Professional Doctorate via Study Centres DProf

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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 synthesize diverse ideas.

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The Professional Doctorate is the same level of academic qualification as a PhD (level 8) and is designed for experienced professionals who wish to undertake a programme that is applied in nature and of practical value to their career.

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. The programme also incorporates 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.

This programme is also available on campus at Sunderland and our London base.

University of Sunderland DBA and DProf Programmes at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) in Kingston, Jamaica

The University of Sunderland is pleased to offer DBA and DProf programmes at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC), an institution of higher education with academic programmes accredited to postgraduate level, by the University Council of Jamaica. University of Sunderland academic staff will visit Kingston, Jamaica to deliver the first stage of the course at UCC. In addition, qualified UCC faculty members will collaborate with University of Sunderland Directors of Study in supervising the research of doctoral candidates.

Why us?

  • A doctorate is one of the most internationally transferable qualifications
  • The first 18 months of the programme has a taught element and is designed to prepare you for the working and thinking at a doctoral level
  • The remainder of the programme is research only based when you will work with a supervisory team of academic staff (research phase)
  • We're ranked 2nd in the UK for students’ overall satisfaction with their research degree programme according to the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey 2018

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 together with a portfolio of supporting evidence (totalling 80,000 words) 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.

Modules include:

1 to 6 months:

  • Framing Professional Identity (30 credits)
  • Practice-based Research (30 credits)

7 to 12 months:

  • Planning And Contextualisation (60 credits)

13 to 18 months:

  • Practice-based Research 2 (30 credits)
  • Critical Debate in Professional Practice (30 credits)

19 to 72 months - research phase

  • Professional Doctorate (360 credits)


This course is taught at our partner institution UCC Jamaica.

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.

If English is not your first language, you will need an 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).

We will assess your application and research proposal to make a decision on whether to offer you a place using the following criteria:

Professional Doctorate research proposal

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

  • Aims of your doctoral project
  • Project's relevance to your workplace and profession
  • Proposed methodology and techniques for analysis
  • Outline of a potential research plan

Personal statement

You must write your personal statement (included in the application form) addressing the following points:

  • 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

Along with your application form, you must upload the following documents:

  • Research proposal
  • Qualification certificates
  • IELTS certificates, if applicable
  • Two references, one of which must be academic

Without all of the above documents, we will not be able make you an offer on this programme.

Fees and finance

Please contact the study centre directly for information on fees for this course:

+1 (876) 906-3000

Use our scholarships calculator to see what you may be entitled to.

Scholarships calculator

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

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