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Postgraduate Programme Specifications

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Session: 2020/21

Last modified: 21/02/2019 13:06:49

Named Award Title:D.Prof Professional Doctorate

Award Title for Each Award: D.Prof  Professional Doctorate
PG Cert  Advanced Research and Professional Practice
PG Dip  Advanced Research and Professional Practice

Awarding Institution/Body: University of the West of Scotland
Language of Instruction & Examination: English
Award Accredited By:UWS
Maximum Period of Registration:
Mode of Study:Part Time
Campus:Distance/Online Learning
Ayr
Dumfries
Lanarkshire
Paisley

School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Programme Leader:Dr Beth Cross and Dr. Kate Miller

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Admission Criteria

Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admission requirements of the University of the West of Scotland as specified in Chapter 2 of the University Regulatory Framework together with the following programme requirements:

Appropriate Undergraduate Qualification
Other Required Qualifications/Experience

Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admission requirements as specified in the UWS Regulatory Framework together with the following programme requirements;

• Candidates will normally be required to have a Masters degree in a subject relevant to their area of study;

• Candidates will also be expected to have professional experience, and be operating at a level within their organisation or profession where they can facilitate change that contributes to practice and/or exhibit powers of creativity and innovation;

• The blended learning nature of the Professional Doctorate programme means that candidates wishing to be admitted on the programme must have access to an Internet connected computer.

All applications will be made on line where candidates will be asked to upload the required documents;

• A detailed curriculum vitae;

• A 500 word description of their professional and organisational role that includes identification of a potential substantial research study around professional practice;

• Evidence from their line manager that their application has been discussed and approved;

• References from their line manager and an academic reference.

The Programme Leader will normally interview candidates with one other member of the teaching team. The interview panel will consider the appropriateness of the candidate’s background and professional standing for study of a Professional Doctorate. If the interview panel is convinced that the candidate will complete the Professional Doctoral programme and that they are adequately supported through their place of work then they will normally be accepted onto the programme.


Further desirable skills pre-application

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General Overview

The Professional Doctorate programme is designed for professionals working within Nursing; Midwifery; Engineering; Counselling; Social Work; Careers Guidance and Development; Education (primary, secondary and tertiary sectors) and those working within other educational, training and professional settings.

The Professional Doctorate programme will be delivered in a blended learning format with a significant proportion of the teaching and learning approach being delivered, administered and supported through the UWS virtual learning environment (VLE) Moodle.

Professional experience and work-based learning as well as the establishment of a ‘community of practice’ lies at the heart of this multidisciplinary Professional Doctorate. The programme is designed to enable the candidates to pursue Doctoral level opportunities based around the work that they undertake as part of their professional role. State of the art professional practice will be pursued as will the concept of the reflective practitioner supported by high-level relevant academic theory. The programme requires that the candidates demonstrate evidence of independent critical judgment and contribute to the development of original knowledge.

The educational aims are:

  • To make a significant and original contribution to knowledge related to a professional background that meets intellectual and career aspirations;
  • To provide opportunities for professional development and career enhancement that will contribute to organisational and succession planning in the workplace;
  • To draw together concepts of self–reflection and reflexivity, reflective practice, the nature of professions and the researching professional in order to make a difference to the profession;
  • To acknowledge the need for professionals to engage in higher professional development, to critically reflect on their practice and to develop and apply transferable skills and competencies in order to gain a higher qualification.

The Professional Doctorate programme is designed primarily for candidates who have a Masters level qualification.

The programme consists of three taught modules (Critical Professional Reflection; Research Theory and Design; Situated Professional Enquiry) and a research component comprising a professionally focused research study that will form the basis of the thesis or portfolio of evidence with report (dependent on the doctoral candidate’s professional background).

Each of the taught modules within the programme will have a dedicated ‘site’ that will typically have the following interactive areas: Main Announcements, Main/Group Discussion Boards, Technical Help, Module Questions, Activities and Internet Café.  In addition to these interactive areas, candidates will also have links to module and course documentation, guides on academic writing etc. Every module is constructed around the same basic architecture that ensures continuity for candidates as they progress. The fact that the Professional Doctorate programme has a significant online learning component means that there are some specific challenges in ensuring appropriate and effective Doctoral candidate guidance and support.

Our strategy to overcome these challenges include the following:

(a) Clear online communication protocols: This includes the provision of ‘service level’ statements that ensure that Doctoral Candidate expectation levels are established prior to embarkation on the programme. This avoids misunderstanding and miscommunication arising.

(b) Appropriate and meaningful induction: For Doctoral Candidates new to the online environment, an induction period will be integrated into the first two-day meeting at the start of each module. The induction period is designed to help all participants overcome any technical issues and to familiarise themselves with the environment in general terms thus enabling the doctoral candidates to focus on the learning from day 1 of each module.

