectives of Higher Education
  • Organizational Systems and Institutional Governance
  • Legal Environment of Higher Education
  • Financial Decision-making in Higher Education
  • Student Engagement in Higher Education
  • Strategic Management in Higher Education

Organizational Leadership and Communication Concentration Modules

  • Organizational Learning and Systems Thinking
  • Global Perspectives on Organizational Culture
  • Organizational Communication
  • Contemporary Models of Leadership
  • Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Leadership
  • Organizational Theory and Design


  • Students normally take 3 years to complete their coursework and doctoral thesis
  • 2 years coursework
  • 1-year doctoral thesis with supervisor support

Medium of Instruction

  • English


Teaching Mode
This program is structured in an “online” and “on ground” blended format. Design and implementation of the doctoral thesis are supported by the Doctoral Thesis Seminar. Students should enroll in the seminar upon completion of their 13 coursework and redirect their energies to the thesis. Students are also required to take 2 modules concurrently in each term.

  • Online mode
    There are 11 modules in this program offered completely online. Students can make use of the Northeastern University learning platform to access online learning materials and study either at workplace or home. Each module may last from 8 to 12 weeks
  • On ground mode
    There are 2 modules in the program that offer face-to-face instruction at our Kaplan campus. Seminars are usually held during weekday evenings and weekends

Assessment Method

  • There is a continuous assessment on the coursework of each module and the assessment criteria of each module may vary. All coursework modules and the doctoral thesis proposal must be satisfactorily completed before progression to Doctoral Thesis
  • The thesis should be a significant contribution to knowledge in the concentration concerned and demonstrate the candidate's capacity to carry out independent research. The length of the report may vary across concentrations and should not normally exceed 100-200 double-spaced pages plus appendices and bibliography


It is a matter of discretion for individual employers to recognize any qualification to which this course may lead.

Doctoral Thesis

Doctoral Thesis Seminar (Online)

  • During the Doctoral Thesis Seminar students work on their doctoral thesis under the supervision of their faculty research advisor

Doctoral Thesis

  • During the Doctoral Thesis Seminar students work on their doctoral thesis under the supervision of their faculty research advisor
  • Students who share same interests in particular research areas will be assigned to a Scholar-Practitioner Community (SPC). Initial themes, problems or project concepts will be originated from student interest in specific problems related to their professional experience. Through a facilitated process, students and faculty advisor work together to form groups of approximately 10 students as a unit (group + faculty advisor) with a common overarching theme or project focus
  • Student is required to prepare the individual doctoral thesis proposal with approximately 20-25 pages. Presentation of the doctoral thesis proposal is also required by all students. Once the doctoral thesis proposal has been approved by the faculty advisor, student can then proceed to the doctoral thesis. The doctoral thesis is generally 100-200 doubled spaced pages plus appendices and bibliography
  • After students submit their final thesis, the assessment team will have defense session that can be done either by teleconference, video conference or question posted online. Students must present and defend their doctoral thesis in front of faculty review committees. Each defense takes approximately 45 minutes, and focuses primarily on the finding and outcomes of the thesis


Programme Start Date
No longer accepting new applications until further notice.


Entry Requirement & How to apply

  • To be considered for admission to the EdD programme, a prospective student must hold a minimum of a master’s degree in an appropriate field of study. Admission to the doctoral programme will require:
  • Admission Statement:
    • From among the most significant issues in education / organizations today, what specific problem of practice are you interested in investigating during your doctoral study?
      (1,000 - 1,200 words)
      • Describe the problem of practice
      • Explain why you want to investigate it
      • Provide a strong rationale for the significance of the problem
    • How have your previously research, work, and life experiences prepared you for the Northeastern University doctoral program in education?
      (300 - 400 words)
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts and certificates, GPA 2.8 above for undergraduate transcript, GPA 3.0 above for graduate transcript
  • Professional resume or curriculum vita^
  • Two professional letters of recommendation and one faculty recommendation (one letter of recommendation should be from your current/former employer/supervisor) ^
  • A master's degree and at least 3 years of education related professional experience
  • Individuals for whom English is not the primary language or if English was not the medium of instruction of their tertiary education must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores*

* Minimum score required: IELTS 6.5; TOEFL – IBT 100.
^ Please consult with our education consultant and refer to our admission checklist.

Refund Policy

  • The programme allows for a full refund of tuition fee (excluding application fee and registration fee) if withdrawal notice is received in writing by Kaplan Higher Education (HK) Limited 2 weeks prior to the start of each of the terms. There will be no refund of tuition fee if withdrawal notice is received thereafter
  • All fees paid less application fee will be refunded if the course is withdrawn or not offered
  • On premature cessation of the course, all fees and charges that have been collected in respect of any part of the course failing to be conducted on or after the date of cessation will be refunded within 1 month of the premature cessation
  • In case of hardship and deferral (students are required to complete the course within the maximum length of 72 months) cases, the University and Kaplan Higher Education (HK) Limited will consider the refund arrangement on an individual and case-by-case basis


Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Northeastern University is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement and the integration of classroom learning with real world experience. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate colleges, 8 graduate schools and 2 part-time divisions. Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies provides working professionals, international students, non-traditional learners and continuing learners with an education that is innovative, flexible, substantial and at the nexus of practice and academic theory.  

University Excellence

  • Ranked TOP 39 of National Universities 2017 by the U.S. News & World Report
  • Accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

Graduate Sharing

Graduate Sharing

"Understanding the US education system helps me to think of innovative ways to move forward in education. The way the online programme is structured also allows me to interact with my peers in the USA and various other countries, giving us the opportunity to learn from each other and support one another."

Dr. Daya Datwani, Class of 2011
Lecturer in the Centre of Applied English Studies
The University of Hong Kong

Program Management

Our programs are strictly complying with the regulatory requirements of Hong Kong Education Bureau. We are actively working with our partner universities to deliver high quality programs which can be integrated into student’s practical needs. Apart from the lecturers who come from our partner universities, our international associates are highly-qualified with relevant academic qualifications, practical and teaching experiences.

Conductive study environment, thoughtful program management and administrative services are the key promises which Kaplan Higher Education is proud to deliver. Our Program Management Team assigns dedicated program manager for each program as the bridge between students and universities.