Professional Doctorates


You will need to send a completed Professional Doctorates application form and a research proposal to WELS-Student-Enquiries. The application form contains a full list of all the documents you need to include with your application. The research proposal for Professional Doctorates template for applying for a professional doctorate helps you to structure your proposal. You should also refer to this OpenLearn resource on writing a proposal: Writing your research proposal - OpenLearn - Open University.


Applications will be accepted each year between 1 November–31 January for an October start.

Criteria for assessment of your application

Your application will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • its suitability in terms of relevance to one of the identified academic areas of research in WELS
  • how effectively you demonstrate your ability to communicate in English
  • the extent to which your proposed research draws on your own professional expertise and context
  • the extent to which you demonstrate professional and practical relevance of your proposed research
  • the extent to which you demonstrate awareness of the research process
  • how effectively you demonstrate your potential for study at doctorate level.

In addition, the proposal needs to be of a sufficiently high standard to suggest that you will be able to reach doctorate level within the time available. We will aim to provide you with written feedback on your application

What happens next?

Your application and proposal will be assessed by a selection panel using the above criteria, the panel will also consider whether there is a supervisor available with experience relevant to your proposed project.

We will contact you to let you know if your application has been shortlisted, and if so, we will invite you for an interview. To comply with University regulations, interviewees are expected to provide proof of the qualification(s) needed to meet our admission requirements. Interviews will take place in late March or early April and if you are successful you will receive an offer in July.

Please note that demand is high so we cannot guarantee a place.

Man at desk using a computer.

Your questions

If you have an enquiry specific to these programmes, please contact:

Phone: +44 (0)1908 659036