Professional Doctorates


​Cardiff School of Art & Design offers three Professional Doctorate programmes:

  • Professional Doctorate in Art (DArt)
  • Professional Doctorate in Design (DDes)
  • Professional Doctorate in Ecological Building Practices (DeBP)

​The Professional Doctorate is a research degree programme, designed around the concept of change agency, and is intended for professionals who wish to make a step-change in the way their organization operates.

Download the Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Professional Doctorate Programmes brochure here. The document contains useful information including programme structure, entry requirements, periods of study and how to apply.

The programme is at the same level as a PhD, but it has a different objective: whereas a PhD makes a contribution to knowledge, the Professional Doctorate develops new professional practice. As well as enabling professionals within organizations to bring about change, the Professional Doctorate is also open to lone practitioners who can contribute to professional practice through supervision by a suitably qualified mentor.

CSAD’s Professional Doctorates are intended for professionals who wish to create a step-change in the performance of:

Professional Doctorate in Art (DArt): (a) art institutions, such as museums, galleries, funding councils; (b) art practices as they intersect with or contribute to professional contexts, e.g. benefits to a company from an artist-in-residence scheme; and (c) an artist’s own practice.

Professional Doctorate in Design (DDes): (a) design companies and consultancies; (b) design practices as they intersect with or contribute to wider professional or industrial contexts, e.g. through commissioner–client relationships; and (c) a designer’s own practice.

Professional Doctorate in Ecological Building Practices (DeBP): (a) ecological and sustainable practice in the built and natural environment professions, such as architecture, building and construction, planning, development, engineering, surveying, biodiversity and ecology, industrial production and manufacturing design; (b) other professions whose work can or could relate specifically to an ecological or sustainable built and natural environment. Further details of the ecological building research conducted at CSAD can be found here.

Course Content

​The key to a professional doctorate is to look at change in your working environment or practice, design and implement the change, and test and evaluate the ‘change project’. You work in an organization or have a professional practice and, through agreement with your manager, director or suitably qualified mentor, you identify the scope for a new practice or process, and how it may be beneficial to the organization or practice. Surveying the state of the art, making the case for the need for change, designing the change and how it will be implemented and evaluated, then actually doing the implementation and evaluation are the principal elements of the programme. Download the Professional Doctorate Student Handbook for further details of the programme here.

The first part of the Professional Doctorate programme, undertaken by all candidates, consists of the Masters in Professional Practice programme. This includes modules on contextualising professional change, literature review and project design. Candidates may conclude their studies at the end of this phase and receive the award of degree of Master in Professional Practice (MProf Prac). The doctoral stage sees the implementation and evaluation of the change project.

The Professional Doctorate incorporates a variety of forms of cohort-based and individualised learning appropriate to the very highest levels of achievement: some teaching, questioning and debate, enquiry-based learning, guided study, negotiated study, and research. There are several named Professional Doctorate awards on offer across Cardiff Metropolitan University’s five academic schools, and you will be working alongside candidates from other schools during your cohort-based studies.

Further details

The Professional Doctorate programme has two starting points in the year: October and February. Applications must reach Cardiff Metropolitan University Admissions by the following deadlines to qualify for the appropriate start date:
• 31 May for enrolment in November
• 31 October for enrolment in February.

Further programme details, including periods of study and entry requirements, can be found in Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Professional Doctorate Programmes brochure here.

Additional cost of Postgraduate study in CSAD

Click here to visit the Cardiff Met web pages which lists fees, equipment requirements and other charges for postgraduate programmes.


If you have any queries or would like more information on how the Professional Doctorate programme might benefit your art and design practice, then please contact Dr Stephen Thompson, Head of Research Degrees,