Psychotherapy Studies DProf

Psychotherapy Studies DProf

School of Community Health and Midwifery


Post- graduate




Online Only

Contact UCLan

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

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Part-time: 5-7 Years

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Distance without attendance, Part-time

  • Campus:

    Online Only

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

The Professional Doctorate in Psychotherapy Studies is offered by the University of Central Lancashire’s Counselling Division in the School of Community Health and Midwifery. This course provides a supported route to a Professional Doctorate award in Psychotherapy Studies which focuses on you as researcher developing and creating new professional knowledge and practice in this field.

This innovative online doctoral programme, which is equivalent in status and challenge to a PhD, welcomes applications from experienced psychotherapists or health professionals who have an advanced research interest to acquire systematic and critical understanding of research informed psychotherapy. This programme does not include clinical training.

The doctorate uses a range of Masters modules for Stage 1.  Stage 2 comprises the doctoral research at Level 8 taking you through to your final thesis. All learning will take place online. Meetings with your tutor will take place via Skype or in person if convenient for you. 

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Entry Requirements

Please note: Applications for 2020 intake are now closed. Applications for 2021 intake are welcome.

The following points describe the entry routes onto the Professional Doctorate.

Route 1: Students will register for the Professional Doctorate on entry Stage 1, with at least a first degree in an appropriate subject (Health Care or Allied Health area) at 2:1 or above.

Route 2: Students will enter the programme having completed an appropriate Post Graduate Diploma programme in Health Care or in Allied Health and have achieved an overall grade of 60% or over. They will have completed equivalent of compulsory research modules.    

Route 3: Applicants with a relevant Master’s Degree may be able to enter with advanced standing directly into Stage 2, Level 8 of the programme.  They will have completed an overall grade of 60% or over on their Master’s Degree. 

All eligible applicants will be interviewed providing an opportunity to evaluate potential to benefit and succeed.  Interviews (via Skype or face to face) will include discussion of the proposed research area to ensure appropriate supervisory team allocation.

International students will require an International English Language Testing System grade 7 or above with no sub-score lower than 6.5.

Programme at a Glance

Stage 1

There are two Stages of Study at postgraduate level with a duration of 5-7 years.

This is the taught element of the course. Modules are delivered by E-Learn. Stage One involves completion of 120 credits at NQF Level 7 providing an exit award of the UCLan Postgraduate Diploma in Psychotherapy Studies.

Stage 2

Stage Two involves completion of a thesis at NQF Level 8 which is the completion of a written submission of approx 65,000-75,000 words on your applied professional research. Target award PrD. Total credits = 420 at Level 8. Students with a relevant Masters may be able to enter with advanced standing directly into Stage 2.

Total credits 540 at Level 7 and 8.

Further Information


Teaching and Learning activities will comprise seminars, workshops, lectures and independent learning. The course will primarily focus on interactive and discursive participant centred activity to ensure you are encouraged to ‘make sense’ and explore your research informed practice development.

All taught modules will be via E- Learn, discussion and debates with your peers will take place in a virtual environment, supported by the team where appropriate. Assignments will be especially important as they will be an opportunity for you to progress your research, synthesise and explore your knowledge and practice critically and reflexively as is appropriate for the researching professional.

To gain the doctorate, candidates need to pass both the ‘taught’ and ‘research’ elements. After completing Stage 1, the Masters level, you work toward Stage 2.

The assessment on the DProf has been carefully planned to support and complement your research and learning, and in particular to maximise your ability to progress your individual doctoral research. You will find it is characterised by a requirement to engage in critical reflexivity and interrogation of your own research and that of others and to reflect the research planning and development cycle.

All assignments on ‘taught modules’ must be completed and achieve a minimum grade of 60% in order to progress to the research element of the course.
The doctoral thesis and oral exam will be accompanied by a final judgement from the examiners as outlined below:

Following the completion of the examination the examiners may recommend:

  1. that the candidate pass the research element of the award;
  2. that the candidate pass the research element of the award subject to minor amendments being made to the thesis to the satisfaction of the internal examiner;
  3. that the candidate be referred and be permitted to resubmit the thesis for re-examination without a further oral examination;
  4. that the candidate be referred and be permitted to resubmit the thesis for re-examination and undergo a further oral examination.

We believe you will find the course stimulating, challenging and an opportunity to recognise and award your professional expertise and understanding generating benefit for yourselves, your employer and your learners.

For further information

Please contact the Course Leader Marie Percival

Tel: 0177289 3412 | Email:

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

Part-time: £2,570 per year (UK/EU)

Further information:

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


The professional doctorate in psychotherapy studies is about developing your professional self and your ability to lead and contribute to research in this field.  As such, this award is about career, professional and personal development and expertise and your organisational impact.

The team will use the taught programme and associated research events, as well as your growing confidence as a member of a research community to maximise your engagement with a wide and diverse group of applied researchers giving you a rich experience and opportunities that will shape your reflection and professional self. Students undertaking this professional doctorate are expected to make a

contribution to both theory and practice in psychotherapy and will be encouraged and supported to disseminate your research findings in peer reviewed Journals. 

You will also receive invitations to take advantage of careers support and guidance through our Careers service with regards to Employability.