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 Health Studies taught modules introduce a range of social science perspectives and methodologies in order to explore the contemporary importance of health, medicine and health care organization policy and practice, and how these interact with social capital, economic and material environments, public services and positive community well-being. Research-based and critical understanding in relation key aspects of community, well-being, health, illness and medical sociology are promoted. Different approaches for examining how health care systems are organized and to the causes of health and ill-health are explored, particularly in relation to inclusion and exclusion, social identities, and the local and global environment.
The other distinctive pathways within the professional doctorate scheme are:
- Doctor of Education (EdD)
- Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
- Doctor of Social and Public Policy (SPPD)