Doctor of Professional Practice Community Social Care Policy and Practice DProf

Doctor of Professional Practice Community Social Care Policy and Practice DProf

School of Social Work, Care and Community


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 via online distance learning

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    eLearning, Part-time

  • Campus:

    Online Only

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

This course has embraced a totally unique method of doctoral study, as it is the first within the United Kingdom to deliver totally online doctoral study in the fields of community development and social work and allied professions. This course allows busy practitioners to remain in their chosen professions whilst developing doctoral research skills. The online nature of this course will enable the student to have access to highly influential professorial staff who are international experts within their chosen field whilst remaining at home, and not have the additional expense of relocating themselves and their families. The use of interactive methods will allow students to develop their own supportive research community throughout their doctoral studies.


Register Now for Our Virtual Open Day & Online Chat Events Register Now for Our Virtual Open Day & Online Chat Events

Entry Requirements

A minimum of two years professional experience within your chosen field, plus a minimum of a BA/BSc (honours) degree 2.2 or above or international equivalence. International students are also required to prove their abilities in written English. 

Programme at a Glance

Year 1

  • SW4800 Themes and Perspectives in Social Research
  • SW4801 Doing Social Research
  • SW4802 Developing Research Skills in Social Care

Year 2

  • SW4803 - Statistical and Quantitative Analysis in Community Practice
  • SW4804 - Designing & Planning Your Research Project: Methods & Methodology
  • SW4712 - Responding to Contemporary Issues in Social Work and Social Care.


Year 3 - 7

  • SW5800 Doctoral Thesis (50,000 words)


Further Information

Do you want to?
  • Understand how research works
  • Learn how to actually understand and undertake research
  • Work towards becoming a published expert within your own profession both nationally and internationally.
  • Have a greater understanding of how ethical and political considerations impacts upon research, and your chosen field.
Do you want to develop research skills to?
  • Empower communities and individuals
  • Have the recognition and status to assist others to effect change
  • Build on your existing experience and strengths.

Are you interested in developing the requisite skills to make sense of the social world within which your profession operates? If so the course will provide you with expert support and supervision throughout from a selected supervisory team. The use of online lectures, discussion groups’ and one to one supervision will support and guide you towards the completion of your doctoral thesis.

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: N/A
Part-time: £2,650 per year (UK/EU)

Further information:

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

DBS Checks

This course will involve you working with vulnerable groups of individuals, including children. In order to ensure that the University offers places on their programmes to suitable candidates you will all be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB). We will be able to guide you through this process once you have been offered a conditional place of study at the University of Central Lancashire.

It is important to note that should your Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prove to be unsatisfactory for the purpose of the course you have applied to, your offer of a place for that course may be withdrawn. If you have already enrolled on a course and your DBS check subsequently discloses a criminal conviction, you may be required to withdraw from the course even if you have already started. If you are aware that your DBS check will disclose a previous conviction, please contact the course leader for advice as not all convictions may preclude you from continuing with the course.

Learning Environment and Assessment

This course utilises online tools to produce a rich and productive learning environment. The taught element takes place over the first two years and assist students to learn the underpinning knowledge and research skills necessary to complete a doctoral thesis and become an established research professional. Students are provide with online lectures, discussion groups and a supportive virtual café to allow them to mutually support each other’s learning. The assessments in the first two years are a combination of written assignments and presentations. Once the student have successfully completed the taught element of the course they will progress onto the thesis element. This is where through a process of intensive online supervision the student will undertake their own piece of original research, which they will write up into a thesis. Finally this thesis will be orally examines in a viva voce (which requires the students attendance). 



The expectation is that students will be employed in their current professional field and that this will enable them to access research opportunities.

Uclan has a number of partner universities throughout the world and especially Europe through the Erasmus programme. The hope is that local support networks can be provided to support students throughout their studies.

This doctoral qualification will assist students to move into academia or professional research as well as increasing their status within their existing n professional field. Doctoral qualifications are recognised internationally and should assist students to progress in their chosen field wherever they are in the world.