Taught course

Social Services Management

University of Essex · School of Health and Social Care

Entry requirements

Our Professional Doctorates are only open to UK applicants (except for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology).

· You need to be registered with a UK regulatory body (where appropriate)

· You should also be currently employed in management, practice or education, or in a senior position in a health or social care organisation, and possess a Masters qualification (or equivalent)

· A Masters qualification (or equivalent)

· Employment in a senior position within a health or social care organisation

To make a full application, you will need to:

· complete the University's online application form

· provide two academic references

· provide academic transcripts/certificates

· provide a language certificate (if relevant)

· provide a 500-word personal statement

· attach a 300-word description of your clinical practice (for clinical programmes) or your managerial responsibilities (for management programmes)

Months of entry


Course content

A Professional Doctorate is a specialist qualification that is appropriate if you are in, or are aspiring to, a senior professional appointment in practice, education or management in health or social care. It demonstrates your ability to perform at the level of 'expert' within your area of specialisation.

The aim of the course is to provide a unified approach to theory and practice within a professional context, so your learning is structured to allow you to develop your skills both in the workplace and within the university environment.

Depending on your individual circumstances, your study can be undertaken over 5 years (with an additional period of completion of up to 1 year, if required). During this time, you will prepare two portfolios which chronical your development of expert practice in your workplace. In tandem, you also study taught modules at the University of Essex which provide you with the expertise in qualitative, statistical and other research methods required for researching healthcare.

Your own interests, experiences, and needs determine a great deal about how your course is structured, and what areas you focus on. A key part of demonstrating your expertise in your specialist area is the development of a 40,000-word dissertation on a relevant topic. Within the School we offer guidance and supervision in a wide range of areas which include amongst others:

  • Analysis of large scale surveys
  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Children with special educational needs
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Consumerism and consumption in health care
  • Health-related social movements
  • Health-related stigma
  • Health services research
  • Housing and health
  • How life events and conditions influence health
  • Mental health services
  • The third sector and health care provision
  • Political economy of health care
  • Public health management
  • Public health practice and policy
  • Qualitative methods
  • Quantitative methodologies and analysis of large-scale datasets (panel and cohort studies)
  • Service evaluation and development
  • Social epidemiology and health inequalities
  • Social inequality and health
  • Social organisation of health care
  • Understanding and application of research in health settings

You will have regular one-to-one meetings with your supervisor to develop your research topics and plan, and to discuss progress on your research. A full list of research interests can be found on our staff pages.

At the end of your time with us, you will have a qualification which demonstrate you to be a true expert in your field.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • ProfDoc
    part time
    60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions