Professional Doctorates

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

  • Professional Doctorate in Engineering (D.Eng)
  • Professional Doctorate in Professional Practice (D.Prof)
  • Professional Doctorate in Sustainable Built Environment (D.SBE)

​The Professional Doctorate is a higher degree programme specifically structured to support change within professional practice and/or within an organisation. More information is available here: Research Professional Doctorate.

During the Professional Doctorate, the changes that are proposed, planned and potentially implemented by candidates are designed to have a positive influence on their professional practice. These changes may also have a positive influence on facets of their organisation.

The Professional Doctorate has the same status and challenges as a PhD. However there are a few subtle differences. A PhD should develop new knowledge and/or theory, whereas a Professional Doctorate should develop changes in professional practice and/or organisations, informed by existing knowledge and/or theory, or knowledge developed from undertaking the professional doctorate.

The Professional Doctorate is a recognised qualification World Wide. More insight into the Professional Doctorate programme and support is within the handbook

CSAD’s Professional Doctorates are intended for practioners and professionals working in a board range of disciplines and organisations:
Professional Doctorate in Engineering (D.Eng): The DEng is structured to support a step-by-step change to solve problems and/or improve performance of an existing solution, leading to an original or significant change in practice for the Engineering Professions or Engineering organsiations. The DEng is administered by CSAD with support from CSM and PDR. Applications are invited from Chartered Engineers, Engineering practitioners and Professionals working in consultancy, the Engineering industry or academic institutions. In addition, applications are also invited from practioners that may not have Engineering qualifications, but are already working in an Engineering environment in industry or academic institution, or those practioners who wish to change careers into Engineering or an Engineering environment; or are engaged in Building Performance Evaluation roles. See here for more information: Research CSAD DEng.
Professional Doctorate in Art & Design Professional Practice (D.Prof): The Art & Design D.Prof is structured to support a step-by-step change by practioners in a variety of organisations including (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; (c) an artist’s own practice; (d) design companies and consultancies; (e) design practices as they intersect with or contribute to wider professional or industrial contexts, e.g. through commissioner–client relationships; and (f) a designer’s own practice. See here for more information: Research CSAD DProf
Professional Doctorate in Sustainable Built Environment (D.SBE): The DSBE is structured to support a step by step change in practice by the professions or organsiations, or both, engaged in creating, or constructing or developing, or enhancing, or maintaining, or manufacturing, or planning, or refurbishing or retrofitting, or surveying or testing the built environment, with a focus on sustainability for current and future generations. Sustainability in the context of the DSBE covers aspects related to community, or economic, or environmental, or social, or all four. The DSBE enables a broad range of professional disciplines to engage in masterminding a change in practice, leading to an enhanced sustainable built environment; focused on buildings, or the landscape in which buildings are situated; or components within buildings or the landscape; or indeed people that use the built environment and their health, safety and wellbeing. See here for more information: Research CSAD DSBE.

Course Content

​The key to a professional doctorate is to investigate change in practice i.e. looking at ways to improve how practice is undertaken to benefit not just the individual proposing the change but wider practioners and also organisation/s. Change can look very different from one professional practice and/or organisation to another. The type of change that candidates may propose, plan for, and then potentially implement may be significant, through a focus on changes in structural or cultural factors (such as policy, strategy, systems, organisational structures and/or teams). Significant changes may also occur through changes to process factors such as technology, software, product design, service delivery, and the knowledge that underpins practice and/or organisations. In contrast, changes can also be smaller by focusing on people-centered changes, through consideration of such factors as attitudes and behaviours, skills, roles and responsibilities, developmental programmes, and performances of individuals.

Consequently, the focus of each student’s Professional Doctorate will be relevant to their professional practice and/or organisation/s that they work for and will most likely be unique.

The first part of the Professional Doctorate programme, undertaken by all candidates is a three day induction in either November or April. The Professional Doctorate programme has four modules, across three phases. Phase 1 is focused on Proposing Change, with two modules ‘Proposing Change: Context and Change’ and ‘Proposing Change: Literature Review and Rationale for Change’. Phase 2 is focused on Preparing for Change with one module ‘Preparing for Change: Proposed Project design & Evaluation’. Phase 3 is focused upon implementing and/or evaluating change with the final module ‘Implementing Change: Project report and Personal Reflections’. Candidates may if they wish conclude their studies after the first, second or third module and be eligible for a Post Graduate Certificate in Professional Practice, or a Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Practice, or a Masters Degree in Professional Practice respectively; which is dependend on the credits they have accrued.

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 practice based research. There are several named Professional Doctorate awards on offer across Cardiff Metropolitan University’s five academic schools and PDR, and students will be studying alongside candidates from these other schools and unit during the cohort-based studies.

Further details

The Professional Doctorate programme has two starting points in the academic year: November and April. Thus, iIdeally, applications must reach Cardiff Metropolitan University Admissions at least one month before each induction:
• 30 September for enrolment in November.
• 28 February for enrolment in April.

Further programme details, including periods of study, entry requirements, costs, and eligibility can be found on Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Professional Doctorate Programmes website Research Professional Doctorate.

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, built environment, or engineering practice, then please contact Dr John Littlewood, Coordinator of Professional Doctorate pathways within CSAD,