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Professional Doctorate in Nursing

DNurs

Key facts

Start dates

September 2022

Course length

Part time: 5-7 years, one Saturday a month during semester time.

Overview

The Professional Doctorate in Nursing (DNurs) is a part-time doctoral programme aimed at nurses who wish to remain in practice, develop research skills and knowledge with a peer group and experience our world class research institute OxINMAHR.

The DNurs will provide you with the opportunity to:

  • study nursing theory and practice with a cohort of like-minded individuals
  • develop research skills in order to carry out doctoral level research
  • research specific issues of professional relevance and concern in depth
  • develop a strong research-practitioner community
  • study the methodology of healthcare research.
Student taking notes

Additional details

The aims of the DNurs are to:

  • provide a deeper knowledge, understanding and awareness of nursing
  • develop and produce independent, reflective and competent researchers
  • promote critical self reflection and knowledge acquisition
  • help professionals to manage their own learning in order to promote high levels of critical understanding and professional application.
Two students looking at a laptop

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • we're home to the world class research institute OxINMAHR.
  • 125 years nursing education in Oxford
  • we're part of the Oxford Academic Health Science Centre (OxAHSC) – one of only six such Centres designated by the Department of Health in England
  • we have partnerships with local NHS Foundation Trusts (Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford Health and Great Western Hospitals)
  • access to the teaching and research expertise of our sister DMid programme.

Learning and assessment

The programme has been designed to support the development of an increasingly active and independent researcher and writer by providing a blend of learning approaches designed to promote intellectual autonomy.  These include:

  • face-to-face seminars and workshop activities
  • guided online activities
  • student-led seminars
  • and individual tutorial and supervision sessions.
Four students talking

Study modules

All modules on the programme are compulsory and you have to achieve a pass mark on all modules to progress. If you wish to exit with the interim award, you need to have successfully completed all compulsory level 7 modules, and then undertake a single work-based learning project to gain 180 credits at level 7.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Concepts in Nursing 1 (20 credits)

Level 7

Evidence Based Practice (20 credits)

Level 7

Foundations of Nursing and Midwifery Research (40 credits)

Level 7

Researcher Development Framework (20 credits)

Level 7

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Concepts in Nursing 2 (20 credits)

Level 7

Research Methodologies (For DNurs only) (40 credits)

Level 8

Systematic Review (40 credits)

Level 7

Work Based Learning (For MSc Nursing Research only) (20 credits)

Level 7

The WBL project will enable you to undertake a research/evaluation project within your clinical area and build upon the research knowledge gained within the programme to date.  

Research Proposal and Ethical Approval (For DNurs only) (40 credits)

Level 8

Years 3, 4 and 5

Compulsory modules

Thesis (300 credits)

Level 8

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Teaching and learning strategies will encourage you to:

  • engage and explore new areas of knowledge
  • build on and deepen your existing knowledge, understanding and skills in nursing and research
  • engage in critical analysis of texts, concepts, theories and practices and reflect on a range of professional issues, questions, concepts, theories, policies and practice encountered in your studies
  • interrogate the assumptions underpinning theory and research in order to come to an understanding of the significance and limitations of theory and research
  • develop appropriately informed research skills.

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

The taught modules are progression to the research stage of the programme and will be assessed on a pass or fail basis only. Assessment will include:

  • reflective essays
  • critical analysis of evidence based practice
  • presentations
  • a ‘portfolio of learning’ based on the Vitae ‘Researcher Development Framework.’

For the research component, you will work with your supervisory team (a Director of Studies and up to 2 further supervisors). You will undertake research into your chosen area of professional practice. This will be presented as a 65,000 word thesis and submitted at the end of year 5 (September) and defended in a viva voce examination within 3 months of submission. 

Award of the DNurs will be made when the external and internal examiners have examined the thesis and you have successfully defended your research in the viva examination. All recommendations for the award have to be approved by the Science and Technology Sub-Committee of the Research Degrees Committee.

Staff

All DNurs students undertaking the independent research and thesis element will be closely supported by a supervisory team. This is made up of staff from the programme, the Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery, the wider Faculty as well as external supervisors where appropriate.

Dr Catherine Henshall

Reader in Nursing Research

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Dr Dan Butcher

Senior Lecturer - Course Lead Professional Doctorate in Nursing

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Professor Eila Watson

Professor in Supportive Cancer Care, and Deputy Director (interim) of OxINMAHR

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Dr Helen Aveyard

Principal Lecturer - Student Experience

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Dr Ian Scott

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Professor Jane Appleton

Professor of Primary and Community Care

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Dr Jo Brett

Reader

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Dr Kathleen Greenway

Senior Lecturer

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Dr Louise Stayt

Senior Lecturer

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Dr Marion Waite

Principal Lecturer - Student Experience

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Dr Obrey Alexis

Reader in Adult Nursing

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Dr Olga Kozlowska

Senior Lecturer in Research and Knowledge Exchange

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Dr Sue Schutz

Senior Lecturer

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Dr Teresa Finlay

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Students

Meet students from our first ever cohort in 2017

Angela Bygrave Griffiths

Does a raised body mass index affect patient’s quality of life, symptoms and experiences following catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation?

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Lucy Speakman

An exploration of the experiences of community respiratory nurses supporting patients who are breathless

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Ms Maxmiller “Maxine” Buyanga

How do organisational and social contexts influence mealtimes on wards caring for the older person aged 65 years and above?

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Ms Sally Bassett

How Chief Nurses and their colleagues perceive the success of the Chief Nurse leadership role

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How to apply

Entry requirements

  • An Upper Second or First Class Honours Degree from a UK or overseas recognised institution and/or relevant Postgraduate study.
  • Must be currently registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council in the UK or equivalent registration within their residing country.
  • Must have a minimum of three years post-qualification / registration experience
  • If English is not the first language, must have completed the British Council’s IELTS achieving an overall score of level 6.5/ 7 or above in line with the University PG regulations. The NMC requires an overall IELTS score of 7.
  • APL will only be considered for students who have graduated previously with an MPhil or MRes degree with a relevant health care focus. The students will gain entry into the programme at the level 8 stage.

Screening

Students are required to evidence they have an up-to-date DBS check completed by their employer before applying to commence their studies at the university.

Application process

Make a direct application to Oxford Brookes.

As part of the application you are required to submit a research proposal to hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk.

The research proposal must be 2000 words and based on a research idea related to practice. The proposal needs to demonstrate why you have identified this problem, why it is an area that needs exploration with rationale and how you will research it. You may want to follow the structure below:

  • Title
  • Background information/brief summary of existing literature
  • The Aim/question and the objectives
  • Methodology
  • How the research will be communicated to the wider community
  • Ethical considerations
  • Summary and conclusions

For more information please contact us at hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk.

Tuition fees

2022 / 23
Home (UK) part time
£3,940

Tuition fees

2022 / 23
Home (UK) part time
£3,940

Find out more about fees and funding opportunities by visiting our finance web pages: 

Fees increase by approximately 4% each year and apply to all MPhil, MPhil/PhD, PhD, MA by Research, MSc by Research and LLM by Research programmes.

If you have any questions about fees get in touch with the Research Degrees Team at rd-enquiries@brookes.ac.uk

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