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Masters/Doctor of Professional Studies MProf/DProf
(Health and Education / Science and Technology)

Learn about the course below

Masters/Doctor of Professional Studies MProf/DProf (Health and Education / Science and Technology)

September 2023
January 2023
3-7 years part-time
Blended learning
£6,100 (UK)*
£7,400 (EU/INT)*
Course leader
Gordon Weller
Ruth Plume

The Masters and Doctor of Professional Studies (MProf and DProf) have been developed with specialist pathways to reflect the complex developmental work of senior professionals in disciplines that are aligned to the Schools of Health and Education and Science and Technology. The DProf is equivalent in value to the traditional PhD which means that at its successful completion you will achieve the title of Dr. Both degrees are specifically relevant to experienced professionals and it is possible to gain credit based on past professional achievements towards the doctoral programme.

Why study the Masters/Doctor of Professional Studies at Middlesex University?

The Masters and Doctor of Professional Studies (MProf/DProf) are for advanced practitioners who wish to undertake research within their own professional context. They are distinctive in that you are placed at the centre of your research investigation, and therefore your work will be highly applicable to your professional development and career progression. You will begin by critically reflecting on your practice, before designing and undertaking a practice–based research project which makes a substantial contribution to your organisation and field.

Specialist pathways include:
Health, Environment, Risk, Disaster Risk and Response, Psychology, Criminology, Sociology, Social Work, Housing and Regeneration, International Relations, Social and Public Policy, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Sport and Biomedical Science.

Course Highlights

  • They focus on developing your capabilities as a reflective practitioner, enhancing your ability to undertake critical practice-based research.
  • They provide an opportunity to make a claim for academic credits for a significant amount of prior formal and informal learning that you are likely to have already achieved.
  • Your study pathway and projects are tailored to meet your individual needs and research interests, and those of your organisation.

MProf/DProf by Public Works

It is also possible to complete a shorter MProf or DProf by Public Works. This approach is suitable for senior individuals who have achieved a substantial amount of research and development at the appropriate level and which is available within the public domain.

The award of MProf or DProf is based upon submission of a critical commentary on the public works. The candidate is supported by an academic adviser and consultant in the same way as the conventional award.

Find out more

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What will you study on the Masters/Doctor of Professional Studies?

Part 1 Masters Level

Semester 1:

  • Review of Learning (20 credits at Masters Level)
  • Professional Learning: Project or RAL* (40 credits at Masters Level)
  • Professional Learning: Project or RAL* (60 credits at Masters Level) - Mandatory Project for MProf award
  • Advanced Development in Professional Practice RAL* (120 credits at Doctoral Level) - optional module

Semester 2:

  • Planning a Practitioner Research Programme (60 credits at Masters level)
  • Programme Approval via oral presentation

Part 2 Doctoral Level

  • Final Doctoral Level Research Project Projects may be negotiated at 200, 240, 320, 360 credits at Doctoral Level. Total credits required for the DProf Award is 540 (180 credits at Masters Level and 360 credits at Doctoral Level).
  • Explorations in Leadership (40 credits at Doctoral Level) - optional module

* RAL = Recognition and Accreditation of Learning

Part 1 of the framework starts with a Review of Learning module where past work based projects and development can be identified. The second module in part 1 involves understanding work based learning approaches to research and preparation of a research proposal. Opportunities exist for claiming Recognition and Accreditation of Learning (RAL) credit against past professional learning.

The amount of RAL credits that can be claimed will depend on the award pathway; either MProf or DProf. In the MProf pathway candidates can claim 40 credits at Masters (M) Level. In the DProf pathway candidates can claim up to 100 credits at Masters level and 120 credits at Doctoral (D) Level.

The final doctoral project is undertaken after completing the Master level and may include the optional module "Explorations in Leadership, Followership and Transformational Change". Candidates are supported by a named academic adviser to provide an overview of the research programme and a consultant is nominated who can provide technical and organisational support.

