Professional Doctorates

We offer Professional Doctorates in a wide range of specialist areas within health and social care, including:

  • Health care education
  • Social care education
  • Applied psychology
  • Nursing
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Public health (health visiting)
  • Social care practice management
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Health services management
  • Social services management

A Professional Doctorate is a specialist qualification that is appropriate if you are in, or aspiring to, a senior professional appointment in practice, education or management in health or social care.

To successfully complete the course, you will need to demonstrate unification, at the highest level, of theory and practice within a professional context. Such a qualification assesses your ability to perform at the level of 'expert' within your chosen field.

  • Course structure

    You can study our Professional Doctorates flexibly between four and seven years. Decisions about the duration of the study period are based on individual need and funded support. The course comprises three elements:

    Taught modules

    You complete a research methods module to underpin subsequent research activities. At this stage you are also guided in selecting further modules to meet identified deficits within your knowledge base.

    In year one you complete the online module, HS945 Research methods. You also attend approximately six Professional Doctorate study days at our Colchester Campus which provide face-to-face support for Research methods, offer research workshops and provide portfolio development sessions.

    In year two you are required to attend weekly taught sessions. Everyone is required to undertake HS947 Theory and method in health research and then you have to choose between HS927 Statistical analysis and HS948 Qualitative research methods depending on your research focus.

    Work-based learning

    You create two portfolios of learning chronicling the development of expert practice. The portfolios are constructed from the specialist application of generic outcomes in areas such as risk and diagnostic reasoning. Portfolios are submitted at the end of year one and year two.

    Original research through doctoral level dissertation

    You undertake a dissertation of 40,000 words on a subject relevant to your specialist area of practice.

  • Funding your course

    There are many different ways that you could fund your Professional Doctorate, however, the fees that you pay are not dependent on this. For full details of the fees for your specific Professional Doctorate, please see our main University postgraduate tuition fees.

  • How to apply

    In order to study one of our Professional Doctorates you need to provide evidence of the following:

    • current registration with a UK regulatory body where appropriate
    • current employment in management, practice or education as appropriate
    • a Masters qualification (or equivalent)
    • employment in a senior position within a health or social care organisation in the UK

    Application letters

    To help you with your application we have provided a letter reminding you of the information required to make your full application. Below is also a referee letter for you to complete and provide to your referees.

    Application requirements

    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)
    • attach a 300-word description of:
      • Your clinical practice (for clinical programmes)
      • Your managerial responsibilities (for management programmes)

    Once we have received your signed and completed application form as well as the above required documentation, we will write to confirm if you have been successful in gaining a place.

    Application deadline

    Applications for the 2016 intake will close on 26 August 2016. All supporting documents must be received by this date for your application to be considered.

For further information, please contact:

Dr Peter J. Martin / Claire Wicks

Professional Doctorate Lead / Graduate Administrator

School of Health and Human Sciences

University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park

Colchester CO4 3SQ

Telephone +44 (0)1206 873375

Fax +44 (0)1206 873765