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Doctor of Professional Studies (DPRS) - DProfSt

CRICOS code (International applicants): 0100909

This program is offered only to continuing students. No new admissions will be accepted. Students who are interested in this study area please contact us directly.

Start:No new admissionsNo new admissions
Campus:Toowoomba -
Fees:Domestic full fee paying place
International full fee paying place
Research Training Program (RTP) - Fees Offset scheme
Domestic full fee paying place
International full fee paying place
Research Training Program (RTP) - Fees Offset scheme
Standard duration:3 years full–time, with the expectation that the degree will be completed in no more than 8 years part–time 
Program articulation:

From: Master of Professional Studies (Research)

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Future Australian and New Zealand students  Future International students  Current students 
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Freecall (within Australia): 1800 269 500
Phone (from outside Australia): +61 7 4631 5315
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Phone: +61 7 4631 5543
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Freecall (within Australia): 1800 007 252
Phone (from outside Australia): +61 7 4631 2285

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Program objectives

On successful completion of the program, students should be able to:

  • Identify work place issues, possible solutions and change initiatives

  • demonstrate working at the leading edge of practice underpinned by theoretical understanding

  • develop cognitive skills that demonstrates intellectual independence and a high level of critical thinking in generating original knowledge

  • contribute to the advancement of knowledge relating to professional practice and leadership in their chosen profession

  • apply knowledge and skills at a doctoral level acquired through research training embedded in the program to plan and execute original research

  • integrate empirical, methodological and theoretical knowledge that engages current work-based issues and contributes to their practice as a professional

  • demonstrate the capacity to add value to, and to help to sustain, contemporary learning communities in their profession

  • demonstrate awareness of ethical dilemmas and conflicting values which may arise in professional practice and work situations

  • take into account complex, unpredictable, specialised work contexts requiring innovative approaches, which involve exploring current limits of knowledge and, in particular, interdisciplinary approaches and understanding

  • develop and extend a commitment to lifelong education and to fulfilling their own lives, organisational aims and those of others

  • demonstrate communication skills to explain and present a complex investigation of originality for external examination against international standards for dissemination amongst peers and the community both nationally and internationally.

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Program aims

The aim of this program is to provide experienced professionals with doctoral level research opportunities (and some coursework as required) that will engage issues and develop original knowledge that is relevant and meaningful to their professional capabilities, helps to build capacity in their practice environments / communities and helps to contribute to their self-awareness and intellectual independence.

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Australian Qualifications Framework

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is a single national, comprehensive system of qualifications offered by higher education institutions (including universities), vocational education and training institutions and secondary schools. Each AQF qualification has a set of descriptors which define the type and complexity of knowledge, skills and application of knowledge and skills that a graduate who has been awarded that qualification has attained, and the typical volume of learning associated with that qualification type.

This program is at AQF Qualification Level 10. Graduates at this level will have systematic and critical understanding of a complex field of learning and specialised research skills for the advancement of learning and/or for professional practice.

The full set of levels criteria and qualification type descriptors can be found by visiting

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Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission, applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Completion of an Australian university Bachelor degree with honours or a Master's degree or equivalent, and

  • A minimum of five years' work experience in the chosen field of professional practice

  • English Language Proficiency requirements for Category 3.

Admission is by written application and interview.
Anyone wishing to gain entry to the program on the basis of equivalent qualifications and/or experience should contact the University for consideration for admission on this basis.

All students are required to satisfy the applicable English language requirements.

If students do not meet the English language requirements they may apply to study a University-approved English language program. On successful completion of the English language program, students may be admitted to an award program.

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Program fees

Domestic full fee paying place

Domestic full fee paying places are funded entirely through the full fees paid by the student. Full fees vary depending on the courses that are taken. Students are able to calculate the fees for a particular course via the Course Fee Schedule

Domestic full fee paying students may be eligible to defer their fees through a Government loan called FEE-HELP provided they meet the residency and citizenship requirements.

Australian citizens, Permanent Humanitarian Visa holders, Permanent Resident visa holders and New Zealand citizens who will be resident outside Australia for the duration of their program pay full tuition fees and are not eligible for FEE-Help.

International full fee paying place

International students pay full fees. Full fees vary depending on the courses that are taken and whether they are studied on-campus, external or online. Students are able to calculate the fees for a particular course via the Course Fee Schedules.

Research Training Program (RTP) - Fees Offset scheme

All Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens commencing a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) program will have their tuition fees paid by the Australian Commonwealth Government under the Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset scheme. The RTP Fees Offset scheme covers program fees for an HDR student up to a maximum period of four years for full-time study or up to eight years part-time study for a Doctoral program, and up to a maximum period of two years for full-time or four years part-time for a Masters by Research program.
As part of the enrolment process, students are required to submit proof of citizenship or permanent residency status and transcripts of all previous academic study. This documentation enables the University of Southern Queensland to determine eligibility for an RTP Fees Offset place.

If a student's RTP Fees Offset entitlement expires before completion of the program, the student will be required to pay full tuition fees.

Students eligible for an RTP Fees Offset place are those who:

  • have not used RTP Fees Offset funding in the previous three years; or

  • have already used RTP Fees Offset funding and have successfully completed an HDR program. Once a student completes an HDR program, full entitlements of RTP Fees Offset are restored.

The Australian Commonwealth Government’s contribution to program fees must be acknowledged on all published material relating to a research project via a statement identifying the support received through the RTP Fees Offset scheme.

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Program structure

The Doctor of Professional Studies requires the completion of 24 units. The program structure comprises three sections:

  1. Compulsory completion of the courses WRP9000 and WRP9001 comprising 4 units if the course or its equivalent has not been completed before. These courses provides a program of structured learning that prepares students in developing their research methodology, ethical considerations, reflective practice, project principles and learning planning and culminates in a learning portfolio (or equivalent) and project proposal for assessment and confirmation of candidature.

  2. Optional elective postgraduate coursework. Students may elect to enrol in up to four units of advanced coursework, at postgraduate level, from the Arts courses or other courses at the University of Southern Queensland. The intention of this option is to include coursework in the structured work-based research project proposal that will enhance the student’s capacity to make a significant contribution to original knowledge in their professional practice. Normally students will need to receive the prior approval of the Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts before enrolling in the elective courses and necessary incorporation is agreed in relation to their work-based research projects.

  3. Work-based research projects: up to 20 units WRP9002 Work-Based Research Project. Students are required to complete independent supervised study in a work-based context that culminates in a dissertation (minimum 60,000 words) or equivalent body of work prepared for external examination. Students are required to enrol in WRP9002 Work-Based Research Project recurringly, subject to good progress, until the final work to be examined has been submitted.

After completion of the compulsory course WRP9000 , students will be assigned an academic supervisor for the remaining study period. Students will also receive guidance and support from a team of academic consultants who are drawn from across the university and industry as aligned with the multi-disciplinary nature of each student’s professional practice.

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Program completion requirements

Award of a Doctor of Professional Studies requires the successful external examination of the student’s dissertation of research outcomes, work based research project/s and professional learning (minimum 60,000 words).

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Required time limits

Students have a maximum of 8 years and a minimum of 3 years to complete this program.

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IT requirements

Computer literacy is now expected as part of professional life, and as an integral element in the studying and learning process. Students must have reliable and ready access to e-mail and the internet. Broadband access would be a significant advantage.

Please refer to computer requirements

Twenty-four hour computer access is available at UniSQ.

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Exit points

Students must maintain good standing in this program. These are assessed on a per-semester basis and are required for further enrolment. Students’ completion of WRP9000 and WRP9001 are required in determining the students’ confirmation of candidature to continue their doctoral studies. Students who do not pass these courses exit the program without further award.

The award of Master of Professional Studies (Research) may be recommended by doctoral program examiners in the event of an unsuccessful examination of the WRP9002 Work-Based Research Project dissertation or equivalent work submitted for examination

The Master of Professional Studies (Research) may also be awarded to a student seeking to exit from the doctoral program by submitting work associated with their progress for independent examination at the requisite Master of Professional Studies (Research) degree level. The requirements of the Masters qualification must be fully met, with final reports completed, examined and passed.

Recommended enrolment patterns

In this section:

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Recommended enrolment patterns

Students may be admitted to the program at the beginning of Semester 1 or Semester 2 or Semester 3. Students enrol in the 2 unit course WRP9002 Work-Based Research Project prior to the commencement of each semester. Note: The research project is structured as a maximum of ten x 2-unit courses for accounting and administrative purposes.

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Recommended enrolment pattern

CourseYear of program and semester in which course is normally studiedEnrolment requirementsComments
WRP9000 11,2two units
WRP9001 11,2two units
WRP9002 Work-Based Research Project2,31,2,3two units

Optional - up to 4 elective courses may be taken.

Elective course1,2,31,2,3
Elective course1,2,31,2,3
Elective course1,2,31,2,3
Elective course1,2,31,2,3