Student in an engineering lab

Transform your professional practice into a research degree

Find out how you could study for a Professional Doctorate – also known as a 'while-you-work doctorate' – at Portsmouth 

What is a professional doctorate?

Sometimes known as a 'while-you-work doctorate', Professional Doctorates are internationally-recognised qualifications, designed for working professionals in the private and public sectors with an active interest in work-based research.

Unlike a PhD, a professional doctorate is not a pathway towards a career in academia, but an opportunity to combine your professional practice with a research degree. That means you'll complete your doctorate – conducting research relating to your current organisation, and gaining the highest level of skills and knowledge – while continuing your career.

Professional Doctorates involve both text-based study and action research. They're assessed through coursework and a final assessment in the form of a doctoral level, research-based thesis, which also includes a viva voce (oral defence).

See our professional doctorates

Explore our full list of available professional doctorates here.

Fees and funding

The cost of our professional doctorates can be found on the individual doctorate pages – click the course you'd like to study from the list above to see the full-time and part-time costs, for UK, EU and international students.

And to explore the ways in which you can fund your professional doctorate, visit our page on funding your research degree.

How to apply

Before you contact us about any of our professional doctorate courses, you'll need to have the following documentation ready:

  • A personal statement
  • An outline of the research topic
  • Proof of your first degree and grades (officially certified and translated copies if not in English)
  • Details of 2 referees or 2 references on official headed paper, one of which should 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

You can then apply for our Professional Doctorates directly from their respective course pages – choose the relevant course from the list above to start.