The Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) is one of the highest and most prestigious management qualifications in the UK. Here at Huddersfield we understand that the professional leaders of the future need the highest level of leadership and personal development. The course encourages the application of sound theory and rigorous research to complex issues in business and management; the foundation for which is the development and application of knowledge and theory.
A taught programme of study is carried out in the first two years and provides preparatory training for the doctoral research phase, culminating in the submission of a research thesis. It contains four taught modules which address major aspects of research methods knowledge in a classroom-based setting. You may only progress to the research phase when they have successfully completed the taught element.
The doctoral research phase constitutes the substantive component of the DBA/DPA programme. You are required to conduct an individual supervised research project which is written up in the form of a doctoral thesis. You will have critically investigated and evaluated an approved topic, resulting in an independent and original contribution to knowledge in a relevant professional discipline, usually with a practical application. Applying the skills learnt in the taught element of the programme, you’ll be able to demonstrate an understanding of research methods appropriate to the chosen field. In addition, you are required to submit a personal reflection and impact statement to demonstrate learning over the period of study. This should capture professional and personal reflections on your experience, and how these relate to your professional and research curiosity, critical thinking, creativity and innovation in your working environments.
The Thesis The thesis should be a substantial submission of 50,000 words and should demonstrate publishing potential in the field of managerial/public administration/ leadership in business or other organisations. It is an individual document that synthesizes the professional experience of the candidate, the original applied research undertaken, the academic insights achieved and the potential for contributing to practice and to the professional development of the author. The thesis should normally include: a review of the literature; research questions; conceptual framework; methodology; results; discussion on key findings and their contribution to academic and managerial/public administration/leadership practice; conclusion. The thesis will not be assessed unless it is accompanied by the PRIS.
The Personal Reflection and Impact Statement (PRIS) Successful DPA candidates will be able to demonstrate self-awareness regarding the impact the DPA experience has had on personal, professional and academic development. The statement should therefore include a future orientated strategic leadership personal development plan. The PRIS should showcase ability to critically reflect on your own actions, experiences and learning during their DBA/DPA studies. You must demonstrate critical attention to the influences that have shaped development by examining practice reflectively and reflexively, and to consider the impact of these on their professional effectiveness and ability to lead and implement strategic change in your organisation into the future.
Supervision All students are required to submit a research proposal on application to the DPA . This will ensure that you have some idea of the focus of the research you wish to undertake and will allow the School to identify supervisors with appropriate subject specialisms. On admission to the course all students will be allocated a supervisor who will be required to hold bi-monthly 1:1 sessions with their students. The research proposals from International students whose first language is not English will be diagnostically tested by colleagues in the Learning Innovation and Development Centre who will then identify bespoke academic writing support, and be supported by online resources and 1:1 sessions when on campus.
Supervisors will also be responsible for marking their students’ assignments for all the taught modules. This will ensure wrap around support for students and will engender strong supervisor/student relationships.
The Doctor of Public Administration is equivalent to the PhD but is centred around bridging the gap between your academic knowledge and professional practice. The programme retains emphasis on your own contribution to your organisation while enhancing your analytical and research skills.