Course Overview Course Overview

It is designed so that health and social care professionals can advance their applied research skills, and demonstrate an original contribution to knowledge in their practice. Thus it supports both the professional and their work place to build research capacity and evidence based practice through original research or the original application of existing knowledge or understanding.


The ProfD aims to enable practitioners to advance their knowledge to develop their practice through:

  • Critical evaluation and enquiry of current professional health and social sciences literature, policies and practice in an innovative and substantive manner.
  • Ongoing critical evaluation and reflection on personal and professional development both in individual practice and in the context of their professional arena.
  • Implementation of effectively detailed knowledge of a significant range of research methods and advanced academic enquiry to conceptualise and design a research study for the generation of new knowledge at the forefront of their practice.
  • Effective project management to undertake a high quality research project which contributes to professional knowledge bases; health and social science practice and/or service improvement.
  • Original research and advanced autonomous scholarship to make an original contribution to practice knowledge that extends the forefront of the discipline and merits publication.

The programme supports practitioners to research professional, social, or organisational issues of relevance to them as a professional and their organisation.

Course Structure:

Students will acquire competency as an independent researcher; to design and conduct research and to disseminate the outcomes to others in their field.

The programme structure of taught and independent elements allows students to draw on the range of experiences of fellow-students and the staff team in a mutually supportive environment.

The ProfD HaSC is part time and contains taught study blocks in years 1-2, supported by independent study, whilst years 3-5 are based on a supervised research project.