Doctorate On Campus

Social and Public Policy

Cardiff University

60 months
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The professional doctorate in Social and Public Policy, from Cardiff University, is aimed at managers and a wide range of practitioners who are experienced and who are working at senior and middle levels of their professions and organisations. It offers the opportunity to examine contemporary leading theories and research evidence, and to apply these within the professional context.


The professional doctorate in Social and Public Policy, from Cardiff University, is a part-time doctoral research degree. It is fully equivalent to the PhD, but substantially different from it in that it is strongly professionally oriented, focussing on ‘applied’ rather than ‘pure’ research.

While the PhD generally prepares candidates for a research-based career, the professional doctorate is a more in-service orientated degree, addressing the career needs of practising professionals, particularly those in or who aspire to senior positions within their professions. The linkages between research-based knowledge and its application in a wide range of professional settings are central to this doctorate.


The SPPD taught modules are designed to respond to the developmental needs and interests of those employed within UK regional government and local authorities, as well as research institutions (both statutory and independent) with a professional interest in social and public policy. 

The modules prepare students to make informed judgements on complex issues such as the successful construction and operation of ‘multi-level’ and ‘inclusive’ governance and its implications for policy-making; negotiating the requirements of equal opportunities legislation; and administration responsibilities in public policy settings. The modules draw on a range of theoretical perspectives and explore empirical studies that relate to the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Programme Structure

Core modules

  • Changing Modes of Professionalism
  • Research Design
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research Methods

Specialist modules

  • Citizenship and Social Policy
  • Evaluation: Developing and Evaluating Interventions in Complex Social Systems

Key information


  • Part-time
    • 60 months

Start dates & application deadlines


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
First Class

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Personal statement
  • Research proposal 
  • an indicative title for the proposed study
  • a brief summary of research that has already been undertaken in the field, addressing key relevant literature and research, and demonstrating engagement with a diverse range of sources
  • a statement of the aims of the proposed research within the context of 2 above
  • potential specific research questions to be addressed by the study, ideally no more than two or three
  • an outline of the proposed research design and methodology, including information on prospective research access, sampling, and methods of data collection - try to include a plan for a three-year timetable
  • an indicative bibliography.

Tuition Fee

Tuition fees status is determined during the processing of applications, so we are unable to confirm this in advance or advise on fees status decisions.

Living costs for Cardiff

628 - 1066 GBP /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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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Social and Public Policy
Cardiff University


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