Professional Doctorate DProf

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Study for a doctoral qualification based on your professional role. Reflect on contemporary issues in the workplace.

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The Professional Doctorate is the same level of academic qualification as a PhD, and is designed for experienced professionals who wish to undertake a programme that is applied in nature and of practical value to their career.

Explore the link between issues in the professional practice with relevant academic theory, and apply this to the critical investigation of problems, the creation of solutions and the introduction of change within the workplace. Develop pragmatic solutions by gaining a wider perspective to issues within the professional role, and draw theory from different academic disciplines to synthesise diverse ideas.

The programme recognises that real world problems inhabit a space that is dynamic, multi-faceted and complex, and acknowledges this reality by adopting a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary approach to reflect the professional world.
It allows you to understand the concept of self-reflection, critical reflective practice, and research methodology, with a practical approach to addressing workplace issues and making a distinctive contribution to the profession.


Why us?

  • A doctorate is one of the most internationally transferable qualifications
  • The first eighteen months of the programme are designed to prepare you for the working and thinking at a doctoral level
  • We're ranked 2nd in the UK for students’ overall satisfaction with their research degree programme according to the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey 2018

Entry requirements

The normal entry requirement for a research degree is a UK honours degree (first or upper second class) or a UK Masters degree or a qualification which is regarded as equivalent. We will consider candidates with other qualifications, looking at evidence of academic ability such as published work.

If English is not your first language, you will need a British Council International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall score of 6.5, with at least 6.0 in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking (or equivalent).

DProf research proposal

You will be asked to write a 2-3 page research proposal that specifies the:

  • Aims of your doctoral project
  • Project’s relevance to your workplace and profession
  • Proposed methodology and techniques for analysis
  • Provisional time plan

We will assess your application and make our decision on whether to offer you a place using the following criteria and you should write your application statement with these in mind:

  • Your professional experience and standing
  • The recognition by your peers as a leading professional in your field
  • The level at which you are operating within your organisation or profession and the extent to which you can provide significant influence or drive substantial change
  • The opportunity that you have to make a significant contribution to professional practice and/or how you exhibit your powers of creativity and innovation
  • Whether the area of study will is aligned with the University’s portfolio and curriculum and how you could make a contribution to these
  • The capacity and expertise of supervisory provision

Fees and finance

Tuition fees for UK/EU candidates

  • On-campus, part-time: £3,980 per year

Tuition fees for international candidates

  • Annual fee: £7,660 per year

We charge annual fees while you are studying and researching for your degree. These costs vary depending on whether you are a candidate from the UK/EU or from a country outside the EU.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

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Course structure

Following successful completion of all five modules, you will work independently on your chosen research topic with support from your academic supervisors. During this phase of the programme, you will have the opportunity to attend a series of optional study days that cover a variety of topics to help you with your studies.
The final submission for the Professional Doctorate is either a report (usually between 20,000 and 30,000 words), together with a portfolio of supporting evidence, or a thesis which will normally be around 80,000 words. The exact nature of your submission is decided in discussion with your Director of Studies. All candidates must also undergo a viva voce examination.

Studying ‘Critical Reflective Practice’ and ‘Practice-based Research 1’ will help you identify the professional community on which you will base your research and explore different approaches to undertaking your chosen project. Modules like ‘Planning and Contextualisation’ will support you in developing a clear research plan.

Modules covered in year two, include: ‘Critical Debate in Professional Practice’ and ‘Practice-based Research 2’ and will guide you in the development of a good academic literature review and the methodology you intend to adopt.

At the end of the teaching modules, you will have developed academic writing skills, built a working relationship with your academic supervisors and developed a strong interdisciplinary peer group of fellow students.