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Course content

The programme has the following exit awards:

- MSc Research in Health Practice (three years)

Overview

The Professional Doctorate in Health is designed for a range of health and social care professionals who are interested in furthering their development as expert practitioners and researchers in practice.

By utilising web-based delivery blended with Summer Schools (typically five days in length), the programme aims to meet the learning needs of busy health and social care practitioners.

During the first two years of study you will complete a series of units covering research methods, evidence based practice, comparative health policy and other topics relevant to research in practice. Throughout the first two years you will also be developing a protocol for your doctoral research project. Unlike the PhD programme, we do not expect you to have a well-developed research protocol before commencing your studies. Your Personal Development Adviser (PDA) will work with you to develop your research plans, before handing over to an academic and practice-based supervisor during the second year.

Programme features:
- Carry out independent research and understand research methods whilst remaining in your practice area.
- Choose your learning style within a flexible environment amongst a multi-professional community.
- Expand your understanding of policy and practice in the context of international healthcare systems and service.

Time required for study:
We recognise that many of our students are in demanding full-time health or social care jobs and the Professional Doctorate in Health programme is designed to be flexible and supportive in order to accommodate these demands. However, you will need to be able to commit at least 15 hours per-week (on average) to your studies, either through study leave or by working during evenings, weekends and holidays.

Transfer to the PhD programme:
If who wish to exit with a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) award, rather than the DHealth (Professional Doctorate in Health) award, then you may apply to do so at the end of the first or second year of study, while retaining the flexible mode of delivery and supervision designed for the Professional Doctorate in Health programme.

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/programmes/prof-doct-in-heal/

Programme structure

This is a flexible programme. You will typically study over four or five years, but may take up to eight years (if required).

Year one:
- Research project preparation and planning
- Introduction to practice based research
- Research design and methods
- Evidence into practice

Year two:
- Research project design and development
- Professional issues in health 1 (policy)
- Professional issues in health 2 (practice)

Year three/four (Doctorate):
- Thesis

View summary table (http://www.bath.ac.uk/health/images/doctorate-in-health-programme-summary.jpg) or Programme & Unit Catalogue (http://www.bath.ac.uk/catalogues/2014-2015/hl/hl-proglist-pg.html#D) for further information.

Learning and teaching

Teaching takes the form of online units, which include resource libraries, access to all of the online journals (held by the University of Bath Library), and a structured series of activities and online discussion boards.

All resources can be accessed through ‘PD Online’ - our bespoke virtual learning environment. You will also be able to submit your assignments on PD Online and communicate directly with staff and your fellow students.

A Summer School is held once a year at the University (most often in September). You will attend one Summer School/Induction during your first year and one Summer School at the beginning of the second year.

Your tutor will provide support for your assignment preparation, as well as learning needs analysis and personal development planning.

The ‘research and thesis’ phase will be supervised by a panel of specialists; comprising a University academic member of staff (to ensure that the work is of a sufficient standard), and a practice-based specialist (to ensure that the work is at the forefront of practice).

Methods of assessment

Assessment consists of a combination of written assignments, literature reviews, research protocols and reflective accounts. There are no written examinations.

You will also produce a portfolio of evidence of application to practice, and have to undertake a face-to-face transfer interview and a final viva.

About the department

The Department’s aims are:

- To develop a research portfolio that is both of the highest academic standard and has applications in the real world
- To build on external links with the public services and other bodies concerned with health and society
- To innovate design and delivery of healthcare services
- To change corporate approaches to healthy organisations
- To support government reform of health and social care provision
- To identify and facilitate opportunities for academic collaboration and new developments.

The Department's postgraduate taught programmes combine academic excellence with flexible and innovative design and delivery; our postgraduate portfolio is distinguished by the provision of a number of Professional Masters and a Professional Doctorate programme designed to be studied part-time by learners working in a wide range of healthcare roles from all around the world. All our postgraduate courses are taught online and this has proved to be one of our unique selling points, with students able to continue within their practice area or working environment whilst gaining a further qualification.

Facilities, equipment, other resources
Sport and exercise science and medical science laboratories. Close links with the English Institute of Sport and the Department of Sports Development and Recreation.

International and industrial links
There are current links with primary care trusts, strategic health authorities, the two hospitals in Bath and colleagues in industry. The Department works closely with esteemed international academic institutions, and individual health practitioners, in order to meet the regional, national and global challenges facing health and social care.

Careers information
Postgraduate research students gain a wealth of experience to assist them with their next step and are offered personal career advice at the University. The Department has an established research training skills programme for all research students. The taught programmes enable students to extend their health and social care career pathways and to build important networks for further professional opportunities.

Find out more about the department here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/health/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/index.html

Visit the Professional Doctorate in Health page on the University of Bath website for more details!

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