University Calendar 2013/14
Section X : Academic Regulations - Faculty of Health Sciences

ARCHIVE 2007/8
ARCHIVE 2008/9
ARCHIVE 2009/10
Academic Unit Health Sciences
Final Award Doctor of Clinical Practice
Programme(s) Doctorate in Clinical Practice
Last modified July 2013

Reference should be made to the University's General Regulations found in Section IV and Section V (Higher Degree Regulations) of the University Calendar.

Except where an opt-out has been granted by the University (see below) the following academic regulations apply in addition to the General Regulations.

1. Admissions
  1. All candidates must satisfy the Programme Lead that they are competent to pursue the programme. Candidates must also be approved by the Faculty Programme Committee in the relevant Faculty. They reserve the right to refuse permission. In certain circumstances it may not be possible to accept a student if appropriate research supervision in their area of interest cannot be provided.

  2. All candidates must normally have a minimum of three years post-qualifying professional experience. Part-time students are expected to be working in their clinical speciality, and full-time students will be required to have negotiated a clinical internship with a relevant health/social care organisation.

  3. Prospective candidates are normally required to complete an application form indicating their reasons for wishing to enrol and outlining their proposed research project. The names of two referees who can comment on their academic ability and clinical experience are requested. Part-time students in clinical practice are required to submit a letter of recommendation and support from their managers. Applicants are interviewed prior to acceptance. Overseas candidates are normally interviewed by telephone.

  4. Students enrolled on relevant MSc programmes in the University may be eligible to transfer to the Doctor of Clinical Practice programme prior to undertaking their research/clinical practice project.

  5. Candidates may register for the following:

    • Doctorate in Clinical Practice

  6. The Doctorate in Clinical Practice is a programme run by two Faculties in the University of Southampton. For the taught component of the programme, candidates from the Faculties are taught together. Candidates will register with the Faculty in which their research supervision is based for the duration of their registration. In the case of joint supervision, candidates will register in the Faculty where their first supervisor is based.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
APEL/APCL will be considered on a case by case basis in accordance with the University regulations for APL.

Candidates may apply for exemption from up to 40 credits of taught modules on the basis of prior certificated learning (APCL) at Masters (M7) or Doctorate (M8) level. The acceptance of such credit towards the award of a qualification shall be at the discretion of the Programme Leader. APCL may not normally be made in respect of core modules.

2. Structure of Programme(s)
The programme shall contain a combination of clinically (or professionally) focused research leading to submission of a written thesis, and a modular taught component comprising core and option modules.

The programme shall be undertaken over a period of not less than three years of full-time, and four years of part-time, study. The maximum duration of candidature is four years for full-time and seven years part-time. The period ends when the thesis is submitted. These periods of registration will not incorporate periods of suspension of studies.

Candidates may apply to suspend from the programme temporarily for a specified period which will not normally exceed twelve months. Save in exceptional circumstances, permission to suspend will only be granted where the candidate can still complete the programme within the time limit defined by the regulations.

The research component of the programme is continuous throughout the period of registration.

The taught component will normally be completed within the first two years for full-time students and within four years for part-time students. A candidate who fails to complete coursework, examination requirements or the thesis by the date specified, or within the maximum period allowed for the programme, will be deemed to have failed the programme.

The programme structure is as follows:
  • Five core modules (40 credits at M7 and 100 credits at M8)
  • Two option modules (40 credits at M7)
  • Research thesis (360 credits at M8 level)
The programme may include lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, coursework, contract learning, projects as specified for individual modules, and research. Candidates will select their option modules in consultation with, and with the approval of, the Programme Lead.

The Faculty reserves the right to postpone optional modules if insufficient numbers of students are registered. Students will therefore be required to choose their preferred options and also indicate their second choice. When option modules are over-subscribed, the Faculty will reserve the right to offer students their second choice modules.

Academic staff within the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, and other staff approved for this purpose, will supervise studentsí research projects. The Programme Leader will manage the appointment of supervisors.

3. Progression
Research Supervision and Progress
Students will be assigned two research supervisors within a supervisory team who will be responsible for the supervision of the candidate's research project and for providing academic advice to the candidate; they will report on the candidate's work and progress when requested to do so.

The University of Southampton may, at any time, review the progress of an individual candidate. If this is unsatisfactory and if, after due warning, there is insufficient improvement, the Faculty Programme Committee may recommend termination of candidature to Senate.

Students will undergo an Interim Assessment at least six months before submission of the thesis and normally no later than 36 months after registration for full-time and five years for part-time students. The assessment will take the form of an oral examination based on a written report of no more than 10,000 words on progress to date.

An internal examiner who meets Faculty criteria for the examination of doctoral theses, but has no supervisory responsibility for the student, will be appointed to conduct the Interim Assessment. Following the assessment, the examiner may recommend that the candidate:
  • may proceed to submission of a doctoral thesis;
  • may not proceed to submission of a doctoral thesis but may be permitted to undergo a further Interim Assessment on one subsequent occasion;
  • may not proceed to submission of a doctoral thesis but may be permitted to complete a smaller-scale research project compatible with the award of the MSc in Clinical Practice.
The recommendation should be supported by the supervisor(s). If the recommendation is not supported by the supervisor(s), the matter will be referred to the Award/Programme Lead for a final decision. If the recommendation of the examiner, supported by the student's research supervisor(s), is that continuation to submission of a doctoral thesis is not supported, a clear written statement of the reasons will be provided to the student with guidance on ways in which he/she might reach the required standard, and a date when the recommendation might be reviewed. Only one such review will be permitted.

