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.
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:
- Policy Analysis: Concepts and Theories
- Public Management and Governance
- Dynamics of International Social Policy
- Research Design and Methods
- Proposal for Research in Public Policy or Management
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.