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Professional Doctorate (Health and Social Care)

Course Description

This programme has been developed in collaboration with in-service professionals along the key themes of education for:

• Personal strategies for practice development
• Creative decision-making and risk-taking
• Developing presence, influence and political know-how
• Evidence-based practice and research skills

The taught component is two years part-time and is concerned with critical self-assessment and the identification and development of strategies for use in the practice area. The research component is three years part-time, building on the taught component to develop evidence-based practice and introduce innovative strategies in all areas of professional practice.

Key benefits:

• Promotes an evaluative culture in your workplace to complement professional and organisational goals
• Helps you utilise an evidence-based approach to all dimensions of your practice
• Develops your leadership capability, critical and creative thinking and self-awareness

Visit the website: http://www.salford.ac.uk/pgt-courses/professional-doctorate-health-and-social-care

Suitable for

Health and social care professionals working at senior levels who have responsibility for the development of
evidence-based professional practice.

Programme details

Professional Doctorates are as rigorous as traditional PhDs but are different in focus. A traditional PhD subject can be relatively fixed, in terms of what is researched. A Professional Doctorate is more variable and adaptable to change due to developments in your profession. This is because the Professional Doctorate is linked intrinsically to your workplace.

The doctorate has run very successfully for eight years. It comprises two years taught modules which you must pass to progress onto a further three years research component during which, you write up your thesis.

During the research component you independently undertake PhD level research study, supervised by two experienced academics. Although the Professional Doctorate programme is housed within the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Care we have supervisors from across the Health & Social Care College. We have experts in child psychology, social care, public health, occupational therapy, radiography, physiotherapy to supervise your own area of expert knowledge.


The first two years of the course are modular, with facilitated content, designed to help you refine and develop your initial research ideas. The latter three years are part-time also, focused upon the research element, and there are key milestones at the end of each year within the research element. The thesis is between 40,000- 60,000 words long and you have a viva.

This course is very flexible; with two years part-time of facilitated modules which you use to frame, explore and refine your initial research question. For example, you will use the modules to explore general philosophical and methodological ideas, examine what is known about your topic, what your research will contribute to new knowledge; best methods for undertaking the research and, critically, learn about the leadership skills you will need to lead research in practice.

All the modules are facilitated using blended learning. For example within each module there are face to face sessions led by a module facilitator. In addition specific learning activities for each module will be developed using the virtual learning environment ‘Blackboard’ and the virtual doctorate learning environment (VLS). Both enable greater flexibility about the when and where of learning, and enables you to keep in contact with your peers and the programme team, wherever they have internet access.

Module titles

• Doctoral Foundation
• Research Methods


Within the professional doctorate the assessment processes have been developed to enable you to critically interrogate, analyse, and reflect on your research ideas, demonstrating your ability to take account of professional and methodological issues. The assessments are designed to enable confident articulation and robust exploration, justification and defense of research ideas in keeping with the principles of the doctoral viva.

With this in mind assessment processes comprise:

• Essays
• Seminars
• Verbal presentations
• You are expected to engage in critical self assessment and personal/professional development planning as a basis for developing the skills associated with doctoral level study and the leadership of research in professional practice.

Career potential

You will make a significant contribution to professional practice with transferable skills to your clinical area. You will also
study inter-professionally with peers in a collaborative environment, strengthening networking opportunities across health
and social care disciplines.

How to apply: http://www.salford.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/applying

Visit the Professional Doctorate (Health and Social Care) page on the University of Salford website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Doctors with MBBS, MBChB or equivalent, BSc (Hons) graduates with an appropriate health care degree.Prospective students will usually be required to have achieved a 2.1 Honours Degree, but consideration will be given to students with a 2.2 Honours Degree with appropriate experience and satisfactory references.

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