Skip to main content
Postgraduate study
Nursing & Health

Doctor of Professional Practice

The Doctor of Professional Practice (DrPP) is a multi-professional course, not restricted to health professionals, which recognises that contemporary professional practice encompasses a variety of disciplines.


Course overview

You create knowledge that advances practice using research skills, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving and knowledge translation skills, along with analytical and conceptual abilities.

The concept of professional practice is an overarching term that defines all occupations involving actions rooted in context; actions that are underpinned by education and a body of knowledge. This course fosters innovation and creativity, giving you the opportunity to critically analyse, synthesise and enhance concepts, meanings and intentions that underpin the theoretical dimensions of actions relating to your professional practice or discipline. The DrPP helps you independently enhance the knowledge that determines and defines your professional focus on practice. The professional focus of the DrPP is defined by a piece of advanced independent work specific to your area of professional practice.

The DrPP course contains three level 8 taught modules (120 credits) and an independent research project (300 credits) that is assessed by a viva voce examination. You can complete this course as a full-time or part-time student, taking advantage of the flexibility available through attendance, distance learning, or a combination of both. The course structure is dependent on whether your mode of study is full-time or part-time.

Full-time route
You study Developing Contemporary and Novel Research and Project Focused Negotiated Learning in the first year, and receive support with academic writing ready to undertake your Professional Practice Doctoral Research Project, which you work on throughout the duration of the course. In Year 2, you study Strategies for Dissemination.

Part-time route
You study Developing Contemporary and Novel Research in Year 1, and undertake your Professional Practice Doctoral Research Project, which you work on throughout the duration of the course. In Year 2, you undertake the Project Focused Negotiated Learning module, and in Year 3 you complete Strategies for Dissemination.

Download pdf Order prospectus

Supporting information for applicants

Our School feedback policy (word - 278kb)
Our School reference policy (word - 276kb)


Course details

You develop skills in advanced research, critical thinking, problem solving, knowledge translation and analysing. You also gain the conceptual abilities necessary for a dynamic, contemporary, professional practice environment.

Course structure

Core modules

Developing Contemporary and Novel Research

Build your skills and knowledge in research methods and project management. You focus on extending your understanding of theoretical paradigms underpinning research, advanced project management, data collection and analysis, research ethics and governance, applying these to your specific professional practice or discipline.

Professional Practice Doctoral Research Project

You act independently and with originality to implement a self-initiated doctoral research project for the generation of new knowledge application, or by enhancing understanding at the forefront of your specific practice area.

Project Focused Negotiated Learning

You study a topic in your specific area of practice, critically evaluating relevant theory and research and linking to practice. The content of this module is negotiated by you and your supervising tutor at the start of the semester. Support is provided to you through the virtual learning environment.

Strategies for Dissemination

You explore different ways of communicating research to a variety of audiences. You also develop skills to disseminate knowledge through a range of activities, such as writing for publication, presenting at conferences and writing blogs.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

The DrPP uses a research-informed teaching approach, giving you the opportunity to develop advanced skills appropriate for conducting your doctoral research project. You learn from and work alongside experienced and prolific researchers within their own area of practice. The course strengthens your ability to disseminate findings through publication, an important aspect in your career progression, while aiming to contribute to knowledge and practice within your own professional area.

The teaching team have a range of skills and are active researchers in their own speciality areas. This supports the synergy between teaching and research, which is an integral part of the doctorate course.

There is a focus on student-led learning, which aims to foster your ability to engage in critical discussion of the content being delivered, and to apply core knowledge and concepts to understanding complex issues in both professional and research practice. You can undertake this course by attending classes, through distance learning, or through a flexible combination of both (delivery may be subject to change).

How you are assessed

The assessment methods guide you towards developing academic skills to study at doctoral level and achieve the learning outcomes of the programme.

Formative assessment is used in a number of modules to support your learning, giving you an opportunity for feedback on your academic skills, and developing your academic writing and referencing skills, before you attempt the summative assessment.

Summative assessment methods include written reports, statistical analysis, written research proposals, oral and written exam, essays, action plan write up, case study write up, defended poster, journal article for publication, a thesis for the research project and a viva voce examination. The range of approaches enable you to develop your theoretical knowledge, research skills and key transferable skills relevant to your area of professional practice and research.


Entry requirements

The DrPP course is suitable for applicants who may have substantial industry experience and wish to study a doctora -level qualification that relates directly to and draws from their professional practice.

The admission criteria to the DrPP course is outlined below:

• applicants who have completed the equivalent of 120 level 7 credits in the form of a postgraduate diploma or master’s or MPhil course normally within the last five years

• applicants who completed a postgraduate diploma or master’s qualification outside of five years will normally need to demonstrate currency of the qualification through two years professional experience in a relevant field supported by an employer’s letter confirming the applicant uses the learning regularly in practice, or provide modules of equivalent learning

• all applicants, both UK based and international will take part in a pre-admission discussion designed to explore student expectations and appropriateness for the course. This takes place through the use of digital platforms for international students

• applicants whose first language is not English will need to satisfy the English language requirements which are a minimum overall score of 6.5 IELTS and 5.5 in each band

• other University standard entry criteria apply.

Applicants may apply for advanced standing through the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning procedures (RPL) or through an approved articulation.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:

Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser



2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£6,710 a year

£20,130 in total

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

£51,000 in total

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: 3 years
  • Attendance: Attendance or distance learning
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply now (full-time)

Apply now (full-time)



2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£3,785 a year

£15,140 in total

More details about our fees

  • Length: 4 years
  • Attendance: Attendance or distance learning
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply now (part-time)

Apply now (part-time)

Please choose the relevant option below:

Apply online (part-time)


Choose Teesside


Service user and carer involvement

Service users and carers support all aspects of our students' lifecycle from recruitment to graduation.

Find out more

Get in touch

UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

Online chat (general enquiries)

International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

More international contacts


Open days and events

Go to top menu