A directed study mode is being added to the doctor of education (EdD) programme offered by the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) to allow students to tailor the programme to their specific interests and needs. 'The advantage is that people coming from a particular professional background will be able to have an individualised programme, provided that we have the matching expertise,' said Bob Adamson, director of graduate programmes, HKIEd. 'They won't have to fit into a class. They can be assigned an individual tutor.' The EdD was launched in 2007. It differs from a PhD, which is aimed at generating new knowledge through research. While PhDs attract students wanting to teach and do research at the tertiary educational level, the EdD is targeted more at school principals, administrators, serving teachers and government officials. 'The main area of concern is practical application,' Professor Adamson said. The EdD consists of 72 credit points. It can usually be completed within three to five years of full-time study or four to seven years of part-time study. Classes, which are held at HKIEd's campus in Tai Po, are scheduled on week days and/or Saturdays. The programme is divided into three stages: foundation, applied and autonomous. Each stage begins with threshold levels that have clearly defined learning outcomes. There are both research and coursework components. Comprising 30 credit points, the master of education (MEd) is targeted at educators and professionals working for schools, community organisations, educational publishers and related bodies. It aims to integrate their past experience with the latest insights in theory, practice and leadership. This is a taught programme focusing mostly on coursework. Some specialisations require either a dissertation or a major project. 'A new feature for the 2009/2010 academic year is that students can do a double specialisation,' Professor Adamson said. 'Previously, they took two core courses, four specialisations and four electives. With the double specialisation, they can do two sets of specialisations in addition to the two core courses.' Students can also opt for a generalist route in educational studies. The programme can be completed in one to four years. Attending two three-hour sessions per week, students studying part-time usually take two years to finish the programme. Classes are held on week day evenings and/or Saturdays. Students studying full-time can usually finish in one year. Classes are held on week days, week day evenings and/or Saturdays. There is also a master of arts in teaching English as an international language (MATEIL). It is targeted at practising English teachers who have a university degree but need to upgrade their qualifications while gaining insight into the latest theories and best practice in order to advance their careers. The programme comprises eight core modules along with a field experience component. Classes are held on week day evenings and/or Saturdays. Taking two three-hour classes per week, students studying part-time can complete the programme in two years. Studying full-time, they can complete it in one year. Mixed or blended modes are also offered. Two other master's programmes will be offered next year: an MA in teaching Chinese as an international language and an MA Chinese studies.