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Course content

This course is for experienced professionals working in various professional contexts. It enables the development of high level skills in the application of research, communication, leadership and consultancy in practice. The professional doctorate is designed to produce professionals who are competent and confident in using their skills to tackle emergent problems in their professional practice, and to develop practice to meet the demands of the 21st century. You will be creating, conceiving, developing and undertaking doctoral projects that require a strong emphasis on individually determined learning and self directed study. The focus of the learning is on collaborative enquiry, shared  learning, individual learning, individual exploration and mutual challenge and support where you and your supervisors relate as professional equals. Emphasis is placed on facilitated learning to enable you to develop detailed, analytical leading edge and lateral ways of thinking that enhance your critical insights into professional and work-based issues.  Autonomy of learning is promoted through registration of a doctoral learning plan devised by you with reference to your own learning requirements.

There are nine doctoral titles available across the University and you select the most appropriate at doctoral research module stage.

Facilitation of learning

Your learning is facilitated through a mix of master class seminar presentations and workshops alongside your colleagues undertaking PhDs. Web-based tools (The Hub and E-Portfolio) are used to facilitate discussion groups online and as a specific learning framework. Summative and formative assessment and discussions maximise opportunities for problem solving, analysis and synthesis of material, project planning and implementation, construction of written reports, reflection and reflective analysis and assimilation and presentation of evidence. Assessment strategies are designed to ensure rigour of academic thinking, and to promote the achievement of your personal and professional goals, augmenting individuals’ experiences and expertise. Normally a cohort of at least six students commences annually. This cohort approach supports doctoral level development, pertinent both to your individual practice and to the wider professional arena.

Teaching hours and attendance

During your initial year of study you will attend QMU for three, one week blocks of study in September, January and April. Further to this, you will meet with your Supervisory Team at least once a semester, but more often monthly, and you will require to undertake a significant amount of independent study. Further study week opportunities are available as you progress. Part-time students should consider carefully how they will achieve this while undertaking their work role.

Links with industry/professional bodies

This is a high-level academic award, extremely relevant to a broad range of arenas across health, business, hospitality, creative industries and social sciences. Doctoral graduates are in a position to investigate and transform professional practice developments. In addition, any work-related project is carried out in conjunction with the student’s work base, ensuring partnership working with all involved, and communication with peers, professional colleagues and policy makers.

Modules

Two work-based learning modules (90 credits each): Theory and Context of Professional Practice/ Development and Evaluation of Professional Practice.

Doctorate Research (60 credits)

You will also complete a thesis (180 credits).

Students enter with ‘advanced standing’, possessing 120 credits from a postgraduate diploma/ master’s award.

Careers

Graduates will already be well established as a professional in their specialist field, but will now have high levels of knowledge and investigative and research skills, which advance practice in professional spheres. The qualification offers you recognition of your expertise and professional standing acknowledged worldwide.

Quick Facts

  • As you choose the focus of your learning within your own professional arena, this course is highly relevant and flexible to your particular context. 
  • The aim of the course is to help you to develop expertise professionally, personally, and in research skills, enabling you to take forward your profession. 
  • This course will give you an internationally recognised high level of qualification. For example: Doctor of Business Administration, Doctor of Social Science, Doctor of Person- Centred Practice.

Visit the Professional Doctorate page on the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh website for more details!

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