  • Modules

    • Module 1: Review of Learning – (M Level 20 credits) compulsory and Accreditation of Professional learning (100 M Level credits)

      This is the opportunity to identify the capabilities, attributes and authority you bring to your programme. You will work with your advisor to provide a 5,000 word critically reflective report on your formal and informal learning to date. Within it you will identify what makes you the professional you are with your own signature practice developed with time and experience. It is retrospective and identifies why undertaking the doctorate is appropriate for you at your current stage in professional development and what makes you equipped to undertake the particular area of research interest that you identify.

      Within this module you will also have the opportunity to outline claims for credit for research capability you already have and professional learning in an area of specialisation in your field. This can be done through the recognition of a written, and evidenced, claim for credit identifying how you developed these capabilities, for example, through reflecting critically on organisation changes that you may have led. If you feel you cannot make these claims then there is the option to undertake small project work to achieve the required number of credits.

      The combination of this review and the claims for credit will provide you with 120 M Level credits towards your programme.

    • Accreditation of Advanced Professional Learning (120 D Level credits)-optional

      In the previous section candidates can make a claim for professional learning and some may be able to make a far more substantial claim for advanced professional learning. Examples of this level of learning could be that you have already published a book in the field or worked at senior committee level within your professional body. If that is the case then you can make a claim for this advanced learning of a further 120 credits. We would expect only 20% of candidates to be in a position to make such a claim.

    • Planning a Practitioner Research Programme (60 M Level credits) – compulsory

      Having made explicit your skills, expertise, attributes and interests you are now in a position to plan your research project. Within this module you construct the research plan by considering the research approach, methodology and instruments which are congruent with the focus of your enquiry and the outcomes you wish to see for yourself, your organisation and your wider community of practice.

      Once you have designed your research then you have the opportunity to present it to a Programme Approval Panel and Ethics sub committee. This is a group of experienced researchers who provide you with feedback on your research proposal to enhance its robustness, ethics and potential for impact at the level required. You will incorporate their feedback in your final Learning Agreement which provides the plan for the following two+ years of research activity.

    • Module 2 (Doctoral level only): Research Project (200, 240, 320 or 360 D Level credit)-compulsory

      Throughout the next two+ years you will undertake your research project with the support and guidance of your academic advisor and the chosen consultant(s) from your subject pathway. The research report will consider; the relevant literature relating to your research topic, the collection and analysis of data, interpretation and implementation of results and consideration of strategic impact to your organisation and your professional community.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is the Doctor of Professional Studies taught?

An academic advisor is assigned to you at the start of your programme and will be available to you throughout your period of research. As the focus of your work develops subject specialist consultants will be assigned to you so that you can draw on appropriate expertise in your area of enquiry or methodology.

You will also have resources such as handbooks and online materials to enhance your learning journey as well as access to seminars, workshops and lectures held at the campus.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs
  • Dr. Gareth Morgan

    Project Manager for the National Framework for Older People, NHS Wales.

    I found the programme intellectually and professionally challenging and that has certainly feed through and improved my effectiveness. There is also no doubt that my enhanced professional title has also increased my credibility within the health service. The work based research helped me to develop as a critical thinker and reflective learner. I have been able to cascade this approach to all sorts of areas throughout the team. It has helped to changed mind sets.

    My academic supervisors, Professor Hemda Garelick and Dr Gordon Weller, were absolutely fantastic. They struck the right balance between rigorous academic feedback and support. We developed a close working relationship despite the distance. Their support was instrumental in my success.

  • Nichole McIntosh

    Assistant Director of Nursing and part-time PhD student

    As a senior nurse with over eighteen years of experience in a range of acute healthcare NHS settings, I'm especially passionate about providing high quality patient care and ensuring that staff demonstrate culturally competent compassion in all areas of healthcare provision.

    In 2018, I was proud to be nominated as a Finalist in the NHS Windrush 70 Awards which celebrate the contributions and diversity of BME people to the National Health Service.

    My PhD explores the hospital experiences of older stroke patients of Black Caribbean backgrounds in London. I’m supervised and well-supported by Professor Irena Papadopoulos, and have had a really positive experience of being a research student at Middlesex University.

    The supervisors are approachable and supportive, and I can access information online  - facilities which are essential for many students, especially for those of us who are working while pursuing further educational opportunities.

    I would recommend Middlesex University to other students who have an enquiring mind and wish to pursue doctoral research.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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