Doctor of Professional Practice

Doctor of Professional Practice

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Not sure if your experience fits?

If you would like to do the course but you are not sure if you have the relevant experience, please contact us. We are happy to talk you through your options.

Course information

Domestic three courses (approx.): Full-time per course: $8,468.00; Part-time per course: $4,365.00 (this includes a student levy of $266 per year for access to student services). Fees may vary, please contact us for more information.
Course length
3 -4 years
Prior experience
7 - 10 years of professional practice experience
Start dates
Monthly intakes
Distance learning
Full-time 20 hours of study per week; part-time 10 hours of study per week

Are you an advanced practitioner ready to make a significant contribution to your sector or community?

Generate substantial original knowledge from and about practices within a professional setting, and combine this with formal disciplinary knowledge. Your new knowledge will inform yourself, your field of practice and your profession. 

You’ll design and achieve new professional and personal learning goals, enabling you to create new knowledge for and about New Zealand’s workplaces through applied practice and research projects.  

The Capable NZ difference

The Capable NZ process centres you and your own career – you’ll reflect on where you’ve come from, where you are now, and where you want to go.

You will:

  • analyse your work and life experiences and skills, and evaluate your strengths and capabilities
  • identify, access and research relevant practice theories, models, tools, frameworks, and reflect on how these might inform and influence your work
  • explore literature relevant to your field of study (academic, practitioner, policy)
  • design research projects using and applying relevant methodological frameworks
  • apply relevant ethical understanding to your research
  • understand, consider and critique the beliefs and values that influence your own professional practices.

One key point of difference with Capable NZ study at this level is that you’ll undertake a series of projects to produce sustainable outcomes that affect or influence others within and beyond your organisation. Projects are expected to result in knowledge creation that adds to your organisation, sector and/or community’s intellectual and structural value, leading to an increase in overall capability. 

Full entry requirements and application information

The Doctor of Professional Practice is a competitive entry programme, with a limited numbers of candidates accepted in any one year.

You will be asked to upload an Expression of Interest during the application process. Guidance on what we would like to see in this document can be found here.   

Prospective candidates must have:

  • a Master’s qualification at the standard of Excellence or Credit, or the equivalent (eg A or B grade, Honours 1 or 2), 
  • and evidence to the satisfaction of the Research and Post-Graduate Committee to demonstrate: 
  • extensive professional experience of an appropriate kind, relevant to the stated field of practice (for example 7-10 years);  
  • ability and willingness to successfully undertake a self-managed academic process; 
  • an established professional relationship and/or employment/self-employment with the opportunity to undertake projects, inquiries or other work-based activity; 
  • demonstrated academic writing and researching skills at postgraduate level. 

Additionally, acceptance as a doctoral student will be after developing a research proposal and undertaking an interview with representatives of the Doctor of Professional Practice programme committee. 

It will also depend on the availability of academic mentoring in the area of the candidate’s research interests.  

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.

Multi-year enrolments from 2022 

From 1 January 2023, Otago Polytechnic joins Te Pūkenga, a new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people. The great news is that this enables us to share skills and knowledge across a network of passionate education providers, to better help you succeed. All learners who start multi-year programmes of study prior to this change, continuing into 2023 and beyond, will graduate with a dual-institution qualification, representing both Otago Polytechnic and Te Pūkenga. 

Aaron Halstead

Master of Professional Practice

"It allowed me to correlate exactly what I undertook in my specialist work environment to a field of study and research that benefited my development – as well as adding significant value to my employer."