In general, our approach to teaching and learning online will be continually refined in light of experience and best practice originating from local, national and international research in this area. More specifically, the online element of the programme enables doctoral candidates to work at a time and place to suit both their personal and professional commitments and all modules across the programme are designed using an integrated model of online learning.

The teaching style adopted across the programme is more that of a facilitator. Our approach is designed to foster a ‘community of practice’ which is grounded in social constructivist pedagogy where candidates develop into independent learners who are capable of demonstrating the competences required when studying at SCQF Level 12.

Course Structure

PGCert Advanced Research and Professional Practice

  • Critical Professional Reflection (30 Credits SCQF Level 12)
  • Research Theory and Design (30 Credits SCQF Level 12)

PGDip Advanced Research and Professional Practice

  • Situated Professional Enquiry (60 Credits SCQF Level 12)

Professional Doctorate (DProf)

  • Critical Professional Reflection (30 Credits SCQF Level 12)
  • Research Theory and Design (30 Credits SCQF Level 12)
  • Situated Professional Enquiry (60 Credits SCQF Level 12)
  • Thesis or Portfolio of Evidence (420 Credits SCQF Level 12)

Since the Doctorate is the pinnacle of academic learning, there is no further potential progression route for Professional Doctorate graduates to move onto. However, candidates will be expected to undertake dissemination activities as per their professional norms. We will expect to see candidates progressing their career development in terms of promotion and possible change of direction.

The Programme will be delivered in a blended learning format with a significant proportion of the learning, teaching and assessment strategies employed online through the UWS VLE, Moodle. The learning and teaching approaches adopted are compliant with the UWS Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy [LTAS] (2011-2015). Coursework associated with each module will include provision for support using e-learning materials and candidates will make use of e-learning methods such as remotely accessing readings and research journals, asynchronous communication with tutors and their peers on the programme including the use of e-mail and discussion boards. Formative and summative assessments will be used including essays, assignments, individual and group presentations, online discussions and poster presentations. Strategies for Personal Development Planning (PDP) will be incorporated into each of the modules. Candidates will be encouraged to plan for the achievement of their personal development goals at the start of each module and plan a review session at the end of each module allowing candidates to reflect on their personal development in situ and link these developments to their professional profile. Candidates will also be encouraged to plan and review their personal development goals in line with the learning outcomes of each module in relation to the programmes aims and objectives. The assessment strategies of this programme will aim to support the doctoral candidates in the process of learning and to develop key practical and academic skills. The assessment strategies reflect these dual aims. Assessment regulations will be in line with the University of the West of Scotland Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy. During the research phase of the programme, doctoral candidates will be allocated an academic supervisory team. They will agree to communicate at regular intervals for supervision. Candidates must complete research within their professional settings or other approved focus as agreed with the Programme Leader and Academic Supervisory team. This research will be presented as a thesis or a report supported by a portfolio of evidence that satisfies the University requirements for a Doctoral thesis (UWS Regulation 8).

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Graduate Attributes, Employability & Personal Development Planning

Participants in the Professional Doctorate will develop and enhance their employability skills in the areas of applying increased knowledge and understanding to their professional practice, a constant and integrated approach to generic cognitive skills, using a wide range of communication, ICT and numeracy skills, and demonstrate substantial authority in their professional area of practice in terms of accountability, autonomy and working with others. They will develop and enhance these skills in ways specific to, and of direct relevance, to their own professional context and to the demands and issues inherent within current and anticipated developments within this professional context.

Strategies for PDP will be incorporated into each of the modules and incorporating the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) https://www.vitae.ac.uk/researchers-professional-development/about-the-vitae-researcher-development-framework. Planning for development and evaluating progress in preparation for using key research skills in professional practice is fundamental to the programme. The need for formalised development planning will be emphasised to all candidates and they will be encouraged to formulate a development plan within the three taught modules in line with the learning outcomes of the modules. The module tutor team will support candidates in developing and reviewing their plans especially in relation to the programme aims and objectives.

Participants embarking on the programme are likely to already have maintained a CPD portfolio and have undertake annual career reviews/personal development review as part of their contractual duties.

Work Based Learning/Placement Details

Professional experience and work-based learning will be at the heart of this multidisciplinary Professional Doctorate. The programme will be designed to enable the candidates to pursue Doctoral level opportunities based around the work that they undertake as part of their professional role.  State of the art professional practice will be pursued as will the concept of the reflective practitioner supported by high-level relevant academic theory.

Engagement and Attendance

In line with the Academic Engagement and Attendance Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on Moodle, and complete assessments and submit these on time.

