Professional Doctorate in Health and Social Care Disciplines
The University of Portsmouth was one of the first institutions to respond to the rapid changes within the healthcare professions by offering a Professional Doctorate in Health and Social Care Disciplines programme. This programme started in October 2000, and has been highly successful in its delivery to health and social care professionals. The Faculty of Science offers seven healthcare routes at doctorate level:
- Doctorate in Biomedical Science (DBMS)
- Doctorate in Chiropractic (DChiro)
- Doctorate in Health Science (DHealthSci)
- Doctorate in Medical Imaging (DMedImg)
- Doctorate in Nursing (DNursing)
- Doctorate in Pharmacy (DPharm)
- Doctorate in Social Work (DSW)
These routes are taught together and this enables students in each cohort to benefit from the experience of others and provides a unique inter-professional learning environment.
An alternative to a doctorate qualification
The Professional Doctorate is an alternative pathway to a doctorate qualification. It is a rigorous programme of advanced study and research, designed specifically to meet the needs of industry and professional groups and is the professionally oriented counterpart to the more theoretical PhD. It enables students to study a specific subject to the same depth as PhD students, but also allows them to apply learning to their professional practice.
Professional doctorates are not new qualifications. They have been awarded since medieval times in professions such as law, medicine and theology. In fact, it is the PhD that is relatively recent, being introduced in this country only in the nineteenth century as a qualification for a subsequent academic career.
Open to a wide range of professionals
The Professional Doctorate is open to a wide range of health and social care professionals, who have an active interest in practice-based research and professional practice issues, wish to attain the highest level of professional and academic achievement and develop their career within the health and social care arena.
It will provide a framework for the demonstration and development of advanced professional knowledge and skills.
Relevance and application of the research to the professional environment will be a pivotal feature of the programme and reflection on practice will be integral to the learning process.
The Professional Doctorate is recognised internationally as a qualification granted to those who have reached the highest level of professional and academic achievement in their field of endeavour.
On a personal level, the Professional Doctorate will offer personal fulfilment, professional development, career enhancement and encourage reflective practice.
The programme aims to enhance personal development planning for continuing professional development and encourage an advanced level of critical, analytical, debating and publishing skills, and will provide a knowledge of the range of different research methods encountered in professional practice.
Within the National Health Service (NHS) a Professional Doctorate is now being seen as an essential academic qualification for attaining Advanced Practitioner and Consultant grade posts within the NHS Agenda for Change career framework.
Benefits to the workplace
The programme is predominantly work-based and the activities should benefit the practitioner's workplace. The decision to support an individual on this programme recognises their importance to the organisation. Through the projects undertaken it allows organisations to develop new processes and procedures that will be of benefit to the workplace.
The University also offers a Professional Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA)