Health & Social Care Doctorate (DHSC)
Duration: 5 - 8 Years (Part-time)|Hope Park|Start month: October
International students can apply
About the Course
The Doctor of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has been designed to meet the needs of social care professionals. You are likely to come from occupations within areas such housing, welfare support, residential care or supporting disabled children or adults. You should have several years of professional experience, perhaps at a senior level. You should desire to pursue an area of research related to, and drawing on, your professional work. Your research will create new evidence-based knowledge, practice and understanding that will bring benefits both to you and your wider professional community.
There is a strong emphasis on individualised learning and critical reflection. You will engage at an advanced level with varied academic and professional issues relevant to your own practice. You will develop the three key skills of independent learning, independent research, and sustained critical and self-reflexive analysis.
The programme is divided into two Phases. Phase One is the Taught Phase. You undertake three ‘strands’ of taught study, organised into six modules (20 credits each). You will also write substantial research Proposal (60 credits), during this Phase. The Proposal forms the foundation for Phase Two, the Research Phase. Here, you undertake a supervised thesis project, much like a traditional PhD student would.
Download the Doctor of Health and Social Care course leaflet
For further guidance download our Professional Doctorates - Application FAQ's and Professional Doctorates Help Sheet - Accreditation of Prior Learning
Part 1 - Year 1
- Engaging with Research - Knowledge, Truth and Values in Research
- Yourself as Researcher - Professional Identity and Values
- Research Skills and Methods
- Research Proposal
Part 1 - Year 2-3
- Engaging with Research - Research, Policy and Practice
- Yourself as Researcher - Practitioner Research in Context
- Research Skills and Methods (continued)
- Research Proposal (continued)
Part 2 - Years 3-5
- Dissertation phase
- 50-60,000 word dissertation to submit
The programme seeks to support students’ development as autonomous, ethical and self-reflective researchers. It also seeks to provide the foundations for students to conceive, design, implement and adapt a substantial process of research which makes a contribution that extends the frontier of knowledge in a relevant field.
As with any doctoral programme, there is a strong emphasis on independent, self-directed learning. Teaching and assessment will endeavour to promote individualized learning and personal critical reflection related to professional identities, values and contexts.
The course will provide a structured environment in which students can engage at an advanced level with a range of academic and professional issues relevant to their own practice. The learning and teaching strategy seeks to develop the three key skills of independent learning, independent research, and sustained critical and self-reflexive analysis.
Therefore, the major emphasis is on encouraging independent, self-reflexive and active learning with tutors providing appropriate direction, support and challenge.
A minimum of a Second-Class Honours degree in a relevant discipline awarded by a UK university, or an equivalent higher education qualification.
At least 3 years’ professional experience.
International Entry Requirements
For students whose first language is not English there is a language requirement of IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.0 minimum of all components. In addition to this, we also accept a wide range of International Qualifications, for more information please visit our English Language Requirements page.
For additional information about country specific entry requirements visit the your country pages.
Teaching and Research
Part one of the doctorate is taught over five weekends per year, in October, December, February, March and May. Each weekend begins around 1pm Friday, and continues until 5pm Saturday, with a mix of interactive workshop and seminar discussions around key readings and tasks. Admission to the Professional Doctorate is limited to a small cohort each year, and sharing your independent reading and professional expertise is an important part of the learning experience. All of the modules and assessments are designed to support you in the development of your independent research proposal.
An annual conference is held in the summer, bringing together students on all phases of the professional doctorate, at Liverpool Hope, St Mary's University Twickenham and Newman University Birmingham.
At the end of Part one, students' research proposals are assessed at a Confirmation of Doctoral Study Interview, after which they are allocated a supervisory team. Supervisors meet with students in the research phase of their doctorate on a monthly basis, to provide advice and guidance as students prepare their doctoral thesis.
Research is a central part of Liverpool Hope University’s academic life and vision. Many aspects of our research have been judged to be world-class. Our research activities take place across the range of disciplines - in humanities, sciences and social sciences, education, liberal arts and business. We currently have over 150 postgraduate research students conducting specialist research and collaborating with academic staff who are working at the frontiers of their subjects. We are committed to ensuring that the quality and relevance of our postgraduate research programmes are of the very highest level. We provide outstanding teaching as experienced by students on our successful BA (Hons) in Health and Social Care and BA (Hons) and MA in Disability Studies. Liverpool Hope has been awarded TEF Gold, for delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning, and outcomes for its students. The teaching and learning is of the highest quality found in the UK. You will be taught by experienced academics who are active researchers.
The School of Social Sciences is a global hub for research and teaching in Sociology, Criminology, Disability Studies and Health and Social Care. We particularly encourage applications from students whose research interests fall within our school expertise such as social determinants of health, critical analysis of social problems, and children’s lives and participation, along with our two Research Centres; the Centre for Culture and Disability Studies and the Socio-Economic and Applied Research for Change Centre.
UK/EU Tuition Fees
Visit our Postgraduate research tuition fees page for full details
We offer a number of scholarships and loans to help fund your postgraduate studies. Visit our scholarships pages for more details.
International Tuition Fees
Visit our Postgraduate research tuition fees page for full details
Students on this course may be eligible for Doctoral Loans to cover the cost of study, click here for further details.
DHSC students are usually experienced professionals. They come with a range of experience from a variety of occupations. Students may have worked within mental health, dementia care, education or housing and addiction services. All will be expected to reflect on their experience and the wider working environment.
The DHSC focuses on enabling our graduates to become researching professionals. For some, this means a move into Higher Education, but for many others, it is about taking a critical, evidence-informed perspective at a level within their professional setting, often with a view to promotion and advancing professional practice and knowledge in their area.