Professional Doctorate in Health and Social Care

Southwark Campus

Mode: Part-time

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Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK

Tel: 0207 815 7500

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Make a significant contribution

Our programme has been developed for practitioners who are pursuing professional careers as consultant nurses or therapists, clinical specialists, advanced practitioners, practice development professionals, social workers, senior managers and leaders of healthcare.

Professional Doctorate HSC

We offer you the opportunity to develop advanced research skills and to apply them to professional practice issues through independent research. You'll have opportunity to make a significant contribution to professional practice and to improve service delivery and performance within your employing organisation and across the wider professions.

The doctorate comprises of a taught component in your first and second year, and a doctoral research component in your third to fifth year. The research study will culminate in a doctoral thesis specific to a profession or in the general area of health and social care. It leads to one of the following awards:

  • Doctorate in Health and Social Care
  • Doctorate in Nursing
  • Doctorate in Occupational Therapy
  • Doctorate in Optometry
  • Doctorate in Physiotherapy
  • Doctorate in Radiography
  • Doctorate in Midwifery
  • Doctorate in Social Work

A professional doctorate is similar to a PhD in the sense that it allows you to carry out original research and contribute new knowledge. All doctoral graduates are considered experts in their field and can use the title ‘doctor’. The main difference between a PhD and a professional doctorate is that the research is rooted in the researcher’s professional practice.

For further information about the course and an informal discussion, please contact Dr. Adéle Stewart-Lord

Why a Professional Doctorate in Health and Social Care at LSBU?

A member of staff, expert in your chosen field, is directly responsible for guiding and supporting your research programme.
As a research student you'll become part of our thriving academic community. You will be making a unique contribution to theory and practice in your field.
The London Doctoral Academy at LSBU offers a package of skills development opportunities that Professional Doctorate students can use.
LSBU has well-established research links with partners across the health and social care sector.
Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
5 years
Start Date
Southwark Campus


Year 1

  • Research principles
  • Practical issues in data collection
  • Qualitative data analysis
  • Quantitative data analysis

Year 2

  • Health and social care research contexts
  • Research methodologies
  • The doctoral research proposal and ethics

Year 3-5

  • Completion of research thesis


The Professional Doctorate programme has been developed for practitioners who are pursuing professional careers as consultant nurses or therapists, clinical specialists, advanced practitioners, practice development professionals, social workers, senior managers and leaders of healthcare.

Those exiting the course will have developed a range of advanced skills in evidence finding, critical appraisal, research design and conduct, and disseminating research.

Employability Service

We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.

At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:

  • An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
  • Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.

Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.

Teaching and learning

In your first two years, taught modules take place at our Southwark campus in three day blocks of study, during October, November, February and March. The sessions are facilitated by senior academic staff from the School of Health and Social Care. You will receive tutorial and supervisory support whilst undertaking the programme. E-learning activities will complement the taught component and there are a variety of assessment methods.

In your third year, you will start your doctoral thesis, with a Director of Studies to supervise you. The School of Health and Social Care runs a monthly doctoral support programme where you can meet students at different points in their doctoral studies and benefit from peer support. There are also development sessions organised by the Central Research Office for LSBU’s research students, as well as a lively annual Summer School.

Entry requirements

In order to be considered, applicants will be required to have the following qualifications:

  • A recognised professional qualification which allows you to practise in one of the professions for which an award is specified: nursing, midwifery, social work, occupational therapy, optometry, physiotherapy, or radiography; or 
  • A health and social care profession which is recognised for registration with one of the health and social care professions councils in the UK [e.g. the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC); Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC); the General Medical Council (GMC); the General Optical Council (GOC)] and
  • A Masters degree in a relevant discipline and at least three full years full-time experience (or equivalent) in a relevant professional area or
  • A first or 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant discipline and evidence of ability to produce work at masters level and at least four years of full-time experience (or equivalent) in a relevant professional area
  • Applicants are required to have some previous knowledge of research methods, such as a research methods module, completed as part of previous degree.
  • Applicants must have sufficient command of the English language to complete the taught component, and to prepare and defend a thesis in English. If your first language is not English, you should produce evidence of competency in the English language equivalent to level 8 of the International Language Testing System (IELTS) with no element below 7.5.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

If you are a non-EU/EEA national, you may need to apply to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for clearance from the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) in order to study this course. ATAS certificate is a requirement for enrolment at the University, you will need one if you are an international student applying to study for a postgraduate qualification in the UK and it is now a requirement for every Visa application. Please note, an ATAS certificate is not needed for you to submit an application for a course at LSBU and to receive an offer.

You can find more information about whether you will require this via the FCO website and in our MyLSBU guide to the Academic Technology Approval Scheme.

The process for obtaining an ATAS certificate can take some time so it is important that you check whether you need one as early as possible so that you can make your application for the certificate to obtain it in good time. Failure to produce a valid ATAS certificate could result in delays to receiving your CAS or we may be unable to enrol you at the University.

The CAH code for this course is CAH02-03-12.

How to apply

Home/EU applicants

Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
5 years
Start date
Application code
Application method

Home/EU postgraduate students and research students should apply through our dedicated application system.

Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply section for postgraduate students and our How to apply section for research students.

International applicants should use our international application system. Full details can be found on our How to apply section for international students.

See our admissions policy (PDF File 1,043 KB) and complaints policy (PDF File 516 KB).

Considering your application

Your application will be circulated to a number of potential supervisors who will look at your academic qualifications, experience and the research proposal to decide whether your research interest is something that could be supervised at LSBU.

There will also be an interview either by telephone or at the University. If you are successful you will be offered a place on a course and informed of the next enrolment date. The whole process normally takes between six to eight weeks, from receipt of your application to a decision being made about your application at the School.

Prepare to start

We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read the How to apply tab for this course.


Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Enrolment pages.

Fees and funding

Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.


Professional Doctorate in Health and Social Care - Year 1 PT Southwark SEPT

The fee shown is for entry 2022/23
UK fee: £5655.56International fee: £8555.56
AOS/LSBU code: 4343Session code: 1PS00
Total course fee:
UK £25340
International £62750

The individual fee for this course is shown above. For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.

At the London Doctoral Academy we are committed to supporting and developing professional researchers who are driven to make a difference. We have a range of PhD Scholarships available in partnership with businesses and organisations - and when they're available we'll publish notices on the London Doctoral Academy site.

Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK

Tel: 0207 815 7500

Order a prospectus

Live Chat

Any questions? Use the green bubble on the bottom right hand corner to start a live chat with us

Chat with a course student