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The Professional Doctorate in Social Practice has been designed to provide those who work in the broad area of the public, private and independent sector professions an opportunity to study part-time for a doctorate.
This professional doctorate is a part-time modular programme. The programme of study can best be viewed as a single research project that is developed in stages.
These fields of study have been drawn together by commonalties in:
- the philosophy of public and social professions
- the particular view of the nature of professional doctorates and professional development
- the structure for carrying out research and completing the doctorate
- the way in which the professional doctorate is assessed.
What you’ll study
This course will provide you with an opportunity to explore both the complex relationships between knowledge, theory and practice, and also the intricate nexus of understanding the world and changing it.
You’ll develop the ability to design and implement a research project at the boundaries of knowledge of your professional and educational fields and you’ll have an opportunity to develop your judgement, foresight and problem analysis by applying theoretical and philosophically tuned forensic skills to the research material derived from their investigations.
Throughout the course you’ll develop as both a reflective and reflexive practitioner who has the intellectual and personal adaptability to be able to deal with the complexities of organisational change and ambiguity. You’ll also have an opportunity to develop communication skills which enables you to communicate effectively with both academics and practitioners from the world of education and the communities in which people live, and to act as mediators between the constituencies involved.
In order to meet these aims the programme of study has been structured around the process of research.
In structuring the programme of study upon the axis of research it is apparent that as well as empirical forms of inquiry within the field of social science, research may take the form of reading, hermeneutic and philosophical forms of investigation. A number of theoretical frameworks in which research is conducted will be unfolded through the taught elements of the professional doctorate programme of study. Within the context of research, you will be expected to develop your understanding of particular subjects pertinent to your own research projects as an integral element of the enquiry process rather than being taught particular subjects within the programme. You are expected to gain further knowledge of subjects pertinent to your research through guided reading and discussion.
If you successfully complete the first four modules and wish to terminate your studies you will normally be eligible for an MPhil award. The final module, comprising a thesis and critical reflections on reflexive changes in knowledge derived from your own study will be examined by viva voce examination.
To obtain a Doctor of Social Practice (D. Soc. Prac.) you must pass all six stages of the programme (360 credit points at D level). The programme of research is concluded with a viva voce examination based on your thesis and critical reflections and reflexivity regarding changes in knowledge and / or methodology and / or the self, mediated by the process of research.
To obtain an M.Phil. you must pass all four modules normally presented in first two years of the course (240 credit points at D level).
Careers and employability
There are a range of careers and career development opportunities which can result from this course. For example, the ability to be able to work with an organisation to effect transformational change. Personal and professional development and an ability to contribute to professional practice would also be part of the programme.