Health and care professionals career progression is what the doctorate ordered

Date 3.07.2018

Health and care professionals whose careers have flourished after taking a doctorate with the University of Northampton have encouraged their peers to sign up for the course.

The Doctor of Professional Practice in Health and Social Care offers senior managers and advanced practitioners working in health and social care an exciting professional development opportunity.

These include helping them reflect on and improve their own practice and conducting their own research to develop new knowledge, enhancing their profession.

Dr Deborah Pugh is a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist at Greenfields Specialist School for Communication in Northampton. Since graduating, she has gone on to develop training courses to help families and education staff use symbol and voice based systems to communicate with children.

She said: “The course was invaluable in terms of developing an understanding of different research methods and theories, which has greatly enhanced my professional skills and practice.

“It allowed me to further my research, opened ‘new doors’ and provided me with greater opportunities within my professional field.”

Dr Gayle Madden, secured a post at Dementia UK as a Professional and Practice Development Facilitator after completing her doctorate. She commented: “The whole experience of completing the doctorate taught me to never underestimate or assume anything.  My nursing practice has become much more relationship centred now whilst also recognising the individuals within those relationships.

“The doctorate has helped me develop my research skills and knowledge around dementia but it has also had the added benefit of increasing my confidence and resilience.”

Carol Rooney, Head of investigations at Niche Consultancy, will graduate from the programme in July 2018. Carol said: “The doctorate came at the perfect time for me: part time, sponsored by my employer, and with the work-life balance fairly well maintained.

“My research explored what helps mental health nurses working in secure environments to stay resilient. I hope this new information can be used by organisations to develop interventions to promote wellbeing at work, reducing work related stress and aiding recruitment and retention.

The Doctorate has attracted people from a diverse range of disciplines including nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy, social work and social care.

As the course is part-time, it is structured around students’ existing work commitments and it can be taken between a three and six year period.

Running since 2010, the doctorate consists of two parts – facilitated modules and a supervised research project – eligible applicants need to have already completed an MSc award or equivalent, preferably within the last ten years.

They should also have a minimum of three years relevant work experience at an appropriate level currently employed in workplace environment that can support learning and assessment.

For further information, visit the programme webpage.

Or contact Dr Michelle Pyer: or 01604 892831.

For those who are interested, applications can be made online. The deadline for applications for an October 2018 start is 13th July.