Examination and Submission of Thesis
A candidate who is about to submit a thesis shall give at least two months' notice in writing to the Student Office which shall include the full title of the thesis. Such notice of intention to submit a thesis shall be given no later than 31 January if the candidate seeks award of the degree the following July.

Candidates must have successfully completed the taught component of the programme before submission of their thesis.

After the completion of the necessary period of study, a thesis shall be submitted for examination in accordance with the instructions in the booklet Completion of Research Degree Candidature (available through the Faculty Student Office).

On submission of a thesis a candidate shall be required to sign two documents: (a) a form of consent that the thesis, if successful, will be made available electronically through the University of Southampton Research Repository from a date stipulated (subject to copyright); and (b) a declaration stating that the thesis is the result of work done wholly or mainly while the student was in registered candidature and that, where the thesis is based on work done by a candidate jointly with others, a substantial part is the original work of the candidate.

A thesis may not exceed 50,000 words unless prior permission to exceed this length has been given by the Faculty on the recommendation of the supervisor(s).

Normally there will be one internal and one external academic examiner for each candidate's thesis. A third examiner, normally a senior health care practitioner (academic or non-academic, who may be internal or external to the University) may be appointed to provide additional expertise as appropriate. The supervisors may not be appointed as examiners.

4. Assessment
Taught Component - Moderation of Assessment and Student Progress
An external examiner will be appointed, in accordance with University regulations, to moderate the standard of work submitted for the modular taught component of the programme. Additional external examiners may be appointed to moderate work with a specific clinical focus as required.

The relevant programme leader will give guidance on the taught component of the programme.

For each module, a student is allowed to revise and re-submit a failed piece of work on one occasion only and normally within three months of the notification of failure. In exceptional circumstances, a third attempt may be offered at the discretion of the Board of Examiners. A student who fails a module at the second (exceptionally third) attempt will be deemed to have failed the programme and will have their registration terminated.

Candidates who are registered for, but do not complete, the doctoral programme may be eligible for the exit award of the MSc in Clinical Practice if they have successfully completed modules amounting to 120 credits and a research dissertation equivalent to 60 credits (15,000 - 20,000 words); or the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Practice if they have successfully completed modules amounting to 120 credits.

5. Award of Qualification(s)
Candidates for the degree of Doctorate in Clinical Practice will be required to attend an oral examination.

Examiners for the thesis shall recommend one of the following courses of action:
  • That the degree of Doctor of Clinical Practice be awarded subject, if necessary, to minor amendments to the thesis being made by a date specified. Minor amendments include: minor omissions of substance, typographical errors, occasional stylistic or grammatical flaws, corrections to references, addition/modification of one or two figures and minor changes to layout and require no new research. They may be certified by the internal examiner only. The date specified for the submission of such minor amendments should normally be no later than a month after the formal notification to the candidate.

  • That the degree of Doctor of Clinical Practice be awarded subject to the correction of modest errors/omissions of substance being made by a date specified (the procedure for re-examination of the thesis should be clearly specified in the report). Such amendments may require limited further analysis but will not affect the originality of the central thesis. They will be of a scale to require certification by both the internal and external examiners though normally not so extensive that an oral examination is required. The date specified for the submission of such intermediate amendments should normally be no later than six months after the formal notification to the candidate.

  • That the candidate be required to attend for a further oral examination.

  • That the candidate be permitted to submit, by a date specified, a revised thesis for the same degree for re-examination on one subsequent occasion. The date specified for submission of the revised thesis should normally be no later than 12 months after the formal notification to the candidate.

  • That, in the case of a candidate who has failed to satisfy the examiners, permission be given to the candidate to apply within a specified time for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Practice or MSc in Clinical Practice as appropriate. This may be allowed without re-examination subject to any minor amendment of the thesis which may be required by the examiners, or may be subject to re-examination of a revised thesis.

  • That the degree be not awarded and that re-submission of the thesis be not permitted.
A candidate who fails to submit corrected coursework or a revised thesis by the date set by the examiners shall normally be regarded as having failed the examination and the recommendations of the examiners shall lapse.

Where the examiners recommend that the degree be not awarded and that the re-submission of a revised thesis be not permitted, the candidate may ask for the case to be reviewed in accordance with the procedures laid down by Senate. A copy of the procedures may be obtained from the PGR Officer.

6. Placements/Study Abroad/Exchange/Fieldwork
Not applicable.

7. Other
These regulations may be revised during the student's period of registration in accordance with the procedures approved by Senate.

Fitness to Practice
Students are advised to acquaint themselves with the University Fitness to Practise Policy which is used within the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Submitted by Corporate Services
Last reviewed: 23-Jul-2013
© University of Southampton