Professional, Specialist or Taught Doctorates

The second most common type of doctorate studied in the UK can be described as a Taught, Professional or Specialist Doctorate. These vary from institution to institution, but are usually intended for people who:
- have a Masters degree or equivalent and substantial experience and expertise in their professional field
- wish to study to doctoral level and continue working
- want their doctoral study to relate directly to their professional area.
Examples include the EdD, which is one of the most established Professional Doctorates in the UK, and is intended for education professionals, and the DBA, the Doctorate in Business Administration.
However, the EngD is taken by engineers earlier in their career, and the DClinPsy is a doctorate level entry qualification for Clinical Psychologists, and therefore may be described as a Specialist doctorate.
This type of Doctorate is usually designed to allow you to combine your professional practice with academic work, and may require you to undertake more than one piece of substantial research related to your professional practice.
Professional Doctorates are equivalent in academic level to a traditional PhD, last a minimum of 3 years and are usually studied part-time which can take up to 6 years (the DClinPsy is studied full time). They usually require the active collaboration of your employer.
The taught elements of this type of doctorate usually include teaching on academic research methods, including specialist research training relating to your specific profession and discipline.
Think Postgrad: a Professional Doctorate requires as much commitment and dedication to study as a PhD but can offer an attractive route to doctoral study if you are interested in pursuing and enhancing your career and professional expertise at the same time.
You can start looking now for specialist doctoral opportunities with funding on PostgraduateStudentships.