Edge Hill University

Edge Hill University

Professional Doctorate - Emergency Services Management

Professionalisation of the emergency services workforce and the development of strategic leadership within the blue lights, namely the ambulance, police and the fire & rescue services, are on the top of government and reform agenda. The current state of emergency management research is further characterised by a clear 'theory-practice divide' resulting in a 'silo' approach to the development of academic and professional expertise. Focus on interoperability and multi-agency cooperation is one of the distinctive features in this new programme of research in the light of the introduction of statutory duty for collaboration between the emergency services in the Police and Crime Bill, 2017. Designed for experienced senior managers from the blue light services, the Professional Doctorate in Emergency Services Management (DESM) is structured to develop leadership and management expertise based on sound theory and practice. This novel programme of research provides a unique opportunity to candidates for engaging in cross-disciplinary dialogue with academics, policy makers and fellow practitioners interested in wider aspects of emergency management. The DESM will enhance personal development by providing research training and a range of skills with transferability to fields of application where knowledge creation in relation to professional tasks is deemed necessary and is highly valued. The focus is very much on 'critical reflection'- a nexus of 'practitioner' and 'theoretician', the need to be reflective of one's role as a senior manager as a reviewer of organizational practices and policies, as a reviewer of theoretically underpinned rationales for management and organizational activity, and also as a reviewer of their own academic productive outputs. This unique approach is woven throughout the DESM.

Course modules

The programme of research will cover research design, research project management and research ethics, as well as more general conceptual, epistemological and methodological matters in relation to research. You will also address more specific conceptual, epistemological and methodological matters appropriate for your subject area.

Assessment methods

Assessment of the Professional Doctorate will be by thesis and viva, in accordance with the university's standard research degree regulations. At least one member of the examining team will have appropriate experience of working in the profession. Whilst it is preferable to identify an academic with such experience to join the examining team, it is acknowledged that this will not always be possible. In such cases the practitioner will be a third (external) examiner. Thus a team might comprise an internal academic, and external academic (for benchmarking of standards), and finally an external practitioner. At least one of the examiners would be familiar with professional doctorates. The word limit for the DESM has been set at 55,000 words.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
Professional Doctorate Part-time September 2018 - 4 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Ormskirk Campus L39 4QP North West

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