A Professional Doctorate is a specialist qualification that is appropriate if you are in, or are aspiring to, a senior professional appointment in practice, education or management in sports therapy. It demonstrates your ability to perform at the level of 'expert' within your area of specialism.
The aim of the course is to provide a unified approach to theory and practice within a professional context, so your learning is structured to allow you to develop your skills both in the workplace and within the university environment.
Depending on your individual circumstances, your study can be undertaken over the course of between 4 and 7 years. During this time, you will prepare two portfolios which chronical your development of expert practice in your workplace. In tandem, you also study taught modules at the University of Essex which provide you with the expertise in qualitative, statistical and other research methods required for researching sports therapy.
Your own interests, experiences, and needs determine a great deal about how your course is structured, and what areas you can focus on. A key part of demonstrating your expertise in your specialist area is the development of a 40,000-word dissertation on a relevant topic.
Our School has a proven track record of excellence in teaching, research and applied sports science. We are top 20 in the UK for research excellence for sports and exercise science (REF 2014, mainstream universities, THE 2014). Our research is not just about academic excellence. It has wide ranging societal impact in areas as diverse as sports performance, cardiac health and childhood wellbeing.
Within our School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, you will be allocated a supervisor whose role it is to guide you through the different stages of your research degree. In some cases, you may have joint supervision by two members of our staff.
The support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan.
Twice a year, you will have a supervisory board meeting, which provides a more formal opportunity to discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next six months.
The School is housed within the Essex Sport Arena. This state-of-the-art, £12 million development brings together education, rehabilitation, exercise and research, with facilities including a sports hall the size of three basketball courts, two dedicated labs for sports therapy training, a sports therapy clinic, and dedicated physiotherapy labs. Key to the success of all research and teaching within a university is sufficient resources. Our School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences is well equipped, centrally resourced by technical staff who provide a service to all our staff and students.
Our successful Human Performance Unit (HPU) provides educational and coaching services, health-related exercise programmes and athlete testing, as well as unique opportunities for you to further your studies and research in these areas.
We have a study room for our postgraduate research students. This has been designed in collaboration with our postgraduates, and allows our PhD students to have office space. This provides a focal point for our postgraduates, facilitating good communication and a strong sense of community.
We offer doctoral preparation that integrates professional expertise and academic rigor. During your time working with us you will gain the skills necessary to make significant contribution to local and national health and social care provision through critical appraisal of current practice.
The networks you develop while with us facilitate self-development. You will engage in critical reflection upon practice; work and lead within complex, multi-professional environments where you can demonstrate expert decision-making.
You will need a relevant Masters degree, or equivalent, and be currently registered with a relevant professional body. You must also have two years post-qualifying experience in a relevant senior role.
You will normally be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5, or equivalent with a minimum score of 5.5 in all other components.
You can study our Professional Doctorates flexibly between 4 and 7 years. Decisions about the duration of the study period are based on individual need, professional commitments and funded support.
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
£9,400EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
We hold open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing email@example.com and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.
We aim to respond to applications within four weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.
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