Professional Doctorate in Health Research

About the course

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The Professional Doctorate in Health (DHRes) is a part-time programme which encourages health and social care and allied practitioners to engage in an exciting and sustained programme of research. Doctoral students who benefit from working within a cohort of fellow students for support and interaction are encouraged to apply. A supportive and multi-disciplinary research environment is provided, while students continue to work in their professional roles.

The programme would be of particular interest to registered practitioners across a range of disciplines e.g. nursing, midwifery, health visiting, radiography, mental health, physiotherapy and paramedics. Some applicants may be working in clinical roles whilst others may work in leadership or managerial positions in acute or community–based health and social care organisations. In order to foster new generations of evidence-based practitioners, those with a strong health service teaching background may also be interested.

Current students benefit enormously from the wisdom of their two allocated supervisors and additional expertise and enthusiasm of a team of academics who contribute to the programme. Students are encouraged to participate within a research community of similarly active researchers and therefore provide insight and inspiration. This research community enables students to develop resilience to academic challenge and to push forward the boundaries of future health and social care provision so contributing to health improvement.

The DHRes offers an intensive programme of research-informed methods training underpinned by current theory, ethical, legal, socio-political, economic and governance frameworks. This is grounded in a robust appreciation of the literature informing the selected research. Advanced training in research design including qualitative and quantitative research methodologies will enhance the student’s knowledge and independent practical application of operational research in health and social care settings.

Download the prospectus (PDF - 2.2 Mb) for the Doctorate in Health Research.

For more information, application forms or to apply please contact Kim Haynes DHRes Administrator, or call her on + 44 (0) 1707 281392.

To discuss your suitability for the programme:

Email Dr. Chaz Simpson, DHRes Academic & Admission Tutor, or call him on +44 (0) 1707 285927

Email Dr. Tricia Scott, DHRes Programme Director, or call her on + 44 (0) 1707 281029

Why choose this course?

The Professional Doctorate in Health Research (DHRes), is a programme of advance study and research specially designed to develop the research and leadership capacity of healthcare professionals.

The DHRes draws on the expertise of the researchers within Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC), the Health and Human Research Institute to which it belongs, and the University as a whole.

Entry requirements...

  • A Masters award in a relevant discipline or,
  • An upper second class degree in a relevant discipline and,
  • A minimum of three years relevant professional experience.

Professional Accreditations

Not applicable

Teaching methods

Teaching methods

The 6-year research programme is delivered combining residential blocks, study days, and regular supervision over three phases.

Phase One (Years 1 and 2) comprise 4 x 3 residential day blocks in each year for discrete guided learning areas (see below). Students explore theoretical constructs and literature which shapes their research direction.

Phase Two (Years 3 and 4) comprise 4 x 3 residential day blocks in each year for discrete guided learning areas (see below). Students secure research permission to commence fieldwork.

Phase Three (Years 5 and 6) comprise 3 study days across each year to encourage students to articulate and present the later stages of their research during fieldwork, analysis, synthesis and write up.

Guided learning areas

Health Research Methodologies and Research Ethics 1

This learning area offers students an opportunity to engage with the craft of qualitative research. The learning area aims to inform students about a range of different qualitative methods and applications; to locate such methods and applications in the context of theoretical perspectives; and to develop students’ practical skills in the use of methods and analysis techniques.

The Social, Political and Economic Concepts of Health Research

This learning area is designed to enable students to meet the key intellectual objectives of a professional doctorate including an appreciation and understanding of the social, political and economic factors which impact on health and illness, health service delivery and health research.

Health Research Methodology and Research Ethics 2

This learning area addresses statistical concepts and procedures, and will include study of research methodologies and ethics within the quantitative paradigm. In addition, the students will learn about a range of research designs from a quantitative perspective including surveys, randomised controlled trials, case-control studies and quasi-experimental design.

Research Proposal Development

This learning area brings together the learning undertaken in the preceding areas to enable students to develop a coherent research proposal that can be used as a basis for their doctoral dissertation, and which could be adapted to apply for funding from a recognised national funding body for health research.

Advanced Research Methodologies

Students will choose either Advanced Research Methodologies 1 or Advanced

Research Methodologies 2. The former builds on Health Research Methodologies and Research Ethics 1 whilst the latter builds on Health Research Methodologies and Research Ethics 2.

Research Workshops

This learning area is designed to enable students to consolidate critical research skills and develop understanding of areas specific to their programme of research.  The workshops are flexible and contingent on students’ emerging theoretical, methodological and substantive interests and developing research skills. Learning strategies include a combination of self-directed study and a series of lecturer and student facilitated workshops in health research.

Optional Guided Learning Areas

The options offered currently include:

  • Health Psychology
  • Patient and Public Involvement in Health and Social Care Research
  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Evidence Based Practice and Systematic Review
  • Research in Context

Supervision

Generally at least two supervisors will be appointed when you begin your research programme and will be responsible for the academic direction of your research. These supervisors will have particular expertise in your research area and you should meet them regularly to discuss your research plan. Your supervisors will encourage you to work independently offering pastoral support and guidance where appropriate. You are required to submit drafts of your work to your supervisors who will give you clear guidance on how your research is progressing. 

Fees & funding

The government has yet to announce the upper limit of Tuition Fees for applicants wishing to study an undergraduate course in 2018/19. As soon as this information becomes available, our website will be updated and we will contact everyone who has applied to the University to advise them of their Tuition Fee.

Fees 2015/16

To be confirmed

*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

View detailed information about tuition fees

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

How to apply

2017

Start DateEnd DateLink
05/09/201731/07/2018Apply online (Part Time)

2018

Start DateEnd DateLink
05/09/201831/07/2019Apply online (Part Time)

2019

Start DateEnd DateLink
05/09/201931/07/2020Apply online (Part Time)