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Programme structures and requirements, SCQF level, term, module name and code, credits and awards ( Chapter 1, Regulatory Framework )

A. PG Cert
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate a critical overview of a subject/discipline/sector, including critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles.
A2Generate research knowledge that will help doctoral candidates to make a significant contribution to the theory that underpins their professional discipline.
A3Demonstrate a critical overview of the principal research methods and skills required to complete a research study.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Apply a significant range of the principal professional skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with the subject/discipline/sector.
B2In using and enhancing a range of complex skills, techniques, practices and/or materials that are at the forefront of one or more specialisms.
B3In applying a range of standard and specialised research and/or equivalent instruments and techniques of enquiry.
B4Synthesise research knowledge and skills with complex professional subject knowledge that is at the forefront of the specific professional discipline.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Communicate at Doctoral level to a range of audiences and adapt communication to the context and purpose.
C2Communicate at the standard of published academic work and/or critical dialogue and review with peers and experts in other specialisms/sectors.
C3Use a range of ICT applications to support and enhance work at this level and specify software requirements to enhance work.
C4Critically evaluate numerical and graphical data.
C5Develop creative and original research designs in response to professional issues and situations.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Apply a constant and integrated approach to critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas, information and issues.
D2Identify, conceptualise and offer original and creative insights into new, complex and abstract ideas, information and issues.
D3Develop original and creative responses to professional problems and issues associated with the candidates’ professional context.
D4Make informed judgments/decisions in the absence of complete data and information.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Demonstrate substantial authority and exercise a high level of autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities. Manage complex ethical and professional issues and make informed judgements on new and emerging issues not addressed by current professional and/or ethical codes or practices.
E2Take full responsibility for own work and/or significant responsibility for the work of others.
E3Take significant responsibility for a range of resources.
E4Demonstrate leadership and/or originality in tackling and resolving problems and issues.
E5Practise in ways that are reflective, self-critical and based on research/evidence.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
12EDUC12001Critical Professional Reflection30      
12EDUC12002Research Theory and Design30      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

The University‘s current Regulations on Awards and Assessment apply to all programmes:
Regulation 3.4.1 Postgraduate Certificate (Pg Cert) Advanced Research and Professional Practice
Credit points At least 60 credits at Level 12
For the award of a PG Certificate in Advanced Research and Professional Practice 60 credit points must be achieved and must include the modules:
Critical Professional Reflection and Research Theory and Design for Professional Practice

The standard of the Postgraduate Certificate shall be that expected of a graduate who has successfully completed a programme of study, either at a level demanding more advanced study than a Masters degree or at a level appropriate for a conversion programme, suitable for the fulfilment of the University's graduate skills and attributes and learning outcomes (see UWS Regulatory Framework). The normal length of study will be the equivalent of one year of part-time study.


B. PG Dip
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate a detailed and up-to-date understanding of the professional framework, culture, issues and research requirements of their professional discipline.
A2Demonstrate a critical overview of the principal research methods of enquiry and skills required to complete a research study within their own professional discipline.
A3Demonstrate a critical and leading knowledge of research theory and that will put the candidates at the forefront of their professional discipline.
A4Generate research knowledge that will help candidates to make a significant contribution to the theory that underpins their professional discipline.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Synthesize research knowledge and skills with complex professional subject knowledge that is at the forefront of the specific professional discipline.
B2Apply a range of standard and specialised research skills and knowledge to professional research and enquiry.
B3Demonstrate creative/original/novel application of research skills and theory to develop new knowledge.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Demonstrate creative/original/novel application of research skills and theory to develop new knowledge.
C2Report at the standards of published academic work to a range of audiences including peers and experts within the professional discipline.
C3Use a range of ICT applications and software to support and enhance research methods.
C4Critically evaluate a range of different data including numerical and graphical data.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Identify, conceptualise original and novel insights into complex professional issues.
D2Develop creative and original research designs in response to professional issues.
D3Deal with complex professional issues and make informed judgments about professional enquiry in the absence of complete information.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Demonstrate a high level of professional authority in research activities (communities of practice).
E2Take significant responsibility for substantial research studies.
E3Demonstrate leadership in identifying and resolving and tackling professional issues.
E4Managing complex ethical and professional issues and making judgments on emerging trends within profession.
E5Take responsibility and effectively supervise the research of others.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
12EDUC12003Situated Professional Inquiry60      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes
Normally a 60 credit module has only one assessment diet. However, the Situated Professional Inquiry module affords Doctoral Candidates a second assessment opportunity should a candidate require to resubmit the final assignment.

