The professional doctorate is a part-time doctoral research degree. It is fully equivalent to the PhD, but substantially different from it in that it is strongly professionally oriented, focussing on ‘applied’ rather than ‘pure’ research.
While the PhD generally prepares candidates for a research-based career, the professional doctorate is a more in-service orientated degree, addressing the career needs of practising professionals, particularly those in or who aspire to senior positions within their professions. The linkages between research-based knowledge and its application in a wide range of professional settings are central to this doctorate.
We offer an integrated professional doctorate scheme within which education, health, social work and social policy professionals engage together in integrated learning for some of the taught modules. This unique inter-professional learning allows you to reflect on what is shared across professional boundaries and what is distinctive to their own occupational traditions.
Above all, a professional doctorate is an opportunity to examine contemporary leading theories and research evidence, and to apply these within the professional context.
The social work taught modules facilitate considered reflection on social work practice. Cutting-edge debates about what constitutes good practice, as well as strategies for undertaking research in social work contexts inform the modules. Contemporary debates about the politics of social work; anti-discriminatory practice; evidence-based and reflective practice; social work theory; social work ethics and values, and changing legislation in Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are covered. It is recognised that many candidates will be managers or teachers of social work practice rather than practitioners and module assessment reflects this.
The other distinctive pathways within the professional doctorate scheme are:
- Doctor of Education (EdD)
- Doctor of Health Studies (DHS)
- Doctor of Social and Public Policy (SPPD).