Professional Doctorate Emergency Services Management

  • International Students Can Apply


Course Length:4.5 Years Part-Time
Start Dates:October 2019, October 2020
Department:Business School
Location:Edge Hill University

Please note, the deadline for applications to this programme for October 2019 entry has now passed.

  • Join a dedicated programme of research for experienced senior managers from the emergency services;
  • Engage in cross‐disciplinary dialogue with academics, policy makers and fellow practitioners interested in the wider aspects of emergency management;
  • Develop as a researcher and gain skills to transfer to professional practice, including the ability to question, analyse, critique and theorise.

Professionalisation of the emergency services workforce and the development of strategic leadership within the blue lights, namely the ambulance, police, and fire and rescue services, are at the top of government and reform agendas.

If you are a leader or senior manager from the emergency services or prison and probation service, or if you work for local authorities, councils or health organisations and have responsibilities under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, this programme will enhance your ability to question, analyse, critique and theorise. It will also encourage interoperability and multi-agency cooperation in line with the statutory duty for collaboration between the emergency services introduced in the Police and Crime Bill 2017. You will develop professional management practice while gaining an appreciation and understanding of the relationship between management research and the professional practice of management.

Upon successful completion of the programme, you will have obtained and demonstrated the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research, of a quality to satisfy peer review and merit publication. You will make a significant contribution towards new professional practice and academic knowledge.

In Depth

What will I study?

You will work on a research project throughout the programme, resulting in a thesis of doctoral standard, demonstrating an original contribution to the field of approximately 55,000 words.

Alongside this, you will undertake development activity in the first two years of the programme. This comprises of:

  • Core and methodological training which will help you to finalise your research proposal by the end of the first semester;
  • A programme of related studies which will be tailored to address your specific learning needs to help you enhance your skills as a researcher;
  • Subject-specific researcher training which will focus on a range of themes, including contemporary issues and challenges in management practice of the emergency services, multi-agency collaboration and interoperability between organisations, and reflexivity and becoming a reflective practitioner.

How will I study?

The programme typically requires approximately 23.5 hours per week dedicated to research-related activity. The way in which this research is structured is primarily led by you, with supervisory input.

You will also attend scheduled researcher development sessions, ranging from individual personal supervisor-led contact to supported online learning, small group work and teacher-led lectures.

There is a requirement to attend Edge Hill University once per week for core and methodical training in the first semester of the programme, in addition to a total of three weekends across the first two years of the programme for subject-specific researcher training.

Outside of these occasions, attendance on campus will be determined by your individual development needs and the nature of your project.

How will I be assessed?

The programme incorporates three viva examinations where your written submissions are assessed by a team of experts.

At the first examination, after approximately seven months of study, your research proposal will be scrutinised. At the second examination, between two and three years after first registration, your research to date will be reviewed. At the third examination, your final thesis is presented.

Who will be teaching me?

You will be supervised in your research by a team of academic and professional experts with specialist knowledge of emergency services management. Guest speakers will also contribute to the delivery of the programme.

A Great Study Environment

A student sits on a table in the Business School with a flask in one hand while working on a laptop.The stunning £8m Business and Law building provides state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities for students in the Business School and Department of Law and Criminology.

The three-storey building offers a 100-seat lecture theatre and modern seminar and meeting rooms. There are also social learning areas which encourage a more informal and interactive style of learning, in addition to an attractive roof garden and atrium.

Edge Hill Business School is home to a thriving research community, hosts a growing international partnership portfolio, and is a member of AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the world’s largest management education network.

Entry Criteria

Entry Requirements

To join this programme you should have a first or second class honours degree (minimum 2:2) and a Masters degree (for example, MBA, MA, MSc or MRes) or equivalent qualifications. You must also have at least five years of management or professional experience. In exceptional circumstances, applicants without a Masters qualification but with substantial professional experience may be considered.

Overseas applicants will be considered on an individual basis and will be expected to demonstrate English language proficiency to a minimum standard of IELTS 7.0 or equivalent. Please note, however, that as this is a part-time research degree it is subject to certain visa restrictions. Please contact the International Office to check whether the University can sponsor your visa for part-time study.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’).

Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

Career Prospects

What are my career prospects?

This programme will enhance your personal development across a wide range of roles performed by staff in the emergency services. You will also be well placed to take advantage of opportunities in consultancy or to pursue a teaching career in higher education.


Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for studying on this Professional Doctorate are:

  • £2,150 per annum for UK and EU students and £6,785 per annum for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2019/20;
  • £2,150 per annum for UK and EU students and £6,920 per annum for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2020/21.

The University may administer a small inflationary rise in part-time postgraduate tuition fees in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

Financial Support

For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters guide for your intended academic year of entry.

Financial support information for international students can be found at


How to Apply

There is an online application process for this programme.

For academic year 2020/21 entry, prospective UK and EU students will need to apply using our own online application system rather than UCAS Postgraduate.

The online application form will be available from the end of October 2019. Visit for more information about the application process.

Prospective international students should download the application form (pdf) and associated notes for guidance (pdf).

You will need to submit a research proposal of approximately 2,000 words as part of your application, outlining the academic and practitioner fields that will form the basis of your thesis.

The deadline for applications for October 2020 entry is Sunday 31st May 2020.

Further information for international students about how to apply is available at

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

Visit Us

If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at

Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about all of our events for prospective students, including monthly campus tours, at

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

If you would like to talk to the programme leader about the course in more detail, please contact:

International students should visit or email with any queries about overseas study.

Course Changes

Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

17th January 2018 - Change of Intake Dates

The intake dates for this programme have changed from September to October.