Professional Doctorate in Health Education (DEdHealth)

    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    Professional doctorate programmes are increasingly the choice of professionals.

    They have similar demands to that of a PhD but are structured slightly differently. Divided into two stages, with the first stage devoted to professionally focused teaching with assessments. The second stage focuses on research with students managing a research project usually based on their professional practice.

    The programmes are designed to support experienced professionals, enabling committed professionals to study flexibly to achieve a doctorate.


    1. Evaluate and reflect on the core skills that are required for effective communication at an interpersonal and organizational level.
    2. Critically assimilate the current political challenges in health and social care and the role that culture, power and politics plays when communicating with organizations in this context.
    3. Critically analyse and appraise the key elements of productive team working, including effective management of workforce conflicts, and how these can inform planned change processes.
    4. Identify and apply strategies for implementing a change process and for networking across boundaries to build relationships and share information, plans and resources.
    5. Critically reflect on the key characteristics and skills of an effective leader and how these can be used to implement change in the workplace.
    6. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the principles of research and evaluation.
    7. Critically evaluate the research evidence base to inform the development of practice based/professional research questions.
    8. Develop an appreciation and knowledge base of quantitative and qualitative paradigms, methodologies and methods and their application to practice based/professional research
    9. Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a range of research methodologies and methods.
    10. Analyse and reflect on the knowledge of the research process and methodologies and how these relate to own proposed research, providing a rationale and justification for choices made.
    11. Compose and critically debate a justified rationale for the research philosophy underpinning the project.
    12. Discriminate between and justify different research methodologies and methods underpinning the research project.
    13. Select and critically discuss the relevant data analysis methods for the proposed project.
    14. Develop a research proposal for the pilot study that demonstrates the ability to critically and analytically conceptualize the design of the research project.
    15. Critically analyse and examine the principles of research ethics and governance.
    16. Conduct a pilot study that shows the ability to implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of individual disciplines.
    17. Develop or select appropriate research tools that will collect data to meet the aims and objectives of the research questions/hypotheses.
    18. Demonstrate the intellectual capacity to undertake independent and original doctoral level research.
    19. Synthesise the relevant literature in order to develop the research question(s) or hypothesis.
    20. Design and justify an appropriate framework for the proposed research project that effectively integrates empirical focus, context, theory and methodology.
    21. Confidently and concisely communicates an appropriate ethical strategy for answering the research questions or testing the hypotheses.
    22. Communicate ideas and arguments effectively orally and in writing in language that is appropriate to doctoral level study.
    23. Provide a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate achievement of competencies required for advanced practice as described in the competency frameworks relative to your professional practice. 
    24. Demonstrate that you have developed a comprehensive understanding and critical awareness of a chosen field of your professional practice, through research, enquiry and critical reflection, and created an interpreted new knowledge, principally through the production of a thesis, which is of suitable standard to satisfy the University Criteria on Doctoral work.


    Part 1-Years 1 and 2

    Part 1 is the taught element where you will achieve the key learning outcomes/competencies required for your specific route on the Health Professional Doctorate programme, in relation to your area of professional background and your specific research project proposal. Part 1 will conclude with a thesis proposal that will inform your doctoral research for Part 2 (Years 3 onwards) of the programme.

    During Part 1, you will study using a variety of learning media and tools, mainly through distance learning at the University, in your home or work place. These will include face-to-face seminar(s) at the beginning of Part 1 as your induction onto the programme, and at various times during the 2-year period of Part 1 to participate in workshops, share progress with other students and staff through group work and presentations, and for formative assessment. There will also be distance learning modules (electronic and paper based) produced by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

    These modules have been carefully designed to incorporate activities that will develop your understanding of particular issues and concepts, application of knowledge to practice, and help you to reflect on your current practice.

    Part 2 (Years 3 onwards)

    Once you have successfully completed Part 1 you will undertake your research in Part 2 to produce your doctoral thesis for the professional doctorate, which will ensure you will be eligible for future potential NHIR funding for clinical lectureship and senior clinical lectureship awards. However this does depend on your research approach and route taken on the professional doctorate. You will have a supervisor who will have been assigned at the start of year 2 of Part 1 who will now be your main point of contact to take your research project forward to completion. As well as receiving personal support from your supervisor there may also be occasional workshops available at Keele to support your progress and group meetings to maintain contact with your fellow student to continue the peer support developed in Part 1 of the programme.


    Our next intake is in October 2020 but we welcome applications all year around.

    Visit our website for more information on the application process and why Keele is the institution to continue your professional development -

    Visit the Professional Doctorate in Health Education (DEdHealth) page on the Keele University website for more details!

    Entry Requirements

    1. Have completed a postgraduate master’s degree in a relevant subject or have relevant equivalent extended clinical practice.
    2. Worked a senior practitioner with evidence of an advanced practice role and/or evidence of experience of practice research or evaluation
    Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL). Consideration will be given to requests for APCL/RPL in relation to Part 1 by the programme lead in conjunction with the route lead, on application to the programme.

    See the website for more information.

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