Doctorate of Professional Practice

1. Overview

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).

Download the DPP sheet for course comparison

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

Download a PDF of this course

DPP Summary Flyer

2. What you will study

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.

  • Assessment

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

3. How you will learn

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.

4. Entry Requirements

This course is available to UK and international 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.

5. Course Fees

For Academic Year 2016/2017

UK/EU Students

  • £3,160 per academic year

International Students

  • £7,320 per academic year

For Academic Year 2015/2016

UK/EU Students

  • £3,040 per academic year

International Students

  • £7,050 per academic year

For Academic Year 2014/2015

UK/EU Students

  • £2,940 per academic year

International Students

  • £6820 per academic year

For Academic Year 2013/2014

UK/EU Students

  • £2850 per academic year

International Students

  • £6610 per academic year

For Academic Year 2012/2013

UK/EU Students

  • £2745 per academic year

International Students

  • £6375 per academic year

For Academic Year 2011/2012

All Students

  • £2676 year


Course fees are reviewed periodically and so are subject to change for new applicants. All tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in your offer letter. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

For further information see Student Finance pages


6. How to apply

All applications should be made via the University's application form for research students.

Completed application forms should be accompanied by:

  • Two academic references
  • A transcript or mark sheet for all graduate qualifications
  • A draft research proposal, or at least a short summary to indicate the potential area of research (Refer to Section 8 of the Application Form)
  • For applicants whose first language or language of university education is not English - Certificate of English language competency score of IELTS 6.5 in each of the four test components (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking). Students who can demonstrate successful completion of tertiary (university or college) studies in a country whose national language is English, may be exempted from this requirement

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Start Date


Course Length

5 years

Mode of Attendance


  1. Andy Brown - Doctorate in Professional Practice

    Andy Brown - Doctorate in Professional Practice

    "I have no doubt that the outcome of my research will not only benefit policing within the UK, but also law enforcement globally" Read more about his experiences of studying at RGU.

    Chief Inspector Andy Brown