Post- graduate





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

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400
Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

  • Duration:

    Part-time: 7 Years

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:

    September, January, April

  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

Offering an equivalent to PhD level, the DProf Computing provides an opportunity for those working in the software or IT industry to complete a programme of study that will lead to a doctorate qualification. The course aims to develop and enhance your understanding of professional practice through academic research. On completion of the course you will have achieved a high degree of personal development and produced an original piece of work that contributes to professional knowledge in the software or IT workplace. Members of the course team have extensive experience of doing industry-based research, with a focus on Agile approaches and User Experience Design.

The two-stage structure means practitioners can progressively develop their research in practice part-time culminating in doctoral research. Stage 1 consists of existing Masters modules that prepare students for the Stage 2 work that comprises original research:

Stage 1 is module-based, involving learning and reflection designed for practicing professionals. This study helps you to develop knowledge of relevant theory and skills in practitioner inquiry and research alongside a professional understanding of your field.

Stage 2 is research-based, and involves you undertaking empirical research into a topic related to practice culminating in writing a doctoral thesis. Alongside this you take one module that supports professional reflective practice.

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Entry Requirements

An Honours degree of 2.ii or above (OR a Degree and substantial relevant industrial experience, or a BCS post-graduate diploma plus PGD project, OR qualifications or experience deemed by the University to be equivalent to an honours degree).


Evidence of professional practice in an IT or Agile domain, through holding a professional position in the domain.

Applicants who already have an MSc qualification in a relevant subject will be eligible for APEL for some or all of the level 7 taught modules. Direct entry onto Stage Two of the programme will normally be on the basis of having achieved a Merit or Distinction in a Masters’ project, having completed the equivalent of a Research Methods module, and written a credible research proposal.

Applicants who meet the criteria for entry will be interviewed. Interviews will include discussion of the proposed research area to ensure appropriate supervisory team allocation.

Programme at a Glance

Stage One (Years 1-3)

  • CO4830 IT Projects and Programmes (20 credits)
  • CO4608 Agile Systems Development (20 credits)
  • CO4820 Critical Analysis (20 credits)
  • CO4603 Complexity and Collaboration (20 credits)
  • CO4754 User-centred Systems Design and Evaluation (20 credits)
  • CO4807 Research Methods (20 credits)
  • CO4804 Masters’ Project (20 credits)

Stage Two (Years 4-7)

  • CO5000 Thesis (340 credits)
  • CO5001 Reflective Practice (20 credits)

Further Information


The learning environment is designed to be flexible to suit the needs of students who are also employed in the workplace.

Stage 1 modules are delivered in burst mode with a mix of face-to-face teaching timetabled on six weekends per year and online learning. Each module is taught by a subject-specialist from the course team. During the Masters’ Project you are allocated a supervisor from the teaching team and undertake a research project in your workplace. This develops your skills in data gathering, analysis and reflection. The project encourages you to read more widely and think critically about tasks and problems at work. Assessment consists of a mix of coursework and examinations, with an oral viva for the Masters’ Project.

During Stage 2 you will write a research proposal, complete a literature review and undertake a series of research studies on a topic of your choosing related to professional practice. During this stage you will regularly meet with your supervisory team who will guide you through the research process, but you will become increasingly independent. You will be encouraged to engage in dialogue with other practitioners, doctoral students and the research community by presenting papers and attending meetings, workshops and conferences. Assessment consists of coursework, the submission of a doctoral thesis and its defence by oral examination.

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 further information please contact the programme leader Dr Peggy Gregory ajgregory@uclan.ac.uk


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

Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

Fees 2020/21

Part-time: £2,650 per year (UK/EU)

Further information:

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