University of Portsmouth

University of Portsmouth

Professional Doctorate in Social Work

These programmes are suitable for those who have an active interest in practice based research and professional practice issues; they provide a framework for the demonstration and development of advanced professional knowledge and skills; relevance and application of the research to the professional environment is a pivotal feature of the programme and refection on practice is integral to the learning process.

Entry requirements

DSW: A postgraduate level qualification or equivalent in an appropriate subject and a suitable workplace environment to support the professional research and development project. Applicants are subject to interview. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Course modules

This is a part-time course, which has been specifically designed so that it can be available to health and social care professionals from all over the country, to fit with the demands of fulltime employment. The course structure is only offered in a part-time mode and is divided into two parts. Attendance for Part 1 will be in six study blocks of three days duration spread over two academic years. Typically, students will be required to attend the University for up to 18 days for the whole of Part 1. Attendance for Part 2 will only be required for tutorials, seminars and oral presentations. Part 1 This is the 'taught' component of the programme, which will equip students with the skills that they will need in preparation for Part 2. Part 1 consists of four units, namely: 1)Professional Review and Development 2)Advanced Research Techniques 3)Publication and Dissemination 4)Proposal for Professional Research and Development Part 2: This is the research and professional development component and comprises one or two pieces of practice-based research, linked with a commentary demonstrating the relevance of the research to both practice and the practitioner. The nature of this study may include pure basic research or applied research related, for example, to a management or educational setting. This should normally take between 24 and 48 months to complete. Assessment will be by a thesis, an oral presentation and a viva voce examination. The University offers Accreditation for Prior Learning (APL), for applicants with previous learning experience and other academic achievement which could be taken into account for some of the units of study. Claims will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Assessment methods

Each student will be assigned one or more University supervisors, depending on the area of research and professional development. Access to specialist advisors in the workplace will be required for Part 2 of the programme and will vary according to the area of investigation. We have excellent support systems for our Professional Doctorate students. All students are assigned a Personal Tutor for Part 1 as well as two Supervisors for Part 2 of the course. There are futher opportunities to attend Research Seminars and Workshops organised by the University's Graduate School. The Professional Doctorate consists of coursework and research and is credit based. The coursework component is designed to help build on professional expertise by exposing students to challenging and innovative ideas in their field. Assessment is by coursework (including preparation of an article for publication and a research proposal) and oral presentations. This should normally take 24 months to complete.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
DSW Part-time October 2019 2,780 per Year 1 (EU) 4 Years
DSW Part-time October 2019 6,950 per Year 1 (International) 4 Years
DSW Part-time October 2019 2,780 per Year 1 (England) 4 Years
DSW Part-time October 2019 2,780 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 4 Years
DSW Part-time October 2019 2,780 per Year 1 (Wales) 4 Years
DSW Part-time October 2019 2,780 per Year 1 (Channel Islands) 4 Years
DSW Part-time October 2019 2,780 per Year 1 (Scotland) 4 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Main Site PO1 2UP South East

Get in touch

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Key information

Research Team - Faculty of Science
Telephone number: