Professional Doctorate of Advanced Healthcare Science and Practice (DAHSP)

A Doctoral level programme, delivered part-time and usually completed within 5-7 years. The first two years consist of doctoral training in the form of six taught research and professional practice modules (out of seven modules on offer). The remaining three years are allocated for undertaking a research project and production of a doctoral thesis of normally 50,000 words.

A Professional Doctorate programme designed to fit around the needs of practitioners working in health, educational and research settings, focused on enhancing leadership and implementation in service improvement and delivery.

The Doctorate of Advanced Healthcare Science and Practice (DAHSP) is a doctoral programme designed to fit around the needs of practitioners working in health, educational and research settings. It is typically completed within 5 to 7 years. The initial 2 years consist of doctoral training in the form of 6 taught research and professional practice modules (out of 7 modules on offer; with the 7th module individual practice based and available at four different time periods within the 2 years) allowing flexibility and choice tailored to individual needs and professional interests.

The programme is designed to accommodate existing professional commitments, allowing you to continue full-time work throughout your period of study. The inter-professional approach and principles of this programme attracts both UK and international students and strives to offer a friendly, supportive and culturally diverse environment.

DAHSP delivers a higher level of educational engagement within a professional and organisational context. It is an opportunity for you to enhance your existing leadership responsibilities in service improvement and delivery, and to implement service improvement across a range of roles and disciplines. The programme also aims to further promote inter-professional research and development.

Programme aims

The Doctoral programme is  designed to fit around substantial professional commitments of students continuing to meet full-time work commitments throughout the study.

The Programme attracts both UK and international students and strives to offer a friendly, supportive and culturally diverse environment study environment.

Programme aims:

  • to meet the needs of health practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines
  • to offer a higher level of educational engagement within professional and organisational contexts
  • to offer students an opportunity to enhance their existing responsibilities in service improvement and delivery to lead and implement service improvement in a wide range of roles and disciplines
  • to promote inter-professional research and development.

Distinctive features

A culture of inter-professionalism

The programme embraces the culture of inter-professionalism. With help of the key stakeholders within the health service the Programme has been fully re-designed to expand into inter-professional education/research provision; encouraging applicants from health practitioners from a range of backgrounds, including nurses, midwifes, allied health professions, health visitors, educationalists, research managers and Trust/LHB leaders carrying out roles in clinical, management and educational settings.

The programme aims to further promote research and development and inter-professional working.

Principles of co-production

Learning and teaching within the programme is centred around the principles of co-production, and learning by example and inspiration, with focus on one’s own subject within assessments and subsequent research project.

Research training

The programme offers research training package designed to help students to gain high level research skills and knowledge in terms of mixed methods research design, data handling, ethics and research governance relevant to conducting research directly within their professional practice.

Highly collaborative research culture

We offer an exposure to a highly collaborative research culture, giving students an opportunity to be involved in research embedded within our School research themes in areas of active lives and health, workforce and innovation, maternity and child health and well-being and palliative emotional and supportive care.

Informing clinical practice

Our students undertake research directly within their professional context intended to inform clinical practice by developing new understandings of practice, generating/enhancing patient outcomes, directly influencing professional or organisational change within their workplace in line with their professional role

Centre for excellence

The school is home to the Wales Centre for Evidence Based Care which is recognised as a centre of excellence by the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI). JBI is a global collaboration of health organisations and academic institutions, which are at the forefront of evidence synthesis and transfer.

The School has access to a wide range of JBI tools and databases which our students can access free of charge.

I grew to love Cardiff and the University when I earned my MSc in Wound Healing and Tissue Integrity. I originally came to the University because that course of study is unique and is globally recognised. When I decided to study for my doctorate it was only natural that I select Cardiff as my academic choice. It’s been in one word, brilliant. I found the programme was flexible and adaptable to my needs. I study at a distance and there is a wealth of opportunities provided at the University.

Cindy Sylvia, Professional Doctorate Student from the USA

Key facts

Mode of study Part-time
Qualification DAHSP
Start dates October
Application deadline(s) 30 September 2018

Teaching methods

The teaching and learning employed within the programme are influenced by the need to direct you to formal theory and provide opportunities to develop, employ, rehearse and share critical thinking abilities. You will therefore be taught through a combination of interactive lectures, tutorials, student-directed learning and group seminars supplemented by online material such as recorded online lectures.

Lectures take a range of formats but generally provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts, and convey relevant up-to-date information. You will also have access to recorded versions of lectures and lecture notes.

Individual learning

In tutorials and seminars, you will have the opportunity to discuss particular professional topics, to consolidate and get feedback on your individual learning and to develop skills in oral presentation. Communication skills are developed in tutorials, where you will make individual contributions to group study, for example by summarising a particular judgment or article for the group.


You will practise and develop research, intellectual and presentational skills by participating in diverse learning activities, such as problem solving exercises, quizzes, small-group discussions, debates, MOOTs, oral presentations, independent research tasks and written assignments.

