Professional Doctorates

What is a Professional Doctorate?

Professional doctorates allow those working in education or faith-based communities to do research that will expand knowledge in their profession and develop their professional practice. The subject areas covered by our four awards reflect a wide variety of subjects and methodological expertise among our staff: Education (EdD), Ministry (DMin)Religion (DRel) and Applied Linguistics (DAppLing).

The programme (delivered at doctoral level throughout) combines four taught modules and the completion of a research thesis. The taught elements of the programme allow a more corporate and collegiate-style of learning than is usually possible when studying for a traditional PhD. We accept new professional doctorate students on the 1st of January each year. We strongly recommend that applicants make their applications as early as possible, and by the 1st November at the latest to meet the January start deadline.

Programme Structure

These programmes are taught part-time over a period of four to six years, and are divided into two stages:

Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2): compulsory taught modules delivered over a four-day teaching block, one in February and one in May, coinciding with local school half-terms:

Module 1: Identifying and articulating issues in professional practice
Module 2: Contextualising issues in professional practice
Module 3: Researching issues in professional practice
Module 4: Influencing and impacting on issues in professional practice

Each module is assessed by a written piece of work of around 8000 words.

Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4): research thesis, a four day residential element once a year and individual supervision from a team of experts.

The thesis is based on an original piece of research and is around 50,000 words.

We offer Professional Doctorates in two of our Academic Schools: the School of Education; and the School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy.

Entry Requirements

The normal minimum entrance qualifications will be related to the chosen award:

  • An upper second-class honours degree (in the humanities or social sciences for DRel and DMin);
  • At least two years of relevant professional experience.

Exceptions are considered on an individual basis, where applicants can demonstrate evidence of postgraduate study or publications suitable to prepare them for doctoral level study.

Language Requirements

If your first language is not English, you need to take an IELTS test of an equivalent qualification accepted by the University.

International Students

International students are admitted through the procedures of the University International Office. As this is a part-time programme, international students will not be eligible for a visa under the Tier 4 regulations. However, they will be able to attend the two annual residentials by applying (where necessary) for a short-term study visa.

If you are living internationally and would be interested in applying for a Professional Doctorate, please contact the International Student Support Team at E: and check our International Webpages.

Fees and Funding

Details of fees, which are revised annually, can be found on our website at Tuition Fees.

For information on available funding check the Funding Advice pages or contact and 01904 87(6939).

You may also find The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding helpful.

How to Apply

All applications are made via our Online Application System. Application guidelines can be found below:

Application Guidelines for Professional Doctorates (PDF, 0.2MB)

Please read these carefully and note the requirement for a personal statement rather than a research proposal.

To apply, please click the 'Professional Doctorates' tab on our Application Links webpage, which will connect you to the relevant online application system.

General queries can be made to: 

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