Clinical Studies DProf

Clinical Studies DProf

School of Medicine


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    The course can be studied full-time over 3 years or part-time.

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Mixed Mode, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:

    September and January

  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

This practitioner-targeted doctorate qualification will allow members of clinical staff to gain additional training and skills, including research skills, to an appropriate level.

It gives students the skills and knowledge to carry out research in a clinical practice setting by analysing and critiquing the philosophical dimensions of research methodology. The course also covers the use of current research techniques, enabling students to develop and advance their understanding of clinical practice theories and concepts in real world settings.

By using their critical evaluation skills, knowledge of research methodologies, and analysis of ethics, all Students will have the opportunity to develop a bespoke research project aimed at building knowledge and improving practice in the clinical sector.

Through applying theoretical frameworks to real life concepts, healthcare professionals will be empowered to drive change and innovation in their workplace. 

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Entry Requirements

To embark upon Doctoral study students are expected to show previous aptitude for research.

  1. This is most often illustrated by the previous award of a good degree (2:2 or above).
  2. It is acknowledged that some students will not be in possession of such a qualification. Students will be invited to an interview to explore their potential to successfully complete the programme. They will need to demonstrate they are, or have been, active in professional practice in the area of clinical studies (e.g. through engagement in research projects, publications, presentation of papers at conferences, professional qualifications). Students with an undergraduate degree will commence at Stage 1 of the Professional Doctorate programme.
  3. Holders of a relevant Master’s degree (Pass) may enter directly at Stage Two of the Professional Doctorate programme subject to an interview and confirmation that they have studied at least 60 credits of independent research (this can be constructed as Research methods 20 credits and undertaken a project at 40 credits minimum).
  4. Applicants will be required to have a minimum level of proficiency in English Language equivalent to IELTS grade 6.5 with no sub score lower than 6.0.
  5. ALL applicants will be interviewed prior to acceptance on the course and if appropriate an AP(E)L application will be considered.

Two references will be required.

Programme at a Glance

The course consists of two Level 8 modules:

  • Thesis in Clinical Studies 340 credits
  • Doctoral Study and Reflective Practice 20 credits

These modules build on previous Master’s level study in which 180 Level 7 credits have been accrued, to make a total of 540 credit for the DProf Clinical Studies.

The 50,000 word thesis is examined by viva voce.

Further Information


Students are able to use all University facilities.

The teaching and learning pathway is based upon an alignment between taught modules, the learning objectives and the assessments in each of the modules.

Students are required to undertake significant background reading and literature searching and complete applied research tasks in the completion of assignments.

The majority of the teaching is provided either in face-to-face lectures, seminars and one-to-one discussions with tutors and the thesis supervisor.

Active learning is encouraged and facilitated by the application of course material to ‘real world’ case studies and students’ own research.

The course will be delivered using a blended approach (including interactive online classroom with the tutor and one or more students, more traditional classroom based lecture or tutorial where all participants can see and engage with each other in real-time). The lectures are recorded and are accessible to all students for future reference and revision. Student feedback can also be delivered by audio dictation via our Turnitin system or in written format whichever is more appropriate for the student.

Assessment is conducted through a range of coursework assignments including:

  • a reflective portfolio which will require students to review the philosophies and theories underpinning research and knowledge, and develop and justify their methodological position as a researcher practitioner;
  • the design of qualitative and quantitative research instruments which will require students to justify, evaluate and critique the choice of research method and the use of the instrument in the investigation and critically analyse the relevant practical, theoretical and ethical issues;
  • a report or journal article ready for submission to a named peer reviewed journal or professional publication;
  • a portfolio which requires students to critically reflect upon their own skills, identify gaps, and develop a personal and professional development plan for the doctoral programme
  • the preparation of a research proposal;
  • the final thesis and the viva voce examination.

Clinical Studies

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £2,570 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: TBC

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Highlights of the course

A key highlight of the course is that it forms a bridge between theoretical research paradigms and real-life experience from the workplace and includes online interactive delivery of teaching to facilitate flexibility with professional commitments.  Students will be expected to participate in a programme symposium which will enable practice in skills of presentation, focussed discussion of their topic and interaction with other students.


The roles and responsibilities of non-medically qualified members of staff are changing to meet the aspirations of the NHS Five Year Forward View, with the heath care workforce becoming increasingly skills and competency based. This practitioner-targeted doctorate qualification will allow members of clinical staff to gain additional training and skills, including research skills, to an appropriate level.  Graduates of the programme will be able to create solutions, drive change, innovate and make a difference within their workplace, based on a synthesis of ideas, concepts and approaches from their profession with relevant theoretical frameworks.

Progression Routes