DProf Doctorate in Professional Practice

Year of entry: 2021

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Degree awarded
3 Years Full Time, 6 Years Part Time
Entry requirements
We require applicants to hold a Masters degree in the relevant discipline with a Merit or above classification.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
You should apply online as soon as possible once applications open.

If you wish to be considered for Doctorate in Professional Practice and meet our eligibility criteria, you must complete an online application to apply for this programme.  

Ensure you include all required supporting documents at the time of submission, or this may delay the processing of your application. 

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Programme overview

The Doctorate in Professional Practice (Pharmacy/Social Work/Nursing/Midwifery/Speech and Language Therapy/Audiology) at the University of Manchester equips registered practitioners with a systematic understanding of a substantial body of knowledge in order to contribute to professional knowledge in health and social care disciplines. The programme recognises and further enhances student's prior grounding in applied research from their professional training.  The programme supports students to develop qualities and transferable skills for applied practice.

Open days

Attending an open day is a great way to find out what undertaking postgraduate research at Manchester is like. Find out about our upcoming open days .


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2021, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): Standard TBC, Low £9,000, Medium £16,000, High £21,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): Standard £24,500, Low £25,500, Medium £32,500, High £37,500

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Contact details

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Contact name
FBMH Admissions
+44 (0)161 275 5608
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Programmes in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require applicants to hold a Masters degree in the relevant discipline with a Merit or above classification.

English language

For applicants whose first language is not English, or if you have not studied recently in the UK, you  must  supply an official IELTS or TOEFL transcript to support your application, or provide a date on which you will be taking a test. Please note IELTS and TOEFL are only valid for two years.

If your IELTS or TOEFL expires before the start of your programme, you will need to take another official English test before we can issue you with a CAS for your visa application. This is a requirement of UKVI.

We require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall or TOEFL (iBT) 90 or GCSE English grade C.

Each component of the English test should meet the minimum requirement of IELTS 6.0 in all components or 22 in TOEFL (iBT).

For more information about English language tests see  English language requirements .

Please contact us at  admissions.doctoralacademy@manchester.ac.uk  for further information.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Professional entry qualification

You should have Professional Registration/accreditation as appropriate.

Application and selection

How to apply

You should apply online as soon as possible once applications open.

If you wish to be considered for Doctorate in Professional Practice and meet our eligibility criteria, you must complete an online application to apply for this programme.  

Ensure you include all required supporting documents at the time of submission, or this may delay the processing of your application. 

Advice to applicants

In addition to the formal online application, you should send all supporting documents (Brief Professional CV, Identified training needs relevant to the project, Research proposal, transcripts, certificates, Letter of support from employer/line manager, English language ability (if applicable) and references).

About the Research Proposal  

The doctorate research proposal should consist of:

  • Background summary (1500 words)
  • Research proposal (1500 words) to include aims and hypotheses, methodology (sample to be accessed, measures suitable, ethical considerations), and description of proposed analysis.
  • Impact (300 words)
  • Lay summary (300 words).

About the Portfolio of Evidence

You must present a portfolio of evidence / an evidence library of approximately 5,000 words that demonstrates that you are working at level 8 (doctoral level professional work) (APEL equivalent to 30 credits).

Interview requirements

If shortlisted you will be invited to formal interview where you will be required to present your research idea to a panel including those who would be suitable supervisors.  Interview and selection will be made on the basis of academic merit and promise.  


If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.  In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved.  We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen programme.

Programme details

Programme description

Programme Aims

The Doctorate in Professional Practice programme aims to provide you with the opportunity to:

  • Create and interpret new knowledge, through original research or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication;
  • Systematically acquire and understand a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of the professional discipline;
  • Develop the general ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems;
  • Develop qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations, in professional environments.

Programme learning outcomes

At the end of the Doctorate in Professional Practice programme successful graduates are expected to be able to:

  • Make informed judgements on complex issues in their specialist field, often in the absence of complete data;
  • Communicate their ideas and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • Undertake applied research and development at an advanced level, contributing to the development of new techniques, ideas or approaches;
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry.
  • Demonstrate the ability to lead innovation and / or specialist and educational services within their field to develop practice.

Special features

Training and development

All of our postgraduate research students attend the Doctoral Academy Training Programme delivered by the Centre for Academic and Researcher Development (CARD).

The programme provides key transferable skills in areas such as commercial awareness, academic writing and public engagement. This training equips our postgraduates with the tools to progress beyond their research degree into influential positions within academia, industry, health services and consultancy.

See the  training and development  page for more information.

Teaching and learning

Teaching will be based on individual learner needs. You will develop a bespoke training plan with your supervisor at the start of the programme. Teaching will be accessible from the Doctoral Academy training programme, MRes Health and Social Care and/or relevant units from across the School of Health Sciences, or wider UoM as appropriate. The teaching is designed so as to enable you to balance study alongside existing workplace demands; with the majority of the taught content delivered online.

Teaching aims to provide grounding in embedding advanced research methods in applied clinical practice. Significant independent study is expected at doctoral level. All teaching is delivered by experienced researchers and academics at The University of Manchester. All supervisors are currently practicing in a professional discipline and/or active researchers. This enhance your learning by offering multidisciplinary applied research and professional experience.

Face to face teaching is interactive and is supported by audio-visual stimuli such as PowerPoint slides, images and videos. All units are accessible via our virtual learning environment which contains course information, recommended reading lists, assignments, lecture materials and other material related to the course.  Lecturers may set tasks to be completed via the virtual learning environment. This facilitates shared learning and networking with peers/teaching staff.

Coursework and assessment

A range of assessment methods are employed in the programme to meet the learning outcomes whilst also developing wider skills and capabilities.

You will be required to complete:

  • completion of relevant training (e.g. 30 credits from MRes Health and Social Care)
  • continuation report
  • final written thesis (50-65,000 words, dependent upon discipline requirements)
  • viva examination

You will be required to take the lead on developing the research question, proposal, conducting the data collection, analysis and dissemination. You will be supervised and mentored throughout the research project. All research projects are subject to University Ethical Approval protocols and require attendance at an ethics committee meeting. Supervisors, or a nominated representative, may also attend this meeting.

You will be given detailed formal feedback from their supervisors, with clear guidance on how to improve on skills and knowledge.

There may be additional summative assignments required from the taught units selected by students. Details of specific assessments for each unit are contained in the unit specifications. Units available to will be contained in the programme handbook. Assessments are conducted in line with University guidance.

What our students say

Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the  Doctoral Academy Blog .


You will have access to a range of research and learning facilities across the University and at some of our partner organisations.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk