Professional Doctorate in Policing DProf

Research ( part-time)

Blended learning

September 2018

Intermediate awards: Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Research, Professional Masters in Policing

Course duration: For the first two semesters you will undertake taught modules on research methods. After this you will complete a thesis within a normal expectation of 48 months and a maximum of 63 months.


Critically examine your current working practice as a senior police professional at doctoral level. Become a rigorous learner at the highest strategic perspective, able to apply new forms of knowledge and models to your professional practice.

Full description

Supervision and support


The Professional Practitioner-Researcher
This module will introduce you to research within the broad discipline of police studies and help you think about your professional environment reflexively. In line with current research in this area, you will focus on the theoretical principles underlying police studies and examine how specific research issues are identified and framed. You will examine the way in which research evidence contributes to broader debates and understanding, and in particular how professional practice and policy is shaped by, and also shapes, research. This module will immerse you in the ideological, practical and ethical issues involved in professionals researching their own practice that will be the basis for the entire course.

It will also give you a chance to gain an in-depth knowledge of an area of enquiry related to your professional interests, through examining current research literature in this specific field, its central concerns, theoretical perspectives and approaches to research. You will also examine relevant policy and professional literature to create a dialogue between both the academic and professional literatures and your own professional experience of working in this area.

Your assessment will comprise a portfolio of work, including a piece of reflexive work based on your own professional practice that will aid your critical reflection and understanding of your professional context and to help to clarify your perceptions of the advantages and difficulties of research in your own professional context or organization. Your portfolio will also include a review of a body of literature relevant to your own professional practice.

Advanced Professional Research Methods
This module will give you a deeper understanding of the research process and help you develop your research proposal in preparation for stage 2 of your Professional Doctorate. You will address a range of topics that include generating appropriate research questions in relation to the field of study, and outlining ethical considerations. You will also need to address how your focus of enquiry contributes to the ‘professional doctorate triangle’ of: 1. your profession, 2. scholarly knowledge; and 3. your own personal professional development.

You will prepare a research proposal that identifies a clear context, focus and question for your proposed project and gives a well-supported rationale for its value, usefulness and originality. This must demonstrate a clear ability to ground your project in the wider context of issues, debates and methods within policing and in relation to other academic disciplines (where relevant), outlining and justifying your approach to your chosen research methods, design, data collection and analysis. You will also identify the resources you need to complete this project, along with how they can be accessed, and create a realistic timetable for the completion of the project. You will be expected to identify and take into consideration relevant ethical guidelines.

Research thesis
This represents the original research component of the degree and will result in a thesis of 60,000 words. The overall role is to give you the opportunity to conduct a substantial piece of research which will generate new perspectives, data and paradigms in your area of professional practice. Reflection on practice and personal/professional reflection are expected to be evident.

Findings from research undertaken on this programme may be expected to benefit the employing organisation in which you have undertaken your research. This places a premium upon the relevance of that research as judged by its utility and potential transferability into contemporary professional practice. Such judgements are made in addition to those of the academic merit of the research as contained in the thesis. Candidates engaged in these types of studies are thus faced with reconciling two sets of expectations and success criteria for their research. The research gains credibility, and so is more acceptable to others, because of its conduct in the ‘real world’ of work. This represents the professional and intellectual challenge.


Your assessment will comprise of written assignments, including taught module assignments, drafts at the thesis stage (including 6,000 words formatively assessed on theoretical perspectives nine months after entering the thesis stage), Annual Reviews (written submission plus two-person panel review), mock viva and submission of thesis/viva.

Where you'll research

Your faculty

Whether you aim to work in the creative industries or the social sciences, the legal profession or public service, the Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need for professional life.

Our lively, diverse community and ambitious academic environment will broaden your horizons and help you develop your full potential - many of our courses give you the chance to learn another language, study abroad or undertake work placements as you study.

If you’re interested in art, music, drama or film, check out our packed programme of events. Together with our partners in the creative and cultural industries, we’re always working to enrich the cultural life of the university and the wider community.

Our research is groundbreaking and internationally recognised, with real social impact. We support the StoryLab Research Institute, whose projects include interactive music apps and documenting lifesaving childbirth procedures, the Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER), as well as nine international research clusters including the Centre for Children's Book Studies and the Labour History Research Unit.

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, six of our subject areas were awarded world-leading status: Law; Art and Design; English Language and Literature, Communication, Cultural and Media Studies; History; Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts.

Where can I study?

Blended learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our Virtual Learning Environment.

More about blended learning

In studying for any academic award it is important that candidates feel part of a community. This can be more challenging when studying part-time and with significant professional and other commitments. This programme is designed to help you to develop a sense of belonging to your cohort group (the others beginning Professional Doctorate studies at the same time as you) through face to face meetings at weekend workshops and through discussion groups using the Virtual Learning Environment (Canvas). Furthermore, you will also spend some time in workshops with candidates on other professional doctoral programmes in other faculties.

This course is managed by the Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER). As one of our students you will be part of the PIER research community and the wider ALSS postgraduate student body. Throughout the year, PIER hosts a series of events and opportunities for networking and knowledge exchange with local and regional police forces, and representatives from national policing bodies.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2018/19 (Part-time, per year)


Bench fees

In some cases extra costs known as bench fees will be charged for a postgraduate research degree. These are to cover additional/ exceptional costs directly related to a specific research project.

We charge bench fees in bands. They may apply for every year of your course. These bands are the same for full and part time students.

If you have to pay bench fees this will be made clear at your interview for a place. If have to pay bench fees this will be stated in your offer letter.

For 2018/19 the bench fee bands are:

  1. £500
  2. £1000
  3. £2000
  4. £4000
  5. £8000

Writing up fees 2018-19

Full-time: £1400
Part-time: £1000


For advice on funding, scholarships and PhD studentship opportunities, please visit our finance pages for postgraduate students and researchers.

You might also find The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding helpful.

ARU research

Anglia Ruskin's academic excellence was recognised in 2014, as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), an exercise which assesses the quality of academic research. Twelve areas of our work were classed as generating world-leading research. The results showed that we're making a significant impact on economies, societies, the environment and culture in all corners of the globe.


Our Professional Doctorate in Policing will benefit your career progression by helping you develop higher-level academic skills and apply new forms of knowledge and models to your professional practice.

Contact details

Contact the Course Director Dr Sam Lundrigan for more information about this course.

Entry requirements

Candidates for admission would normally have a Masters-level qualification and be serving professionals in the police.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online