Online course details

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Online course description

The highlights

  • The programme is specifically designed to help you undertake research to enhance professional practice for yourself and others. It builds on Derby’s growing research focus on how best to develop professional practice
  • Professional practice can often be a complex, messy and nuanced experience for the practitioner. We have designed the programme to explore innovative research methods that recognise and work with the complexity of practice. We want to equip learners to be able undertake projects like:
    • an ethnographic study of a specific performance sport context and culture
    • an action research project with exercise referral patients to improve long-term health outcomes
    • a case study of a talent development programme looking at the welfare of young athletes
    • exploring the use of reflective practice to enhance patient care in sport therapy practices
  • All the teaching team are either engaged in professional practice or actively researching how it may be enhanced. We have extensive industry links in both professional and publicly funded sports ranging from the board room to the changing room. Our ongoing research in professional practice means we will bring cutting-edge knowledge to the delivery of the programme
  • We have a real depth of understanding of learner experience given that members of the teaching team have undertaken a professional doctorate themselves

An online course for practicing professionals

The Doctorate in Professional Practice (Science and Education) will be online learning. There will be a wealth of resources and study materials hosted in our virtual learning environment and full access to our cloud campus facilities.

You can schedule learning around your professional practice and other life demands covering core content at your own pace. It also means you will be learning in an environment that is most conducive to your learning.

The online nature of the programme makes this a great option for working professionals and international students. Given fellow learners can be drawn from anywhere in the world, this offers you an opportunity to learn alongside a diverse range of fellow professionals. You will engage with the teaching team and fellow students through digital cafes, forums, and virtual workspaces to share ideas, experiences, and insights.

You will also receive regular contact, support and personal tutoring throughout the programme. Tutorial support will be given in both individual and group formats. Tutorial groups will be constructed around topics or methodology to help learners form Communities of Practice. Members of the teaching team are also qualified executive coaches and we will bring that expertise to the design and delivery of individual tutorials and one to one supervision.

Opportunities to visit campus and meet with staff and fellow students will also be built into the programme through block contact opportunities at regular points during the year.

The programme will also include regular online presentations on emerging topics from visiting expert practitioners, writers and researchers in a range of disciplines.

What you will study

The programme is split into a taught phase and an independent research phase.

Taught phase - In this phase learners undertakes two taught modules. These modules will extend their understanding of research methods and philosophy whilst helping them to explore their research topic. This phase is critical in narrowing focus down to a research challenge that can be successfully tackled during the independent research phase. During the taught phase the research question can be revisited and revised on multiple occasions as learners refine their understanding of their topic and research methods. This gives the whole doctoral journey a flexibility that we believe is important for practitioner-researchers.

Independent Research phase - In the independent research phase the learner presents a final research proposal for approval and is then supported in their research by a Director of Studies and second supervisor. Research progresses at the practitioners pace and alongside their on-going practice.

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.

Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Discovering Online Learning Webinar: October 2022

Wednesday, 5 October 2022 15.00 - 16.00

During this hour-long webinar, we'll take you through how online learning works and what you can expect as an online learner with the University of Derby Online Learning.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

† Additional information about your studies

The start date for this course is September 2023.

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