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DProf (Professional Doctorate) in International Relations

The new Professional Doctorate (DProf) in International Relations offers an attractive programme to those applicants that due to working commitments wish to pursue in a flexible format, on a part-time basis and not in residence.

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The DProf is a part-time, distance learning programme open to experienced professionals who are employed in any area of work, including those in emerging professions and disciplines.

Key features include:

  • the degree has a practice based rather than an exclusively institutional focus
  • candidates are normally working while completing the doctorate and already possess significant professional experience
  • successful completion of the degree normally leads to professional or organisational change that is often direct, rather than achieved through the implementation of subsequent research findings

Programme structure

This programme takes place over six-eight years. It includes distance-learning taught elements. The programme is broken into three main areas:

A series of professional projects

Professional projects are the core of the programme of study. For this component of the portfolio, you will normally write three to four journal articles of 30-40,000 words in total and one policy paper of 3-6,000 words, as well as a final written component of12-15,000 words (see below for further information).

One journal article must published in a peer-reviewed journal during your programme, and your other papers accepted for publication.

Examples of peer-reviewed quality journals are Terrorism and Political Violence or Journal of Strategic Studies. Professional journals might include RUSI journals, but it will depend on the research being undertaken as to where submissions are made.

Individually tailored supplementary studies

Completion of the online Research Methods module (IR5952) in year 1 with the purpose of broadening and deepening your academic practice. If you have been awarded the MLitt in Terrorism and Political Violence (TPV) and achieved an overall of 15.5 or above in the 20 point scale there is no requirement to undertake this module again.

Credit for prior learning

Credits gained between more than five years and within ten years before starting the degree programme may be accepted for up to 50% of their face value. Credits gained more than ten years before the start of degree programme are not acceptable. Similar decay principles will be applied to any professional or voluntary experience (suitably evidenced) for which credit is sought. Credit for prior learning will be capped at 60 credits in a relevant subject.

A written component

The aim of the written component is to provide a reflective synthesis of the professional projects and supplementary studies, drawing them together into a coherent whole and contextualising the contribution made by the candidate to their chosen field. In particular, the written component should:

  • set out the academic and intellectual context for the professional projects
  • reflect self-critically on the process of professional development (including the role of the supplementary studies undertaken)
  • articulate the professional insights achieved through the programme of study.

The written component will be 12,500 to 15,000 words (excluding bibliography and appendices).

Candidates are required to submit an outline of study at application stage. This will be elaborated upon and developed into an 8,000-word thesis proposal which shall contribute towards the annual progress review in year 2.

Examination for the award of the DProf is by viva voce.