Doctor of Education


In an era of disruptive innovation in education, the Doctor of Education (EdD) programme at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) provides a lifelong learning opportunity for those who are committed to education practice with passion and purpose. The programme supports students’ aspirations to synergise theory with practice, play a role in transforming education for the future, and explore possibilities for achieving such transformation in both the Chinese and global contexts. The programme adopts an interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approach while concurrently developing students’ academic ability and professional expertise. This research-based, practice-oriented programme enables students to think critically about how to address challenges and how to play a leading role in shaping education for the future.

Why is EdD at XJTLU your best choice?

  • You can earn a doctorate from the University of Liverpool and get an internationally acclaimed education without travelling outside of China. This degree is also accredited by China’s Ministry of Education.
  • This programme is conducted in a blended way, combining online and onsite lectures and tutorials for a flexible learning schedule.
  • Every year, you are provided with opportunities to participate in hundreds of conferences and events hosted by XJTLU. These events allow you to socialise with other EdD candidates and be a part of a unique community that strengthens lifelong learning.
  • Your learning experience is further enriched by various teaching methods, such as classroom brainstorming, case studies, workshops, lectures, study tours in China and other countries, field visits to different cities, and president-entrepreneurial forums. These sessions are designed to enhance teacher-student interactions, group collaboration, and work-integrated learning, which can help you develop global perspectives and improve your leadership competencies.
  • This programme capitalises on the robust ecosystem built by XJTLU’s Academy of Future Education. You will engage with people who share your commitment to innovation in education, including elementary and middle school teachers, vocational leaders, and university professors and administrators.
  • After being admitted into this programme, you will have two supervisors, one from XJTLU and the other from the University of Liverpool. As education researchers and practitioners, they will broaden your horizons about how to learn and teach in the global context.

Knowledge and skills

The EdD programme aims to cultivate leaders and experts who can drive educational transformations for the future. Graduates of this programme will:

  • obtain a comprehensive theoretical understanding of various aspects of education, including educational leadership and management, future education, educational reform, learning theories, and more;
  • develop a research methodology that integrates theory into their own educational practices. It can enhance their lifelong learning through reflective practice;
  • utilise research-oriented approaches to explore educational practices and tackle existing and potential issues in the field of education;
  • engage critically, reflectively, and collaboratively with education communities through research and professional practices;
  • become future educational leaders who think globally and act locally, and make an impact on education both domestically and internationally.

This EdD programme aims to use both theoretical and practical knowledge to equip passionate educational leaders and experienced teachers with new tools to create long-lasting, positive change in their organisations or communities. Students can explore cutting-edge theories and enhance their management skills with a global lens.

Professor Rong Wang

Programme Director


Year 1

Engaging with Educational Literature (10 credits)

Educational Research: Theory and Practice (10 credits)

Year 2

Conducting Quantitative Research (10 credits)

Conducting Qualitative Research (10 credits)

Year 3

Advanced Educational Research Studies (20 credits)

Years 4- 5.5

Research Thesis (120 credits)


Total credits for graduation: 180


Year 1-2 Coursework, Online-onsite blended teaching and learning

Each semester, regular face-to-face lectures and onsite case studies will be conducted in different Chinese cities to supplement online teaching and satisfy students’ practical needs.

Year 3 Research studies

You will be supported to confirm a supervisor who shares your research interest at the end of the first semester of the third year at XJTLU and a supervisor from the University of Liverpool at the end of the second semester.

From the third year on, you will regularly engage with your supervisors until you complete your thesis.

Year 4-5.5 Thesis

Effective communication with your supervisors is advised throughout this phase to ensure you meet the programme requirements.


The tuition fee payable for the EdD programme is RMB 80,000 per year. It normally takes 5.5 years to complete the programme.

Alumni discount

If you are a graduate of XJTLU, the University of Liverpool, or Xi’an Jiaotong University, you will automatically receive a discount of 20 percent of the tuition fee.


The EdD programme is designed for experienced education professionals who seek to advance their academic and career prospects with a global perspective. Graduates of the programme can pursue a range of jobs and careers, including but not limited to:

  • Leaders and administrators in various educational contexts (universities, vocational colleges, primary and secondary schools, and kindergartens);
  • Practice-oriented researchers;
  • Academic staff;
  • Managers in private educational institutions;
  • Education department managers in corporate organisations;
  • Managers in non-governmental organisations with a focus on education; and
  • Managers in educational administrative departments.

Entry requirement

Academic requirement

Must have a Master’s degree. Students with a Master’s degree in education, psychology, leadership, intercultural communication, or other relevant social science field are preferred.

