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Sport, Exercise and Health Science Prof Doc

Key information

Study mode and duration
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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 commerce, industry and professional groups and is the professionally-oriented counterpart to the more theoretical PhD. It enables you to study a specific subject to the same depth as PhD students, but also to apply learning to your professional practice.

What you'll experience

The Faculty of Science and Health offers a suite of Professional Doctorates. You will be supervised by experienced researcher-practitioners with extensive applied experience.

On this course you will:

  • Gain advanced research skills through the completion of a doctoral level programme of research
  • Be supervised by staff who have a wealth of experience in research and applied practice in sport, exercise and health science
  • Develop advanced ethical, communication, and consultancy competencies in applied sport, exercise and health science practice

Benefits of a Prof Doc in Sport, Exercise & Health Science

A professional doctorate is a desirable qualification for those working in areas such as the NHS, Physiotherapy, Sport Science and Strength and Conditioning 

This programme encourages advanced analytical and critical thinking, while enhancing in-depth appreciation of research skills and how these are applied into the workplace. The development of this key knowledge will assist in enhancing policies and practices within your chosen profession. 

On a personal level, the aim is for you to gain personal fulfilment whilst undertaking career professional development (CPD) and enhancement.

Structure and teaching

This is a part-time course, which has been specifically designed so that it can be available to sport, exercise and health professionals from all over the world, to fit with the demands of full-time employment.

The course is only offered in a part-time mode and requires you to achieve 540 credits. These credits would be made up from three core units (420 credits), with the remaining 120 credits coming from a compatible MSc, professional qualification and/or professional experience, that will be accredited through the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning process. Claims will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Years 1 to 2 will comprise two taught units (Unit 1 - Publication and Dissemination; Unit 2 - Proposal for Professional Research and Development), which will equip you with the skills required for the remainder of the course. Attendance of these units will be taught over 1 academic year, either the first or second year of study. Two of the modules have a classroom element which requires attendance in the first year (three 3-day teaching blocks). Assessments will be through a presentation and course work.

Years 2 to 6 are dedicated to the Professional Research and Development Project unit, with attendance for consisting of tutorials, seminars and oral presentations. This unit comprises one or two pieces of practice-based research, linked with a commentary demonstrating the relevance of the research to both practice and the practitioner. The nature of this study may include pure basic research or applied research related, for example, to a management or educational setting. This should normally take between 24 and 48 months to complete. Assessment will be by a thesis, an oral presentation and a viva voce examination.

Core and optional units include:

  • Proposal for Professional Research and Development Project
  • Publication and Dissemination
  • Professional Research and Development Project

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Teaching and assessment

You will be assigned one or more university supervisors, depending on the area of research and professional development. Access to specialist advisors in the workplace will be required for Part 2 of the programme and will vary according to the area of investigation. We have excellent support systems for our Professional Doctorate students and you will be assigned a Personal Tutor for Part 1 as well as two Supervisors for Part 2 of the course.

There are further opportunities to attend Research Seminars and Workshops organised by the University's Graduate School.

Entry requirements

A master's degree in an appropriate subject and a suitable workplace environment to support the professional research and development project. All applicants will be invited to attend an interview.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Tuition fees

2024 (part time)

  • Home/CI students: £3,400 p/a*
  • EU students: £3,400 p/a* (including Transition Scholarship)
  • International students: £9,050 p/a*

*All fees are subject to annual increase

This course is eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.

Tuition fees terms and conditions


Before you start your application, you'll need to have the following documentation ready:

  • A personal statement
  • Proof of your first degree and grades (officially certified and translated copies if not in English)
  • Proof of a relevant postgraduate degree with at least 60 credits having been completed
  • Details of 2 referees or 2 references on official headed paper, one of which should ideally be an academic reference
  • Proof of your English language proficiency (if English is not your first language)
  • An up-to-date copy of your CV

Then use the relevant application form below:

2024 start

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