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Doctorate for Professional Practice

Course Description

Comparable with a PhD, the Doctorate of Professional Practice is a 5 year, part time programme designed to be integrated within a number of professions in the Health and Social Care domain.

This course differs in that the research is contextualised within your respective profession (Social Work, Pharmacy, Forensic and Biomedical Sciences, Nursing and Midwifery, Radiography, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy).

The first two years comprise taught modules followed by a three year research project. that will enable you to:
•Combine professional practice with academic enquiry
•Integrate theory with practice to promote professional change
•Undertake personal and professional development within an inter-professional context
•Develop advanced research skills and knowledge in the theory and practice of your own field
•Pursue original research in areas directly related to your work

Years 1 & 2
•Applied Research Methods

Designed to familiarise you with research philosophy and the range of methodological approaches that exist, including the use of evidence to support research, research governance, and management of a research project.

•Skills for Research

To demonstrate application of key skills required to collect, analyse and present data within a defined professional context.

•Creating Impact in Professional Practice

Leadership theory is discussed in the context of the various professional perspectives and the implantation of change is discussed with action learning methodologies.

•Subject Specific Module Selection

You will enhance your knowledge base by selecting from the university's wide range of distance learning modules such as clinical practice, management, accounting and communication.

•Research Process and Critical Analysis

In this module, you will explore the concepts of critical writing, reading, analysis and evaluation of a research area with a view to developing your own research project.

Modules 1, 2 and 4 require a one week residential period at the university.

Years 3 - 5
•Research Project

This takes place over 3 years (minimum of 2 years - maximum 4 years) and may take the form of one project or several published articles which are linked and have an overarching summary demonstrating their integration. You will have a work place and a University based supervisor and there will be additional optional workshops to supplement your training needs.


The final assessment is via a portfolio comprising the specific assessments from the modules, the final project submission and an oral examination.

The course module assessments are designed to maximise engagement of the taught topics with your own professional practice experience. The practical nature of the course helps to not only integrate the learning experience but ensures that employers assessing doctoral graduates match key outputs relating to their work-based activities.

Visit the Doctorate for Professional Practice page on the Robert Gordon University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

This course in only available to UK students. You should have a first or upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, and/or relevant equivalent professional qualifications or experience along with a letter of support from your employer. All applicants, for whom English is not their first language, must provide evidence of linguistic ability, by either gaining IELTS 6.5 or equivalent in TOEFL, prior to receiving an unconditional offer of a place on the course.

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