A Professional Doctorate is a specialist qualification that is appropriate if you are in, or are aspiring to, a senior professional appointment in practice, education or management in health or social care. It demonstrates your ability to perform at the level of 'expert' within your area of specialisation.
The aim of the course is to provide a unified approach to theory and practice within a professional context, so your learning is structured to allow you to develop your skills both in the workplace and within the university environment.
Depending on your individual circumstances, your study can be undertaken over the course of between 4 and 7 years. During this time, you will prepare two portfolios which chronical your development of expert practice in your workplace. In tandem, you also study taught modules at the University of Essex which provide you with the expertise in qualitative, statistical and other research methods required for researching healthcare.
Your own interests, experiences, and needs determine a great deal about how your course is structured, and what areas you focus on. A key part of demonstrating your expertise in your specialist area is the development of a 40,000-word dissertation on a relevant topic. Within the School we offer guidance and supervision in a wide range of areas which include amongst others:
Analysis of large scale surveys
Child and adolescent mental health
Children with special educational needs
Clinical decision making
Cognitive behavioural therapy
Cross-cultural mental health
Evaluation of psychological treatments
How life events and conditions influence health
Mental health services
The third sector and health care provision
Post-trauma responses/stress disorder/growth
Quantitative methodologies and analysis of large-scale datasets (panel and cohort studies)
Service evaluation and development
Social inequality and health
Understanding and application of research in health settings
You will have regular one-to-one meetings with your supervisor to develop your research topics and plan, and to discuss progress on your research.
You can apply until:
Always verify the dates on the programme website.
You can study our Professional Doctorates flexibly between four and seven years. Decisions about the duration of the study period are based on individual need, professional commitments and funded support.
Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current first-year students, including details of all optional modules.
Postgraduate Research Methods
Taught modules underpin your research activities and meet identified deficits within your knowledge base
Create two portfolios of learning chronicling the development of expert practice
Portfolios are constructed from the specialist application of generic outcomes in areas such as risk and diagnostic reasoning
Portfolios are submitted at the end of year one and year two
Undertake a dissertation of 40,000 words on a subject relevant to your specialist area of practice
You need the following IELTS score:
The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.Take IELTS test
StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more
Current registration with a UK regulatory body where appropriate
Current employment in management, practice or education as appropriate
A Masters qualification (or equivalent)
Employment in a senior position within a health or social care organisation /ul>
StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
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