Research (6 years part-time)
Duration: 6 years part-time
For application deadlines visit our how to apply page.
This programme is for health or social care practitioners with postgraduate qualifications who want to research a policy or practice issue that’s relevant to their area of work and use the findings to influence the way things are done.
The Professional Doctorate in Health and Social Care (DProfHSC) provides an opportunity to plan and undertake doctoral research with the aim of developing an area of professional practice and make an original contribution to existing knowledge.
The DProfHSC is undertaken in two stages. In Stage 1 you will undertake four 30 credit Level 7 modules, including:
During the structured first stage of the programme, you’ll develop your research ideas with the help of an academic advisor. Study days, workshops and online resources provide research training and orientation leading to the submission of a research proposal.
With your proposal formally approved, you’ll then progress to the supervised research stage of your higher-level degree, developing your thesis with support from your supervisors. In stage 2, you must achieve your Confirmation of Registration and your progress will be appraised at Annual Reviews.
Throughout both stages of the programme you are supported by advisers and supervisors who have broad areas of interest in the field of health and social care, along with a range of methodological expertise.
You will also actively engage with the Faculty's and the University's research training and activities, including conferences, seminar programmes, invited speakers and much more. The programme concludes in the submission of your final thesis and a ‘viva voce’ examination to defend it.
We can support and supervise doctoral students in most areas of health and social care. Please contact us to discuss this further.
The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.
We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.
We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.
Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.
In some cases extra costs known as bench fees will be charged for a postgraduate research degree. These are to cover additional/exceptional costs directly related to a specific research project.
Some examples of these costs are (the list is not exhaustive): equipment hire, access costs to specialist equipment/workshops, volunteer expenses, specialist tissue/cell culture, specialist reagents or materials, specialist software, access to specialist databases, data collection costs, specialist media, recording or digital storage needs.
We charge bench fees in bands. They may apply for every year of your course. These bands are the same for full- and part-time students.
If you have to pay bench fees this will be made clear at your interview, and stated in your offer letter.
For 2021/22 the bench fee bands are:
Part time: £1,000
Full time: £1,800
You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us. Find out more about paying your fees.
For advice on the doctoral loan and other sources of funding, including ARU scholarships, visit our finance guide for postgraduate researchers.
You might also find The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding helpful.
ARU's academic excellence was recognised in 2021, as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), an exercise which assesses the quality of academic research. Sixteen areas of our work were classed as generating world-leading research. The results showed that we're making a significant impact on the societies we live in.
You’ll receive comprehensive postgraduate training and develop transferrable skills that will equip you for your research project and wider career.
These skills include research planning, use of research methods and techniques, development of theoretical concepts, research analysis, conference presentation, academic writing and publishing.
We’ll encourage you to publish articles during your research project and present your findings at conferences, including those we hold here at the University.
Many of our research graduates enhance their careers by using their findings to recommend new policies or pilot new practice, locally or nationally.
If you're interested in finding out more about research study opportunities, please email Programme Director Dr Sally Goldspink at [email protected]
For entry into the Professional Doctorate, applicants are normally expected to hold a Masters degree and be working in or able to access a professional practice setting in which to carry out their research. Exceptions are considered on an individual basis, where applicants can demonstrate evidence of postgraduate study or publications suitable to prepare them for doctoral level study.
If English is not your first language, you’ll also need a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent.
You'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.
Studying during COVID-19
Due to national restrictions all universities in England, including ARU, are only able to provide face to face access to research resources in limited circumstances where access can be justified under movement restrictions. Visit our restrictions page for details. All assessments and supervision are currently conducted online.
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and related Government guidance, your research programme will be framed, wherever possible, to be conducted away from campus and in line with movement restrictions. For some types of research attendance on campus will be essential for some activities, and these activities will need to be undertaken in a COVID-19 safe manner in line with our risk management procedures.
In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place within the UK due to the pandemic, we may need all of our researchers to work online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.
We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.
If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.
Part-time research ()
Part-time research ()
Part-time research (6 years)
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