Professional Doctorate in Policy Research and Practice at University of Bath - UCAS

University of Bath

Degree level: Postgraduate

Professional Doctorate in Policy Research and Practice (Research)

Course options

Course summary

Enhance your professional capability and critical reflection on the theories, methods and practices of policymaking. This course is designed to enable experienced professionals working in a range of policy arenas – locally, nationally, and globally – to develop their policy analysis expertise without having to take a full career break. Combining advanced training in policy research and analysis with a thesis based on original research, it is built around a cohort model and can be spread out over four to eight years. Throughout the course, you will have access to a wide range of sector-specific expertise across the University, including industrial strategy, international development, health, education and digital public policy. This is a part-time distance-learning course that normally includes face-to-face teaching on a two-week residential, this year held at the end of August and early September. The course is designed to be compatible with near full-time employment over a period of up to eight years, with the possibility of being completed more quickly for high-performing students who can allocate more time to study. This course is designed to:

  • give particular priority to multidisciplinary research and learning relevant to the workplace, to enhance the academic and the professional contribution that policymakers and practitioners can make to theory and practice in their field.
  • engage current practitioners with knowledge, awareness and understanding of philosophical, organisational, political, social, economic, managerial, interpersonal, and technical dimensions of policy.
  • broaden capability to understand critical issues facing policymakers in diverse fields and contexts.
  • provide students with a strong foundation from which they can hone their specific interests towards the conduct of supervised research and make an original contribution to their field.
  • support you in publishing and disseminating your research.
The course is structured in two stages: the taught stage and the research enquiry (thesis) stage, to read more on the Research and Taught content please visit the course page on our website.


Please check the University of Bath website for the most recently published course detail.

Assessment method

  • Attendance
  • Coursework
  • Essay
  • Residential
  • Seminar
  • Thesis
  • Viva Voce
Assessment description Each core and specialist unit carries 18 credits. You must successfully complete 270 credits (at level 8) to be awarded the DPRP:
  • total of at least 72 credits during the 2-3 year taught stage
  • 198 credits for the supervised research enquiry during the 2-3 year research stage
Each 18 credit taught unit will normally be assessed through an assignment of 8,000 words – excluding references and annexes. You may be requested to also pass an oral or written defence of their submission. The Unit Convenor, in consultation with the Director of Studies, designates individual assignment tutors for each student to support work on assignments and to serve as the First Internal Examiner in assessing the assignment. You negotiate the details of each assignment with your designated assignment tutor for the relevant unit. The 45,000 word supervised thesis will be assessed by the same arrangements and criteria as to those for the award of a PhD.

Entry requirements

- First or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject, from a recognised university. - Advanced qualification (MEd, MA or MPhil) in a related field. Where professional experience is extensive and has involved research practice, this requirement may be waived. Professional requirements Appropriate professional experience in the practice of policy or a related field. Students in the programme will normally be expected to have at least three years of experience. English Language requirements You will normally need one of the following: - IELTS: 7.0 overall with no less than 6.5 in all components - The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 69 with no less than 62 in any element - TOEFL IBT: 100 overall with a minimum 24 in all 4 components You will need to get your English language qualification within 24 months prior to starting your course. If you need to improve your English language skills before starting your studies, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course to reach the required level.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

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Additional fee information

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Professional Doctorate in Policy Research and Practice at University of Bath - UCAS