Taught course

Doctorate in Professional Practice

University of Derby · College of Business, Law and Social Sciences
DBA by taught

Entry requirements

You should have a Masters degree in a relevant field, although we will consider a good first degree instead of a Masters. You should also have at least three years’ professional experience. If English is not your first language, you may need to provide the minimum English qualification: IELTS level 6.5 (with no less than 6 in each component) by the time of entry. IELTS may not be needed if you have already obtained your degree in the UK or in an English speaking country (predominantly English speaking professional settings may be considered). Also, if English is not your first language, you may be required to undertake a pre-sessional English course at additional cost to ensure you have a standard of English appropriate to this level of study. If you do not pass this course, you will not be permitted to study on this programme. All applicants will be interviewed and an entry decision made - involving two academic staff members in the process - on the basis of your application, educational level obtained, interview and professional experience. Prior to entry, you are invited to discuss the programme, and alternative doctoral study options, with the programme leader to ensure your study best suits your personal, professional and career aspirations. With the aim of providing you with quality supervision, your proposed research area will be considered against the staffing complement, to ensure that your area(s) of expertise can be catered for. It is programme policy to confirm that an appropriate support package exists at the point of entry. To enhance your supervision package, we can facilitate supervision across other Schools in the University (as opposed to being restricted to one). APL may be permitted under the University regulations, and at the Programme Leader’s discretion. However, the completion of module assessments produces vital materials for the independent research phase (literature review, methodology) and so APL is not advised. If you wish to transfer from another institution, you may be considered for APL.

Months of entry

January, May

Course content

The Doctorate in Professional Practice is designed to expertly and comprehensively support you as a professional in your work setting or occupation.

The programme seeks to admit highly capable individuals, able to demonstrate motivation, interest and aptitude for doctoral-level study within either the broadly defined areas of business, computing and law, or within specific professional areas which include:

  • talent development
  • supply chain management
  • logistics and transportation
  • understanding and transforming the customer experience
  • evaluation
  • low carbon management.

Whether you wish to study to advance your career or professional development, or as a personal challenge, the programme provides an opportunity to situate your professional knowledge in a theoretical framework.

As well as directly improving your professional practice, this programme may also allow you to bring even more value to your organisation, resulting in organisational or policy-related change.

You will be able to conceptualise, design and undertake a research project in professional practice, acquiring a comprehensive understanding of research methodologies and aspects of conducting research upon practice.

You will be able to synthesise data and communicate your ideas and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

The support system provided by tutors, supervisors and mentors is considered pivotal. Mentors may be assigned to help you in terms of your research methodology, subject area, profession or sector.

Support can be provided face-to-face on campus, where you will be able to discuss your studies in a quiet office environment, or over coffee in one of our campus cafés.

Tutoring, supervision and mentoring can also be conducted online; this may appeal if you live a distance from Derby, or have difficulty attending meetings, for example, due to work commitments.

Our well-stocked library helps you find the learning materials you need, whether in paper or electronic form - books and journals are also available online, easily accessible any time of day and from anywhere.

As a student with us, you will also be able to gain SCONUL access, allowing you to use and borrow books at the majority of university libraries throughout the UK and Ireland.

Fees and funding

UK students
£3,500 per year
International students
£3,500 per year

Please see our website for the latest fees information.

Qualification and course duration

DBA by taught

part time
36-72 months

Course contact details

College of Business
+44 (0)1332 591896