Doctor of Public Management DPM

Doctor of Public Management DPM
With this programme you can combine taught courses on public policy, public management and research methods with carrying out a substantial piece of independent, doctoral-level research.

Fact file

Doctor of Public Management DPM
3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent) in any discipline and two years of work experience in a related field
7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
September or January
Other requirements
You will need a research proposal, two academic references and academic transcripts



With this programme, you can combine taught courses on public policy, public management and research methods with carrying out a substantial piece of independent, doctoral-level research.

Professional doctorates are doctoral-level qualifications, equivalent to traditional PhDs. They are rigorous programmes of advanced applied study and research, specifically designed to meet the needs of practising professionals. They provide a framework for the integration of professional expertise and scholarly inquiry to explore specific areas of interest.

This programme provides critical reflection on public sector reforms, including evidence-based policy and practice. It supports creating greater capacity within the public and voluntary sectors to conduct, commission and evaluate research as a contribution to the achievement of public goals.

The School of Sociology and Social Policy undertakes cutting-edge local, national, international and cross-national research through its combination of staff that work within and across the disciplines of sociology, criminology, cultural studies, social and public policy and social work.

By bringing together and synthesising these disciplines around common interests and issues, we produce theoretically innovative and empirically robust knowledge that is valued by the academic community, policymakers, professionals and service providers.

Course structure

This course is flexible and recognises your career commitments and the needs of your employer. It allows you to devise a personal programme to suit your needs, while pursuing your research interests.

You will study 120 credits of taught modules. This typically includes:

  • Leadership, Strategy and Performance in the Public Sector
  • Policy Analysis: Concepts and Theories
  • Proposal for Research in Public Policy or Management
  • Public Management and Governance
  • Research Design and Methods

Exemption from these modules is subject to approval, providing that you hold the required skills and knowledge covered in the modules at an equivalent level, as a result of prior training or experience.

The remaining period of study is spent writing a 60-80,000-word thesis. This should offer an original application of knowledge in the area of public policy and should demonstrate an ability to integrate rigorous academic analysis with practical relevance and application. The thesis should be the result of independent and original research done mainly while registered for this degree.

To facilitate the link with professional practice and your workplace, the thesis may cover up to three discrete but inter-related projects. Where the thesis covers more than one topic, the minimum number of words for each topic is 20,000. You will also need to present a viva voce examination on your thesis.

How to apply

To apply, please complete an online postgraduate application form. You should also submit:

  • your research proposal
  • two academic references
  • academic transcripts
  • English language test results if English is not your first language

Your acceptance into the programme will be based on both academic ability and the availability of suitable supervisors.

The quality of your research proposal is extremely important and is a crucial part of the application process.

We encourage you to apply as early as possible, particularly if you are intending to apply for funding - many applications to scholarships require you to have a firm offer of a place before you can be considered.

Please note that your application will not be considered until we receive all the documents that support your application and due to the large number of applications the school cannot give detailed feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Applicants to whom we may make an offer will be interviewed either in person or by telephone by a prospective supervisor.

Key facts



School facilities

The school provides students with well-equipped work bases, with access to telephone, email and online bibliographic facilities along with access to up to date computing facilities.

Library facilities

The Hallward Library stocks a large number of sociology and social policy related publications and journals. Our library facilities open long hours and include areas for group work, individual, and silent study.

Graduate School

Representing the needs of postgraduate students across the University, the Graduate School provides research training and development for postgraduates and early career researchers.

You will have access to a dedicated space on University Park, which includes computer stations, Wi-Fi, study and social areas, and kitchen facilities.


Research support

Student Services

Student Services provide a range of support and information to enhance your student experience. They are part of a comprehensive network of University services that includes academic and disability support, counselling, financial support and childcare services.

Centre for English Language Education

Accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK, the University's Centre for English Language Education provides high-quality preparation and English language support, as well as a social programme for its students.

Students' Union

The Students' Union is an important source of support with their own Student Advice Centre and dedicated Postgraduate Officer.

Researcher Development Programme

Working closely with academic schools, the Graduate School's dedicated training team contribute to faculty specific and doctoral training programmes. They deliver core training in line with the standards set out by the UK's major research funders through their researcher development programme.


Find a supervisor

You will be assigned two supervisors appropriate to your field. Please make sure that we have a supervisor who shares an interest in your proposed area of research before applying.

The school offers supervision in a wide range of subject areas within public policy and management.


Fees and funding

See information on how to fund your studies, including our step-by-step guide. Further information is available on the school website.

Midlands Graduate School

Nottingham is part of the Midlands Graduate School ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership, which offers funding opportunities for postgraduate students each year.

Government loans for doctoral study

The Government recently introduced doctoral student loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent research programmes. Applicants must ordinarily live in England.

Doctoral training programmes

Linked to research councils, doctoral training programmes offer funding opportunities connected to our research priorities.

International and EU students

Research scholarships are available for outstanding international and EU students. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you'll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.



Recent graduates have pursued careers in a diverse range of fields across the public and private sector, including housing, research, marketing, support work, human resources and journalism.

Employability and average starting salary

96.3% of postgraduates from the School of Sociology and Social Policy who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £27,900 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £31,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

The University's award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.


Get in touch

+44 (0)115 951 5559
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This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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