Professional Doctorates (also known as PhDs by practice, taught PhDs and industrial PhDs), are professional alternatives to the standard academic PhD.
Both will get you the title “Dr” at the end – but they’re not the same qualification. A PhD is a research-based doctoral programme which usually involves little or no taught element and is academic in nature. The aim of Professional Doctorates is to produce a qualification which, whilst being equivalent in status to a PhD, is more appropriate for those pursuing professional careers.
There are generally two types of Professional Doctorate. One type is for professional registration (if you wanted to work in dentistry, for example, you may need a Professional Doctorate to be able to register as a professional) and the other for professional development.
Professional Doctorates combine both taught and research components and, just like an academic PhD, you’re expected to make an original contribution to your industry of expertise.
A Professional Doctorate can take from 2-5 years full-time and 3-8 years part-time. Entry requirements will vary between institutions but if English isn’t your first language, then you’ll need a recognised English language qualification.
Some commonly known Professional Doctorates include the Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA), Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy), Doctorate of Education (EdD), Doctor of Engineering (EngD), Doctorate in Pharmacy (DPharm), and Doctor of Psychology (PsyD).