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  • 5 minutes

What is a Professional Doctorate?

Updated Thursday, 30 July 2020
Learn about the characteristics of Professional Doctorates and find out whether they are relevant to you.

What is a Professional Doctorate?

PD programmes aim to equip practitioners, experts and advocates with the knowledge, expertise and confidence to develop their research skills and become champions of change within their professional areas. The programmes promote the creation and interpretation of new professional knowledge and practice, thus contributing to the development of new ideas, methods or approaches.

Your professional identity as a doctoral student involves being a person who conducts research, produces a thesis and participates in other learning activities and ways of disseminating your research. The process of being a developing researcher will reshape your professional identity. This follows Hökkä et al. (2017, p. 38), who observe that: ‘Professional identity, for its part, is understood as a construction which is dynamic, multifaceted, culturally embedded, and continuously reshaped’.

In this video, you can hear Dr Debbie Chagadama (Doctorate in Health and Social Care graduate) and Dr Pauline Lyseight-Jones (Doctorate in Education graduate) talk about their experiences of undertaking their doctoral studies. You may find that their experiences relate to your own professional context.


PDF document Transcript 17.8 KB


In the following video students and supervisors explain the main characteristics of the Doctorate in Education at the Open University.

PDF document Transcript 66.4 KB



A photo of a group of students studying at a wooden bench. Aerial view
This piece of content is part of the 'Professional Doctorate Hub', a collection of academic-led info, from articles and infographics to animations. Click on the banner above or CLICK HERE to view all materials.


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