At UNSW Sydney, we are committed to transforming world-class research into innovations that improve lives and tackle some of the greatest challenges facing society today. We collaborate with industry, government and community partners to achieve positive outcomes from our research to improve lives in local and global communities.

Through our track record of strong industry partnerships, we have developed a range of PhD programs that provide candidates with the opportunity translate their research for a particular professional context. By combining doctoral research with workplace based projects candidates generate and analyse evidence to address real-world problems, and produce a thesis that reflects original research undertaken through professional practice.

Our professional doctorate programs are outlined below. 





Doctor of Education 

Arts, Design and Architecture

The Doctor of Education (EdD) program is designed for education professionals working in schools and systems and serves the needs of individuals who wish to consolidate, refine, and expand their theoretical understandings of educational policy and practice and to apply these in their own contexts.

Doctor of Philosophy (Practise-based PhD)

Arts, Design and Architecture

The Practice-based PhD is aimed at practitioners operating within or across the broad range of disciplines represented in the school, from architecture and design to planning and construction. Early and mid-career, as well as senior practitioners, will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge, skills and methodologies they have developed in the field within a broader framework of critical and rigorous scholarly enquiry. 

Professional Doctorate in Public Policy and Governance

Arts, Design and Architecture

Designed for policy makers seeking leadership roles in public policy development, this program combines doctoral research with postgraduate coursework study in advanced policy work.

Professional Doctorate in Social Work

Arts, Design and Architecture

This program provides the opportunity to combine postgraduate coursework study directly related to an area of advanced social work practice with doctoral research that builds social work knowledge, leading to the presentation of a doctoral thesis.


Professional Doctorate of Clinical Research in Optometry

Medicine and Health

The Professional Doctorate of Clinical Research in Optometry is an applied research professional degree that is designed specifically for clinicians in optometry or cognate areas. It provides an opportunity to combine a doctoral thesis with the coursework component of relevant Masters programs. Participation in the DCRO will lead to the presentation of a doctoral thesis.

Future Health Leaders Professional Doctorate

Medicine and Health

This program is a work-place based 3-year professional doctorate for candidates identified by the workplace as future leaders. The focus of training will be: Health Management, Public Health, Health Leadership. The training is provided while candidates work full-time in their workplace, with a week of intensive workshops in August on campus each term.

Professional Doctorate Program

UNSW Canberra

The Professional Doctorate program combines doctoral research and coursework components with professional practice and is designed to meet the needs of industry and professional groups. This degree is multi-disciplinary and linked to the fulfilment of self-directed career development and life-long, personalised learning.