In addition, you will be offered the same opportunities as all doctoral students in the School where you will be assigned to an appropriate research theme within the School. This offers opportunities to attend and present at the research theme seminars to help you to develop enhanced verbal reasoning skills to exchange and disseminate knowledge, good practice and research.

Doctoral Academy Programme

Finally, you will have access to Cardiff University Doctoral Academy Programme intended to strengthen links between research staff and students from a variety of disciplines.

Training sessions are provided on a variety of topics, including PhD supervision, getting published, applying for funding, academic career building and the peer review processes.

There is also a comprehensive programme of online research and technical and personal development modules available.



The assessment is designed to allow you to demonstrate abilities in advanced scholarship, to extend the forefront of the discipline and to produce work of publishable quality. The assignments will also provide you with the opportunities to demonstrate the systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantive body of knowledge that underpins their professional practice. Also, you will be able to demonstrate your ability to conceptualise, design and manage a research project that generates new knowledge that informs and is applicable to practice.

The assessment strategy encompasses a variety of methodologies including; critical reviews, case studies, simulated research proposals, presentations and a research- based thesis. The assessment schedule will allow you to acquire and build on a broad base of knowledge and collective experiences that focuses around two key domains and their integration; research skills training and professional practice development

The overall assessment methodology consists of assignments for the taught component and an original and defensible thesis at viva voce for the research component. In determining the assessment strategy, consideration has been given to the need to encourage you to discuss and negotiate ideas for your  study development with supervisors. This will provide flexibility and opportunities for creativity and innovation

Each taught module will have formative and summative assessments providing an opportunity for various types of feedback:

Formative feedback

Within taught modules, you will be given feedback on your ability to critically consider design, methodology, aspects of validity and reliability when critically evaluating a mixed methods journal article. There will be also an opportunity for peer feedback in group discussions.

Within the research phase you will be provided with formative feedback in the form of supervisory meetings guiding you through the research process, feedback on your written work, and identifying areas and strategies for improvement.

Summative feedback

All feedback is directly linked to the module grading / assessment criteria. You will be allowed to submit draft work for comment and feedback prior to final submission. Following submission, you will receive feedback on overall handling of the subject within the submitted assignment, knowledge, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation aspects will be provided in the form of comments within the assignment text and an overall feedback summary.

The School of Healthcare Studies are improving, influencing and informing healthcare across Wales and beyond, putting patients and families at the heart of our research.

Learn about the ongoing healthcare research at Cardiff.

Research environment

We have a wide range of high quality research equipment and facilities to support and underpin our research.

Postgraduate research and taught programmes at Cardiff University have an excellent track record in terms of employability. Last year Cardiff University was in the top 25 Universities within the UK in terms of career prospects and employability with over 97% of Cardiff Postgraduate Research leavers in employment or further study within 6 months of graduation.

Whilst Professional Doctorate students are usually in full-time employment, completion of a Professional Doctorate will offer professional and research development, inspire reflective practice and allow for significant career enhancement.

The programme aims to improve personal and professional development and lead to developing advanced critical and analytical thinking, debating and publishing skills. You will also gain knowledge and skills in the range of different research methods encountered in professional practice.

Within the National Health Service (NHS), academic institutions and other health related organisations and governing bodies a Professional Doctorate is now being seen as an essential academic qualification for attaining higher level posts within the NHS Agenda for Change career framework and Service Improvement Initiatives and Research and Development Institutions.

The Prof Doc was excellent in providing me with a thorough grounding in research methodologies which I have gone on to use in a number of grant-funded studies that have informed clinical practice.

Dr Clare Bennett, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Health & Society, University of Worcester.


There are currently no funding opportunities available.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Applicants are required to submit an online application including a personal statement detailing the reason for deciding to undertake to study at Cardiff University as well as professional and personal aspirations and support available at place of work.

Research proposal

A 500 word summary outlining the rationale for the study with research aims, objectives and a brief outline of research methodology to be used. This is to ensure that the topic area is both suitable for doctoral study and in line with the School research themes.

Admission process

Students would be required to attend an interview to articulate their research area based on the written abstract appended to the application form. Students will also be asked how they will be supported in their professional practice in terms of research conduct and practice arena and anticipated payback or their participation on the course.

Applicants should hold a first or upper second Bachelor’s honours and/or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject.

Applicants should also produce a research proposal suitable for professional doctoral study.

In addition to fulfilling the above admissions criteria, prospective students would be required to attend an interview to:

  1. Articulate their research area based on the written abstract appended to application form. This is to ensure that the topic area is both suitable for professional doctoral study and appropriate to the supervisory capacity of the School
  2. Explore how the student is to be supported in their professional practice in terms of research conduct and practice endorsement of the research question
  3. Articulate their sphere of influence in the practice arena and the anticipated payback of their participation on the course to service provision.

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS). Please see our English Language Requirements guidance for more details.


Administrative contact(s)

Research Office

Administrative contact

Academic contact(s)

Una Jones

Dr Una Jones

Senior Lecturer: Physiotherapy

+44 (0)29 206 87789


Apply now
Find out more about Postgraduate study at our Open Day on 21 November 2018.

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