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Course options

  • Qualification

    Professional Doctorate

  • Location

    University of Hertfordshire

  • Study mode

    Part time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    5 years

Course summary

About the course

The Professional Doctorate in Public Health (DPH) is a programme of advanced study and research designed specifically to develop the research and leadership capacity of public health professionals and practitioners. It is also suitable for individuals who wish to enhance their work-related experience and move into public health from a related field. The purpose of the programme is to foster the development of research competent practitioners and policy professionals so they may apply sound research evidence with which to shape public health in their field and locality.

The DPH is a structured doctorate that is undertaken part-time using a combination of online and on-campus research resources and supervision. This allows candidates to study from their home or workplace and to attend the University three times per year. The programme combines guided learning with intensive doctoral supervision to produce a focused research programme leading to the submission of a dissertation.

The five-year part-time Professional Doctorate in Public Health at the University of Hertfordshire offers an exceptional pathway for public health practitioners to undertake postgraduate research. The programme is suitable for even the most senior of public health colleagues, with flexible opportunities to focus on the science of public health. Students are expected to continue with their professional practice and to bring this to bear upon the research questions they wish to address in their doctorate. Enquiries are welcomed from across the professions involved in public health policy and practice, both within the UK and internationally.

The DPH offers an intensive programme of research-informed methods training underpinned by current theory, ethical, legal, socio-political, economic and governance frameworks. Students on the DPH will be guided in their learning to develop research expertise to enable them to plan a programme of doctoral studies with their academic supervisors. Two supervisors will usually be appointed to guide the student’s academic and professional development. Guided learning will include resources and training relating to:

• Critical thinking, reading and writing in relation to public health evidence and practice

• Reviewing research and policy literature

• Philosophy of research methodology, research methods and analytical approaches

• Research proposal development and research design

• Research ethics

• Data generation, management and analysis

• The implementation of research evidence

Teaching methods

• Part-time over 5 years

• Years 1-2 - guided learning, tutorials and supervision aimed at developing a research proposal and gaining ethics approval

• Years 3-5 - guided learning, tutorials and supervision to conduct research and write a doctoral level dissertation (maximum 80,000 words)

Guided learning resources are available online through the University’s intranet and students and tutors will engage in online discussion and tutorials to enhance understanding and to bring student experience from their profession or field to benefit the DPH cohort. Three times each academic year students are encouraged to attend the University campus for more intensive tutorials and research training and to meet with their supervisors. Students unable to attend in person will be able to join in online. Students’ research skills will also be developed via access to the University Doctoral College comprehensive Researcher Development Programme. More than 700 students are currently enrolled in postgraduate research programmes at the University and the Doctoral College provides guidance, support and opportunities to help students navigate their doctoral journey.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 3,270per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Hertfordshire

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9AB, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    41st out of 58 14

  • Entry standards

    / Max 241
    125 55%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100

  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    3.82 76%



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