Doctor of

Social Practice

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  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate research
  • Study mode(s): Part-time (day)
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: January 2019
  • Course duration: 8 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

The Professional Doctorate in Social Practice has been designed to provide those who work in the broad area of the public, private and independent sector professions an opportunity to study part-time for a doctorate.

This professional doctorate is a part-time modular programme. The programme of study can best be viewed as a single research project that is developed in stages.

These fields of study have been drawn together by commonalties in:

  • the philosophy of public and social professions
  • the particular view of the nature of professional doctorates and professional development
  • the structure for carrying out research and completing the doctorate
  • the way in which the professional doctorate is assessed.

What you'll study

This course will provide you with an opportunity to explore both the complex relationships between knowledge, theory and practice, and also the intricate nexus of understanding the world and changing it.

You'll develop the ability to design and implement a research project at the boundaries of knowledge of your professional and educational fields and you'll have an opportunity to develop your judgement, foresight and problem analysis by applying theoretical and philosophically tuned forensic skills to the research material derived from their investigations.

Throughout the course you'll develop as both a reflective and reflexive practitioner who has the intellectual and personal adaptability to be able to deal with the complexities of organisational change and ambiguity. You'll also have an opportunity to develop communication skills which enables you to communicate effectively with both academics and practitioners from the world of education and the communities in which people live, and to act as mediators between the constituencies involved.

Research focus

In order to meet these aims the programme of study has been structured around the process of research.

In structuring the programme of study upon the axis of research it is apparent that as well as empirical forms of inquiry within the field of social science, research may take the form of reading, hermeneutic and philosophical forms of investigation. A number of theoretical frameworks in which research is conducted will be unfolded through the taught elements of the professional doctorate programme of study. Within the context of research, you will be expected to develop your understanding of particular subjects pertinent to your own research projects as an integral element of the enquiry process rather than being taught particular subjects within the programme. You are expected to gain further knowledge of subjects pertinent to your research through guided reading and discussion.

If you successfully complete the first four modules and wish to terminate your studies you will normally be eligible for an MPhil award. The final module, comprising a thesis and critical reflections on reflexive changes in knowledge derived from your own study will be examined by viva voce examination.

To obtain a Doctor of Social Practice (D. Soc. Prac.) you must pass all six stages of the programme (360 credit points at D level). The programme of research is concluded with a viva voce examination based on your thesis and critical reflections and reflexivity regarding changes in knowledge and / or methodology and / or the self, mediated by the process of research.

To obtain an M.Phil. you must pass all four modules normally presented in first two years of the course (240 credit points at D level).

  • Course modules

    You will undertake the following research workshops comprising six stages of your research project for the award of a professional doctorate in your chosen field. There are no optional modules.

    • Research workshop one: Introduction: Research questions, aims and initial review of the literature (20 credit points at D level)
    • Research workshop two: Critical literature review (100 credit points at D level)
    • Research workshop three: Research methods in social practice (60 credit points at D level)
    • Research workshop four: Designing and using research methods to complement the research in the preceding module concerning social practice (60 credit points at D level)
    • Research workshop five: Thesis: Critical Reflection and Reflexivity (120 credit points at D level)

Develop the ability to design and implement a research project at the boundaries of knowledge of your professional and educational fields.

How you’re taught

The Graduate School is committed to enhancing the quality of experience by providing a learning and teaching framework that supports independent and lifelong learners. Learning and teaching approaches are diverse and continually monitored and developed to take account of new research, external reports and through staff development.

Assessment methods

You will need to:

  • Create six formal documents that are presented as logical stages of the whole research project.
  • Partake in discussions concerning the development of your research.
  • Deliver group presentations with individual individual assessment.

We use diagnostic and formative feedback to support you in your ability to recognise strengths and weaknesses in your own research, and to negotiate targets for developing your study. All summative assessment is used to establish the level of achievement at the end of each document.

Careers and employability

There are a range of careers and career development opportunities which can result from this course. For example, the ability to be able to work with an organisation to effect transformational change. Personal and professional development and an ability to contribute to professional practice would also be part of the programme.

Develop as both a reflective and reflexive practitioner

Entry requirements

  • A Masters-level qualification in an appropriate subject
  • Or other recognised equivalent qualification
  • Two academic references
  • And / or evidence of motivation and ability to conduct research at higher degree level.

As you’re applying for a Research degree, you will need to submit a statement about the subject you wish to research. Please see our Graduate School pages for more information about this.

Getting in touch

For more information, please contact the Graduate School Administrator by email or telephone +44 (0)115 848 8154

  • A Masters-level qualification in an appropriate subject
  • Or other recognised equivalent qualification
  • Two academic references
  • And / or evidence of motivation and ability to conduct research at higher degree level.

As you’re applying for a Research degree, you will need to submit a statement about the subject you wish to research. Please see our Graduate School pages for more information about this.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.

If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Getting in touch

For more information, please contact the Graduate School Administrator by email or telephone +44 (0)115 848 8154

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Most of our postgraduate and professional courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can.

To apply for this course you'll need to complete and application form, produce a research proposal, provide appropriate references and then submit your application to the Graduate School. Further information can be found on the Graduate School pages.

As you’re applying for a Research degree, you may like to have a look around our Research pages. This may help you to spot academic staff, research areas or projects that interest you.

Writing your application
Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

Keeping up to date
After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

For more information, please contact the Graduate School Administrator by email or telephone +44 (0)115 848 8154

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Most of our postgraduate and professional courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can.

To apply for this course you'll need to complete and application form, produce a research proposal, provide appropriate references and then submit your application to the Graduate School. Further information can be found on the Graduate School pages.

As you’re applying for a Research degree, you may like to have a look around our Research pages. This may help you to spot academic staff, research areas or projects that interest you.

Writing your application
Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

Keeping up to date
After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

For more information, please contact the Graduate School Administrator by email or telephone +44 (0)115 848 8154

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

You can find information about fees and funding for Research students here.

You can find information about fees and funding for Research students here.

Information on how to pay your fees to the University please visit our international fee payment page.

Still need help?

Graduate School Administrator
+44 (0)115 848 8154