A master's degree in an appropriate subject and a suitable workplace environment to support the professional research and development project. Applicants are subject to interview. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.
Months of entry
Why take this course?
The Professional Doctorate is an alternative pathway to a doctorate qualification. It is a rigorous programme of advanced study and research, designed specifically to meet the needs of commerce, industry and professional groups and is the professionally oriented counterpart to the more theoretical PhD. It enables you to study a specific subject to the same depth as PhD students, but also to apply learning to your professional practice.
What will I experience?
The Faculty of Science offers a suite of Professional Doctorates. You will be supervised by experienced researcher-practitioners with extensive applied experience.
On this course you will:
- Gain advanced research skills through the completion of a doctoral level programme of research
- Be supervised by staff who have a wealth of experience in research and applied practice in sport, exercise and health science
- Develop advanced ethical, communication, and consultancy competencies in applied sport, exercise and health science practice
What opportunities might it lead to?
On a personal level, successful completion of the Professional Doctorate will offer personal fulfilment, professional development, career enhancement and encourage reflective practice.
The programme enhances personal development planning for continuing professional development. It encourages an advanced level of critical, analytical, debating and publishing skills, plus knowledge of the range of different research methods encountered in professional practice. Further to this, you will have the opportunity to research, with appropriate supervision, a professional issue/topic to generate findings and/or implications for the improvement of you own, or others delivery of that profession. As such, the benefits of the qualification extend to the broader organisation and profession.
Across many organisations (e.g. professional bodies for sport, exercise and health; NHS), a Professional Doctorate is now viewed as a necessary academic qualification for attaining higher level posts.
This is a part-time course, which has been specifically designed so that it can be available to sport, exercise and health professionals from all over the country, to fit with the demands of full-time employment. The course structure is only offered in a part-time mode and is divided into two parts:
This is the taught component of the programme, which will equip you with the skills you will need in preparation for Part 2. Part 1 consists of four units:
- Professional Review and Development
- Advanced Research Techniques
- Publication and Dissemination
- Proposal for Professional Research and Development
Attendance for Part 1 will be in six study blocks of three days duration spread over two academic years. Typically, you will be required to attend the University for up to 18 days for the whole of Part 1.
This is the research and professional development component. It comprises one or two pieces of practice-based research, linked with a commentary demonstrating the relevance of the research to both practice and the practitioner. The nature of this study may include pure basic research or applied research related, for example, to a management or educational setting. This should normally take between 24 and 48 months to complete. Attendance for Part 2 will only be required for tutorials, seminars and oral presentations.
Assessment will be by a thesis, an oral presentation and a viva voce examination.
The University offers Accreditation for Prior Learning (APL), for applicants with previous learning experience and other academic achievement, which could be taken into account for some of the units of study. Claims will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
You will be assigned one or more university supervisors, depending on the area of research and professional development. Access to specialist advisors in the workplace will be required for Part 2 of the programme and will vary according to the area of investigation. We have excellent support systems for our Professional Doctorate students and you will be assigned a Personal Tutor for Part 1 as well as two Supervisors for Part 2 of the course.
There are further opportunities to attend Research Seminars and Workshops organised by the University’s Graduate School.
The Professional Doctorate consists of coursework and research and is credit based. The coursework component will build on professional expertise by exposing you to challenging and innovative ideas in your field.
Assessment is by coursework including preparation of an article for publication, a research proposal, and oral presentations. This should normally take 24 months to complete.
The programme is predominantly work-based and the activities will benefit your workplace/profession. The decision to support an individual on this programme recognises their importance to the organisation and the projects undertaken should allow your organisation to develop new processes and procedures that will be of benefit to the workplace. We would also expect this course to be appealing to those interested in pursuing a career in academia (i.e. research, lecturing) in addition to, or as a potential option, to applied practice in the domain of sport, exercise and health science.
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Research Team - Faculty of Science
- 023 9284 2994