Work experience/other requirements

Applicants must have acquired at least four years of full-time experience in the education sector (or equivalent) and aspire to be leaders in education.

English language requirement

All applicants applying for the EdD programme must demonstrate that they are competent in the use of English language and satisfy the University’s requirements. You will need to provide evidence of your level of English proficiency.

  • IELTS academic 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component), or
  • TOEFL iBT 100 (with L 21 R 21 W 21 and S 23), or
  • PTE Academic 69 (with minimum scores of 61 in each component).

*We do not accept MyBest Scores of TOEFL iBT or a combination of test scores taken at different times for any accepted English proficiency tests.

Please note this is only valid for two years from the test report date to the start date of the programme. If you are unsure about the requirements or which test scores are accepted, please contact the Admissions Team at for clarification.

English language exemption requirements

You will qualify for an exemption from the English language requirement if one of the following applies to you:

  • You are a national of a majority English-speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration;
  • You have completed, or are completing, a degree at XJTLU or in the following countries or territories (excluding Chinese joint-venture programmes): Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the British Overseas Territories, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the UK, or the USA.

Please note this exemption is only valid for two years from the date of the degree award to the start date of the doctoral programme.

Apply Online


For September 2024 entry, the application deadline is 15 June 2024.


We encourage you to prepare the application by yourself and submit the application via our online application system.

After submitting your EdD application successfully, you will receive an acknowledgement email from If you do not receive the confirmation email or experience any difficulties during the online application process, please email us with specific details of the problem.

If you need to provide additional supporting documents after submitting the application, please send the documents to (with your application ID, name, and applied programme name).


Make sure you have prepared the following supporting documents to upload onto the application system. All documents should be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation. Please note that the size limit for each document is 2MB.

Required documents:

– University degree certificates (both Master’s and bachelor’s);

– Verification report of degree certificates (for Chinese students only, both Master’s and bachelor’s);

  • An online verification report of higher education qualification certificates from China Higher Education Student Information if the degree was obtained from a Chinese university
  • A certification from the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange if the degree was obtained abroad or in Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Macao

– Full academic transcripts of university studies and grading system (both Master’s and bachelor’s);

– Certificates of English language qualifications (IELTS or equivalent);

– Personal statement: Applicants should provide a 1,200-1,500-word statement summarising the research concentration they would like to conduct if admitted to the EdD programme and how they believe the programme would enhance their professional development;

– Curriculum vitae (CV) including information about education, work experiences, projects, research outputs, awards, etc.;

– Two formal reference letters: one academic and one professional. The reference letters must bear the official letterhead of your referee’s workplace and their handwritten signature. The letter should be recently issued and serve the purpose of your EdD application;

– A copy of your national ID card (for Chinese students only), or copies of your passport information page and Mainland travel permit (for Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan students only), or a copy of your passport information page (for international students only).

Please note that XJTLU reserves the right to request additional documents to assess your academic qualifications for the programme.


You can always log into the application system’s Self Service Centre to track your application status and accept/decline an offer.


Places are limited on our EdD Programme, so we ask offer holders to pay a non-refundable deposit of RMB10,000 to secure a place (subject to meeting any offer conditions). Your deposit payment also demonstrates your commitment to XJTLU and helps us plan our resources to ensure you have the best possible experience when you arrive at XJTLU.

The deposit is payable when you confirm the acceptance of your unconditional offer. Please refer to your offer for specific information regarding the payment of your deposit, which will be deducted from your first year’s tuition fee.

We recommend you pay your deposit as soon as possible. Failure to make the deposit payment by the specified deadline on your offer will result in the withdrawal of the offer, and it will not be reinstated under any circumstances.


The deposit can only be refunded in the following circumstances:

  • If the University is unable to provide the original academic programme applied for, offered, and accepted.
  • If you fail to meet one or more academic conditions, subject to the provision of evidence of relevant examination results and/or final transcript.
  • If you fail to attain the required English language qualification, subject to the provision of evidence that you have attempted and failed the English language test after the date that your conditional offer was issued.
  • If your visa application is refused or rejected, subject to the provision of evidence that you have applied for and been refused a visa (international applicant only).

If you are eligible for the deposit refund, you shall submit the deposit refund request via email at The deadline for submitting the refund request is 15 September 2024. Late submissions will not be accepted.


If you have already paid your deposit and then decided to defer your offer, please email us at (with your application ID, programme and reason for deferral).

The deadline for submitting a deferral request is Thursday, 25 July 2024. Late submissions will not be accepted. If your deferral request is approved, normally, you will be contacted before the application deadline of the subsequent entry to confirm your enrolment decision.

Your deposit will be carried over to count towards your deferred offer. You can only defer your offer once.