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

Regulation 3.4.2 applies.
Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) SCQF Level 12
Credit points: At least 120 credits at Level 12
For the award of a PG Dip Advanced Research and Professional Practice 120 credit points must be achieved and must include:
• Critical Professional Reflection
• Research Theory and Design
and

• Situated Professional Enquiry
The standard of the Postgraduate Diploma shall be that expected of a graduate, who has successfully completed an appropriate programme of study in a field for which prior knowledge and skills have provided an appropriate foundation, either at a level demanding more advanced and intensive study than a Masters degree or at a level appropriate for a conversion programme, and which is suitable for the fulfilment of the University’s learning outcomes (see Regulatory Framework). The normal length of study will be the equivalent of two years of part-time study.


C. Masters
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate an ability to create and interpret relevant professional knowledge which extends the forefront of their discipline.
A2Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate research and academic enquiry including philosophy, review and appraisal, process, (methods and analysis) and development.
A3Demonstrate an ability to critically appraise and synthesise literature, theoretical debates and ethical dimensions influencing their field of study.
A4Demonstrate an ability to critically appreciate current political and policy factors influencing their professional specialisms nationally and internationally

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Conceptualise, design and undertake substantial, original research for the generation of significant new knowledge and or understanding in their professional discipline.
B2Develop the ability to synthesise ideas, concepts and approaches from their profession with relevant theoretical frameworks to create solutions, drive change, innovate and make a difference within their workplace.
B3Solve complex multidisciplinary problems within the context of the workplace, taking into consideration budgetary, political, strategic, ethical and social issues.
B4Develop and navigate the processes and structures for ethical conduct and governance associated with research.
B5Demonstrate in depth reflection on personal and professional goals, aspirations and contribution to leadership in their discipline.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Demonstrate a range of skills in order to present and defend written and verbal material for peer, professional and academic review.
C2Use IT to retrieve literature, input and analyse data and support project management.
C3Use a wide range of software to support and enhance practice at doctoral level and specify new software or refinements/improvements to existing software to increase effectiveness in professional practice.
C4Demonstrate the ability to undertake critical evaluations of a wide range of numerical and graphical data in order to inform developments in professional practice.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Demonstrate strategic vision, innovation and creative design.
D2Demonstrate an ability to critically review, synthesis, consolidate and extend professional knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in the candidates discipline.
D3Demonstrate an ability to make informed judgements on complex situations in specialist fields.
D4Demonstrate an ability to develop original and creative responses to problems and issues which relate to specific professional contexts at local, regional, national and possibly international level.
D5Demonstrate an ability to deal with complex issues within the relevant professional context in the absence of complete or consistent data/information.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities taking the initiative in enhancing professional practice.
E2Make informed judgements on political and policy aspects related to their professional field.
E3Demonstrate project design and implementation which satisfies peer review and merits publication.
E4Demonstrate leadership and initiative and make an identifiable contribution to change and development within professional practice.
E5Deal with complex ethical and professional issues and make informed judgements on issues not addressed by current professional and/or ethical codes or practices.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Award

The DProf thesis shall comprise a thesis not exceeding 50,000 words and will make an original contribution to the candidate’s professional practice.

Some candidates (in consultation with their research supervisors and the Programme Leader) may wish to submit a report with a supporting portfolio of evidence (subject to the candidate’s area of professional practice). The report will normally be between 10,000 and 20,000 words and will demonstrate advanced and systematic knowledge and skills in the candidate’s chosen area. The report must show how the supporting portfolio forms a contribution to the creation and interpretation of new knowledge and must be set in the context of current understanding in the field. The portfolio, taken as a whole, will make an original contribution to the candidate’s professional practice and will support the report which will include material that directly supports the claims for achievement and the original contribution to knowledge. The report will refer to the portfolio.


Candidates will be bound by the UWS Regulatory Framework which is currently under review to incorporate the DProf at SCQF Level 12.
Credit points: 540 credits at SCQF Level 12 of which 120 credits are taught components.
Progression from the taught modules to the research phase of the programme will be dependent on successful completion of the module assessments (120 credits).

The standard of the Professional Doctorate shall be that expected of a doctoral degree graduate who has successfully completed an appropriate programme of study in a field for which prior knowledge and skills have provided an appropriate foundation, at a level demanding more advanced and intensive study than a Masters degree, and which is suitable for the fulfilment of the University’s learning outcomes (see Regulatory Framework) and which includes a compulsory element of advanced independent work. The normal length of the programme shall be a minimum of 4 years part-time study and a maximum of six years or equivalent and will meet the expectations of SCQF Level 12 and the QAA Doctoral Characteristics Framework.


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Regulations of Assessment

Candidates will be bound by the general assessment regulations of the University as specified in the University Regulatory Framework .

An overview of the assessment details is provided in the Student Handbook and the assessment criteria for each module is provided in the module descriptor which forms part of the module pack issued to students. For further details on assessment please refer to Chapter 3 of the Regulatory Framework.

To qualify for an award of the University, students must complete all the programme requirements and must meet the credit minima detailed in Chapter 1 of the Regulatory Framework.

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