Professional Doctorate

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Professional Doctorate 2017-06-12T15:41:05+00:00
Zoe Bennett with DProf students

Why do a Professional Doctorate (DProf)?

A professional doctorate is a doctoral level research degree aimed at the ‘researching professional’. It is of particular interest to practitioners and professionals who want to research a question arising from their practice, and through their research to contribute to the community of practice in their own profession or voluntary work. The Cambridge Theological Federation, through its partnership with Anglia Ruskin University, offers a professional doctorate in Practical Theology.

The programme is aimed at those interested in relating theological, ethical and spiritual insights and methods to their own professional and/or voluntary practice. Participants need not necessarily have a faith-commitment but they should be interested in the role of religion, theology and ethics in forging action-directing world views. Recently submitted theses address: family ministry in the Catholic church, bullying amongst Church of England clergy, the ministry of older people in a congregation, practices of levirate union in Kenya, and use of Buddhist meditation by a psychologist working in criminal court settings. You can see some examples of the work of graduates of the programme at:

The taught stage

Two consecutive 30 credit taught modules at level 7 which may be taken either by distance learning (for those unable to attend in Cambridge) or by attendance in Cambridge for 2 taught sessions per module, with some additional engagement with distance learning elements.
Module 1: Advanced Professional Practice: Practical Theology, September – January
Module 2: Advanced Research Methods in Practical Theology, February – May

The dissertation stage

A 60,000 word research thesis at level 8. Further engagement with distance learning materials, supervisions, and some attendance in Cambridge will be required. Attendance requirements will be tailored to student location and for some students working overseas this may entail attendance at locally delivered seminars. Normally expected completion time for dissertation stage 48 months.

If you are interested in applying for this programme please contact the Programme Director Dr Zoë Bennett (zb200@cam.ac.uk) or the Programme Manager Mrs Jenny Thorogood (jt562@cam.ac.uk)
An application form may be found on our applications page

An applicant seeking entry to the Professional Doctorate shall normally, as a minimum entry requirement:

  • hold a first or upper second class honours degree of a university or any other institution of higher education in the UK with degree-awarding powers, provided that the degree included training in research and the execution of a research project or dissertation, or a qualification which is regarded by Anglia Ruskin University as equivalent to a first or upper second class honours degree; AND
  • have appropriate professional experience Where English is not an applicant’s first language, they must demonstrate evidence of English language ability by holding an IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) and have achieved a minimum of English language competence of at least IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent) across all four disciplines – writing, reading, speaking and listening.