Postgraduate Course
Available for September start

Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 4 years

UK fee

£3,200 per year (2024/25)

International fee

£3,200 per year (2024/25)

Course level




Start date




Preparing you professionally

This course aims to prepare health professionals, in practice or in academia, and leaders in the health and social care professions with research and research project management skills to take a leading role with the development of practice or the development of services within defined professional areas.

Setting you apart from other professionals in the area, it will enhance your ability to influence practice and prepare you for more senior roles in nursing, health and social care, or higher education.

With our Doctorate in Health and Social Care Practice, you can tailor your qualification to your own interests and develop as a clinical and professional leader in your field. In addition, you’ll improve your knowledge and understanding of a range of research and enquiry methodologies and skills related to your profession.

The following research specialisms are available:

Contribute to Original Research

By completing the research aspect of this course, you will be able to make an original contribution or application of knowledge to your specialist field. This will help you to lead on the development of services and professional practice, and will be directly relevant to your career.

This course is closely mapped against the nursing, health and social care sector. This ensures that our curriculum is up to date, providing you with the assurance that your learning is current and relevant. This does mean that we do have to respond to national changes such as government policy. As a result, some of the information about our courses may evolve in the light of progress.

View the student journey through the DPrac

Our programme lead for the Doctorate in Health and Social Care Practice, Dr Alan Williams talks about the course.

Find out more about the online Doctorate in Health and Social Care Practice course

View the online Doctorate in Health and Social Care Practice course video transcript

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What you will study

To complete the DPrac Health and Social Care Practice, you will need to undertake the postgraduate taught (PGT) phase which entails two x 60 credit modules. This is followed by the postgraduate research (PGR) phase of your doctoral studies where you will complete the 420 credit Independent Scholarship by working closely with your director of studies and supervisor to complete your research project.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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How you will learn

This course is taught and facilitated by leading academics who use a variety of flexible learning strategies to help you to reach your full potential.

The postgraduate taught (PGT) phase will be delivered online using the University’s virtual learning environment (VLE). All material will be available at the start of each trimester with a schedule so you can plan to attend synchronous sessions (e.g. webinars). Throughout the module there will be activities to complete and interaction between your peers and academic staff on the VLE. You are encouraged to join scheduled webinars (though they are recorded and are available to all students should it not always be possible to join live). In addition to your programme leader, you will have support from a module tutor and module leader during the taught phase.

The postgraduate research (PGR) phase of your programme / studies is where you will be allocated a director of studies and a second supervisor, so you’ll be supported at every stage by a team with expert knowledge. You will develop and complete your research project under your supervisors' guidance and then complete your thesis and viva voce (the oral examination, commonly referred to as a viva).

You’ll also join one of our research groups, which will help you to develop your research interests and skills and provide you with an opportunity to network and share interests with other professionals working in your field of expertise.

Pace of study

This programme is only available part-time online and can be completed in four years. To achieve your Professional Doctorate, you will need to complete two 60-credit modules in year one and year two and an Independent Scholarship (420 credits) in year three and four, with a maximum registration period of eight years.

The academic year is made up of three 10-week terms, known as trimesters. The postgraduate taught 60-credit modules are therefore taken over the whole academic year and we recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete 20-credits per 10-week trimester.

Assessment method

Assessment is through written assignments, writing up projects and research, formal dissemination of your work, a thesis, and a viva voce assessment. This course will enable you to make an original contribution in your specialist field of study and lead the development of services in your workplace.

Who will teach you

Alan Williams standing with hands clasped, wearing a red and white striped shirt

Dr Alan R Williams
Programme leader

Dr Alan R Williams joined the University as Academic Lead in April 2019. He led the online nursing and health portfolio and since August 2022 leads the professional doctorate in the College. Alan is a Registered Nurse (Adult and Mental Health) with over 20 years’ experience in the NHS before moving to academia in 2006 leading pre-registration nursing and health programmes.

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Entry requirements

You should have a Masters or postgraduate award (or equivalent) in an relevant academic field.

You should be registered or accredited as a health professional with regulatory organisation relevant to your practice.

If English is not your first language you must have achieved an IELTS score of at least level 6.5

Your research proposal (title page, aims & objectives, background, definition of research problem, outline of methods & data analysis, possible outcomes, timetable, and possible resources required, references, and if necessary, appendices)

Fees and funding

2024/25 for new entrants

Starting between September 2024 and August 2025.

UK/EU fee: £3,200 per year

International fee: £3,200 per year

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course based on the fee in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

If you are required to undertake any associate study or additional study as a condition of your offer for the programme, please be aware that the cost for this may be in addition to the programme cost stated above.

UK/EU fee: £3,200 per year

International fee: £3,200 per year

Please note that the instalment calendar for this programme is as follows:

Trimester in which course begins Initial payment up front (25%) 2nd payment (25%) due 3rd payment (25%) due 4th payment (25%) due Total payment made (100%)
Autumn Enrolment = £800 1 November = £800 1 February = £800 1 May = £800 £3,200

Please note: that any costs incurred as part of your Research Study are not included within your course fees.

The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

All applications will be reviewed by the University and suitable applicants will be invited to for an interview that will be held on Microsoft Teams.

Documents to support your application.

In order for your application to be assessed, you will need to provide the following documents when you apply:


Undertaking a professional doctorate will help you to grow professionally and personally. You will develop impressive skills in research, analysis, and critical and strategic thinking to help enhance your performance in your work. It may also open further career opportunities for you, where you can lead the discussion. By studying a professional doctorate, you will influence and shape health care practice and become an acknowledged leader in your field.

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