University of Bath Featured Professional Doctorate Programmes
University of Bath Featured Professional Doctorate Programmes

Professional Doctorate

About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

We offer full-time (three years) and part-time (six years) doctoral training programmes (including PhDs and a Professional Doctorate) in topics or research approaches in which QMU researchers have expertise. You will create a significant piece of original research and, in the process, gain advanced research skills, putting you in a very strong position for progression in your chosen academic or professional field. Our programmes also include an award of a Doctoral Certificate, achieved by completing three READ modules (Researcher Enhancement and Development) each of 20 credits at SCQF level 12.

Your doctorate is a substantial piece of learning and research, reflecting three or more years of endeavour, which has commercial, cultural or social value. It is also a process through which you will acquire advanced research knowledge, skills and expertise, be challenged and transform as a person. The training programme for your doctorate will require significant personal discipline, time and commitment. In return, your sense of achievement at the end will be immense, and successful completion of your doctorate will open up a range of opportunities for career advancement.

Enrolling on a doctoral degree is one of the biggest decisions you can make regarding your education and learning in your career. We want your doctoral programme experience to be based around feeling part of a thriving learning community. The importance and power of peer support cannot be underestimated during doctoral-level study, so engaging with the community of doctoral candidates, supervisors and academics that exists at QMU is a core element in your programme. It is the community of learning that grounds you and your study and gives you the strength to stay engaged and curious, and to design and craft your thesis and publications. Your thesis will be an original, deeply researched piece of work that is of significant interest to you. However, your doctorate at QMU will be about much more than picking a subject and getting on with your studies.

Further entry requirements

 we assess your outline research proposal to be feasible and appropriate for the level of study, and which is in a field where we can offer supervision expertise.

In all cases, we strongly recommend that you contact potential supervisors prior to making an application. If you are unsure whom to contact, please get in touch with the Graduate School. 

International: Where your Honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 and no individual component score below 6.0.

Interview: There will be an interview process for all applicants, which may be conducted in person, by Skype, or by phone.

Teaching, learning and assessment

As a doctoral candidate you will progressively demonstrate a doctoral level understanding of research philosophies and methodologies, show originality in application of research methods, and understand how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research impact. PhD candidates will extend the forefront of a discipline by making an impact with an original contribution to knowledge — or your field of practice in the case of a Professional Doctorate candidate.

Candidates will work with a supervisory team who will provide ongoing guidance and support throughout the programme. The doctorate is ultimately assessed by the thesis or creative work and viva examination. The usual PhD thesis length is 70,000 to 100,000 words. Where PhD research involves creative writing, a portfolio of creative work or the preparation of a scholarly edition, the critical commentary on the material under discussion would normally be within the range of 30,000 to 40,000 words. The usual Professional Doctorate thesis length is 45,000 words.

See the course page for further information on PhD or Professional Doctorate candidate submissions.

Teaching hours and attendance

The expectation is that full-time students will devote approximately 35 hours per week and part-time students approximately 18.5 hours per week to their studies. Student meetings with their supervisory team should normally be monthly throughout the prescribed period of study, and bi- monthly for part-time students. However this is negotiable between the student and the supervisory team.

There is a longitudinal induction available for doctoral students. This consists of week-long sessions that run in September, January and April, which all students are expected to attend. Alongside this longitudinal induction, the Centre for Academic Practice at QMU offers workshops that support students to develop key skills that are relevant to their studies and/or their future career development.


Wherever possible, doctoral students are given the opportunity to hone and develop their academic teaching skills within their department, and are supported by staff within their discipline, as well as by staff from the Centre for Academic Practice. Opportunities are also available for students to develop other skills in academia, within research or within industry.

Quick Facts

  • As you choose the focus of your learning within your own professional arena, this course is highly relevant and flexible to your particular context. 
  • The aim of the course is to help you to develop expertise professionally, personally, and in research skills, enabling you to take forward your profession. 
  • This course will give you an internationally recognised high level of qualification. For example: Doctor of Business Administration, Doctor of Social Science, Doctor of Person- Centred Practice.

Visit the Professional Doctorate page on the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

For a PhD route you should have a good UK Honours degree (2:1 or above) OR an equivalent degree from another country OR equivalent professional experience. Additionally, you must produce an outline research proposal (approximately 1,000 words), which we assess to be feasible and appropriate for the level of study

For the Professional Doctorate route you should have 120 SCQF Level 11 credits, OR the equivalent from another country, OR equivalent professional experience that can be used to gain Recognition of Prior Learning credit as an associate student to allow full access to the programme.

FindAProfessionalDoctorate. Copyright 2005-2019
All rights reserved.