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Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology

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Graduates from the Professional DoctorateThe Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology is the first programme of its kind. Launched in 2006, it is offered by Anglia Ruskin University with the Cambridge Theological Federation, the University of Birmingham, the University of Chester, the University of Glasgow, and the University of Manchester.

What is a Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology?

Professional doctorates are designed to take explicit account of the work or practice-based setting of participating students as a central component (and knowledge-base) of an advanced research project. This reflects the need for structured forms of professional development in many areas of the public, private and voluntary sector.

The programme is therefore designed to introduce you to a range of dynamic and challenging concepts and methods with which to reflect critically and constructively on your current experience and context. Two approaches in particular will be used: firstly, practice-based research and enquiry-based learning methods, in which participants' own professional context becomes a primary research resource.

Secondly, you will be encouraged to keep a research log, or learning journal. This may take the form of a diary, or portfolio or other personal record, and is designed to encourage you to keep a record of your reading and research, cultivate your writing skills and integrate your theoretical work with sustained reflection on your own practical context. Elements of this journal will be submitted for assessment.

The qualification is particularly aimed at participants across a range of contexts and institutions:

The programme is offered part-time at Anglia Ruskin University and the Cambridge Theological Federation.

Award of the doctoral degree will be via submission of a research portfolio, with structured assignments and deadlines. Participants will be assessed on their ability to generate new perspectives, data, paradigms in the engagement between religious, ethical and spiritual world-views and a range of professional and practical contexts.

In addition to regular supervisions with a tutor, participants will attend a 3 day summer school in mid-July and 4 day conferences per year with a peer group covering all aspects of the discipline of practical Theology. Sessions will include work on research skills and methodology, practical exercises in enquiry-based learning and lectures, seminars and student-led discussions.

The summer school is undertaken jointly with other participating Universities.

Is this programme for me?

How is the programme structured?

Length of Study: The programme is available over 3-6 years part-time.

Workload and student support:

For part-time students, we will expect you to set aside around 6-8 hours for independent work per week. That will include research and reading, and maintaining a regular research journal.

In addition, you will be assigned a personal supervisor, who will want to see you approximately six times per academic year.

Cambridge Research Seminar Days

Sat 27th Sep 2014 (10am-4pm) Cross-Faculty introductory day with other Anglia Ruskin Professional Doctorate Programmes. Venue and precise timing tbc.

Fri 10th Oct 2014 (11.30am-8.30pm for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 candidates, including optional evening meal). Venue: Margaret Beaufort Institute Grange Road CB3 9DU

Stage 1 candidates - Thurs 13th Nov 2014 (11.30am – 4.30pm), Wed 21st Jan 2015 (11.30am – 4.30pm), Thurs 5th Mar 2015 (11.30am – 4.30pm), Wed 6th May 2015 (11.30am – 4.30pm). Venue: Margaret Beaufort Institute Grange Road CB3 9DU

Stage 2 candidates - Tues 2nd Dec 2014 (11.30am – 4.30pm), Fri 20th and Sat Feb 21st 2015 (writing day 11.30am – 4.30pm with the option of staying on for a meal and overnight, plus a further writing session on the Saturday), Mon 1st June 2015 (11.30am – 4.30pm)

Prospective candidates who would like to attend one of these seminar days to find out more about the DProf would be most welcome. Please contact the Course Director, Zoe Bennett (

Summer School: 16th – 18th July 2015. Venue tbc.

Programme Structure and Assessment Schedule

The programme will be taken in two Stages:

How much will the programme cost?

Professional doctorate studentsThe fee set by Anglia Ruskin University for this programme in 2013-14 for part time UK/EU students will be £2520. For International part time students, the fee will be £5880 per annum (Visa restrictions apply).

It is possible under exceptional circumstances to take Stage I on a full time basis. Enquiries should be made to the Course Director for regulations. The fees for full time study would be £4200 per annum for UK/EU and £9500 per annum for International students.

In addition to course fees, you should budget for attendance at the summer school in July. There are no tuition fees for these events, although you will need to find your own overnight accommodation and pay for some meals.

Academic staff

Supervision and other academic support for the programme will be drawn from staff of the Cambridge Theological Federation and Anglia Ruskin University, with the opportunity to draw on nationally available supervision for Stage II of the research.

Online Applications

Link to online application form