Health Education (DEdHealth)
- Research Institute
- Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
- Up to 6 years part-time
- Starting date
- October 2024
The Health Education Doctorate programme meets the needs of professionals/educationalists wishing to attain the highest level of professional and academic achievement.
Please note: Applications for 2024 are now open. Applications for 2024/25 will close on Thursday 29 August 2024.
The programme of taught modules combined with the research component allows students to undertake study and research that is clearly relevant to their professional practice, will support them to contribute to professional knowledge in their field of practice and will enable their career development.
A professional doctorate provides a rigorous programme of advanced study and research, equally rigorous to the purely research orientated PhD. The taught modules which occupy the first two years of the programme, provide opportunities to develop students’ skills and knowledge in key areas to facilitate career development, whilst the research component allows for development of skills in critical appraisal and the ability to develop the rationale, methodology and methods for research studies. The modules also allow development of other transferable skills such as project management, problem solving, information management and academic writing.
The Health Education Doctorate utilizes the expertise of the academic team across the whole of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences as well as experts from the clinical field to support the student’s development, research and scholarship; many of whom may be nationally and internationally renowned researchers in their own field.
Within the Doctorate, students may wish to exit at key points prior to completing the whole programme and in doing so may be awarded either postgraduate diploma or masters in health sciences. This design is intended to provide flexibility for professionals studying whilst working in high pressured health service roles.
The learning outcomes below describe what you should be able to do if you make full use of the opportunities for learning that are provided to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, and skills. In addition, by completing the Health Education Doctorate programme you will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility, leadership and largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations in professional environments.
- Evaluate and reflect on the core skills that are required for effective communication at an interpersonal and organizational level.
- Critically assimilate the current political challenges in health and social care and the role that culture, power and politics plays when communicating with organizations in this context.
- Critically analyse and appraise the key elements of productive team working, including effective management of workforce conflicts, and how these can inform planned change processes.
- Identify and apply strategies for implementing a change process and for networking across boundaries to build relationships and share information, plans and resources.
- Critically reflect on the key characteristics and skills of an effective leader and how these can be used to implement change in the workplace.
- Demonstrate a critical awareness of the principles of research and evaluation.
- Critically evaluate the research evidence base to inform the development of practice based/professional research questions.
- Develop an appreciation and knowledge base of quantitative and qualitative paradigms, methodologies and methods and their application to practice based/professional research
- Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a range of research methodologies and methods
- Analyse and reflect on the knowledge of the research process and methodologies and how these relate to own proposed research, providing a rationale and justification for choices made.
- Compose and critically debate a justified rationale for the research philosophy underpinning the project.
- Discriminate between and justify different research methodologies and methods underpinning the research project.
- Select and critically discuss the relevant data analysis methods for the proposed project.
- Develop a research proposal for the pilot study that demonstrates the ability to critically and analytically conceptualize the design of the research project.
- Critically analyse and examine the principles of research ethics and governance.
- Conduct a pilot study that shows the ability to implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of individual disciplines.
- Develop or select appropriate research tools that will collect data to meet the aims and objectives of the research questions/hypotheses.
- Demonstrate the intellectual capacity to undertake independent and original doctoral level research.
- Synthesise the relevant literature in order to develop the research question(s) or hypothesis.
- Design and justify an appropriate framework for the proposed research project that effectively integrates empirical focus, context, theory and methodology.
- Confidently and concisely communicates an appropriate ethical strategy for answering the research questions or testing the hypotheses.
- Communicate ideas and arguments effectively orally and in writing in language that is appropriate to doctoral level study.
- Provide a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate achievement of competencies required for advanced practice as described in the competency frameworks relative to your professional practice.
- Demonstrate that you have developed a comprehensive understanding and critical awareness of a chosen field of your professional practice, through research, enquiry and critical reflection, and created an interpreted new knowledge, principally through the production of a thesis, which is of suitable standard to satisfy the University Criteria on Doctoral work.
The modules which form Part 1 of the Doctorate programme are shown below in table 1. All the modules are compulsory core modules and have to be passed to allow you to progress into part 2 of the programme. They total 180 credits, divided into 105 level 7 credits and 75 level 8 credits.
Table 1: Part 1 modules and credit rating
Credits and level
Year 1 modules
Advanced leadership and change management (PHA 40185)
30 credits (level 7)
Introduction to research methods (PHA 40161)
15 credits (level 7)
Year 1 and year 2 module
Advanced practice development (APD) (portfolio) (PHA 40130)
60 credits (level 7)
Year 2 module
Applying research methods in practice (PHA 50005)
15 credits (level 8)
Doctoral pilot study (PHA 50007)
30 credits (level 8)
Thesis proposal (PHA 50009)
30 credits (level 8)
Year 3 onwards forms Part 2 of the Health Education Doctorate programme and consists of supervised completion of the research study and its write up to formulate the final thesis for submission and examination via an oral examination (viva voce). This follows the same rules and guidelines as a PhD thesis in terms of examination standard and rules (see University PGR guidelines and Assessment Guidance); the only difference being the wordage of the final thesis. The professional doctorate thesis is smaller due to the number of words produced for the assessments completed in Part 1 of the programme. Part 2 of the professional doctorate programme equates to 360 credits at level 8.
