Professional Doctorate

  • Campus

    Intensive study days will normally take place at the Paisley campus.


    A minimum of 4 years and usually no more than 6 years.

    Entry Requirements

    Normally, a Masters degree from a UK, or equivalent, university, in a relevant subject area. In addition, applicants will be expected to have significant professional experience and operating at a level within their profession where they can drive change, have the opportunity to make a contribution to practice and/or exhibit powers of creativity and innovation.


    You will be awarded a DProf in your relevant professional discipline e.g. DProf in Civil Engineering, DProf in Nursing or DProf in Education.


    Part-time, blended learning, intensive study days (four weekends -Thursday evening to Saturday afternoon) per academic year.

  • UWS is delighted to announce the launch of its innovative, blended learning, part time Professional Doctorate (DProf). This programme combines the art and science of professional practice and the concept of reflective practice with relevant academic theory helping you to apply this to the investigation/exploration of problems. You will be encouraged to create solutions and introduce change within your workplace. This Doctoral level programme has a focus on professional practice and because it is work focused there is no interruption to your earning power. The DProf is interdisciplinary, and recognises that real world professional practice problems are dynamic and complex. The programme will facilitate an investigation into the contemporary issues facing your profession and to make a contribution to professional knowledge that is applied and practical in nature.

    The DProf allows you to develop transferable skills in advanced applied research as well as in-depth expertise specifically related to your profession. Equally important, you will develop your sense of self-worth and confidence. You will also become a reflective practitioner, and improve your career prospects and job satisfaction which will also be of benefit to your workplace in terms of organisational and succession planning.

    • Aim and Outcomes

      The educational aims for the UWS Professional Doctorate are:


      • To make a significant and original contribution to knowledge related to a professional background that meets intellectual and career aspirations; 
      • To provide opportunities for professional development and career enhancement that will contribute to organisational and succession planning in the workplace; 
      • To make a significant and original contribution to knowledge related to a professional background that meets career aspirations; 
      • To draw together concepts of self–reflection and reflexivity, reflective practice, the nature of professions and the researching professional in order to make a difference to the profession; 
      • To acknowledge the need for professionals to engage in higher professional development, to critically reflect on their practice and to develop and apply transferable skills and competencies in order to gain a higher qualification.


    • Structure
      The UWS Professional Doctorate structure comprises a taught element and an applied research element. The taught/directed element, is delivered through blended learning and to the whole cohort, and is formally assessed. There are also four intensive face to face weekends per academic year. The intensive weekends will normally commence on Thursday evening with a keynote speaker and continue to Saturday afternoon. There will be opportunities for small group tutorials, one-to-one supervision and e-learning support as well as the opportunity to work with groups of colleagues with similar interests/backgrounds. The time expected to obtain the DProf is between 4-6 years part-time study.

      The first year of the programme offers two taught modules: ‘Critical Professional Reflection’ and Research Theory and Design’. In the second year there is on module over the academic year - ‘Situated Professional Inquiry’. All the modules are delivered at doctoral level (SCQF- Level 12) and will comprise developing academic writing skills and reflective practice, developing a robust research proposal and sound ethical applications as well as an in-depth and critical understanding of research theory and methods. At all times you will be working in an interdisciplinary peer group of candidates (community of practice).

      From the second year you will begin to build a working relationship with your academic research supervisors who will guide and support you with your chosen research topic. You will continue to attend intensive weekend study days.

      The final submission for the DProf is an applied research study (subsequently taken over a period of 4 years) and comprises a significant research study culminating in the production of a thesis of no more than 50,000 words or a written report (not normally more than 20,000 words) accompanied by a portfolio of supporting evidence to be defended in an oral examination. On successful completion of both components you will be awarded a DProf.

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