Students on all routes of the Doctorate programme will undertake all of the taught modules together to facilitate interprofessional learning and development. It will also be an important area of student/peer support as you progress through this stage and allow networking which can be continued into Part 2. The programme will also be delivered and supported by a range of staff from across the Faculty, again to provide a wide experience base on which you can draw to aid your own development.
Part 1-Years 1 and 2
Part 1 is the taught element of the programme where you will achieve the key learning outcomes/competencies required for your specific route on the Health Education Doctorate programme, in relation to your area of professional background and your specific research project proposal. Part 1 will conclude with a thesis proposal that will inform your doctoral research for Part 2 (Years 3 onwards) of the programme.
During Part 1, you will study using a variety of learning media and tools, mainly through distance learning at the University, in your home or work place. These will include face-to-face seminar(s) at the beginning of Part 1 as your induction onto the programme, and at various times during the 2-year period of Part 1 to participate in workshops, share progress with other students and staff through group work and presentations, and for formative assessment. There will also be distance learning modules (electronic and paper based) produced by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. These modules have been carefully designed to incorporate activities that will develop your understanding of particular issues and concepts, application of knowledge to practice, and help you to reflect on your current practice. The Advanced Practice Development (APD) portfolio module is a learning and assessment tool that runs through both years of Part 1. You will be assigned a personal tutor who will provide direction and support for the APD module and Year 2 of the programme including the Pilot Study and the Thesis Proposal, which will take to you the progression panel examination that is the final assessment of Part 1.
Part 2 (Years 3 onwards)
Once you have successfully completed Part 1 you will undertake your research in Part 2 to produce your doctoral thesis for the professional doctorate which will normally be a minimum of 65,000 words, which will ensure you will be eligible for future potential NHIR funding for clinical lectureship and senior clinical lectureship awards. However this does depend on your research approach and route taken on the professional doctorate. You will have a supervisor who will have been assigned at the start of year 2 of Part 1 who will now be your main point of contact to take your research project forward to completion. As well as receiving personal support from your supervisor there may also be occasional workshops available at Keele to support your progress and group meetings to maintain contact with your fellow student to continue the peer support developed in Part 1 of the programme. There are also additional Keele postgraduate modules that your supervisor may indicate as being valuable learning opportunities for you, which you can access without being required to complete the assignments for (attendance only basis).
Students who, for any reason, do not to proceed to Year 3 may be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate / Diploma in Health Sciences.
For admission to the Doctorate programme routes, candidates must be registered health care professionals. However, there is also a generic route (DHealthSci) which does not necessitate this requirement. You should also be working either full or part-time in an appropriate organization where you are permitted to conduct work-based research and evaluation. In addition, candidates must normally:
- Have completed a post graduate master’s degree in a relevant subject (advice on alternates can be discussed with the route leads) or have relevant equivalent extended clinical practice.
- Worked a senior practitioner with evidence of an advanced practice role and/or evidence of experience of practice research or evaluation (e.g. post graduate certificate in research and evaluation, published papers), at the discretion of the programme lead*
Students for whom English is not their first language must pass the academic IELTS with a minimum of 7.0 in all sub-tests. The only exception being student from a nursing background who can have a minimum of 6.5 in the written test but a minimum of 7 in all other sub tests. This is due to the NMC professional registration requirements (NMC, 2018) Please note that the IELTS exam must be no more than two years old at the start of the programme you have applied for.
*Candidates unable to provide evidence will normally be able to complete relevant research and advanced practice development modules to be eligible for entry if necessary. In any case, please contact the Programme Lead to discuss your options.
Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL)
Consideration will be given to requests for APCL/RPL in relation to Part 1 by the programme lead in conjunction with the route lead, on application to the programme.
Contact: PGR Administrator
Telephone: Please contact us via our email below
For all programmes you will need regular access to a computer, email and the internet. For courses that required attendance at Keele you will be required to cover the cost of your travel, accommodation and subsistence. Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for our postgraduate programmes.
The Health Education programme is led by Dr Alison Pooler, who is an experienced academic and has guided and supported doctoral students over a number of years to gain success in their studies. She works alongside a number of equally experienced academics from all the different schools within the faculty to provide the array of routes available to undertake the professional doctorate.
The Faculty has an exceptional research standing with many staff gaining grants from national and international funding bodies and this also facilitates the expertise that can be drawn upon to support the supervision of doctoral students outside of the immediate professional doctorate team.