Professional Doctorate by Coursework

Entrance level

Candidates for the Professional Doctorate will normally have completed a Master's degree or Bachelor's degree with Honours (H1 or H2A) at La Trobe University or another recognised university and have at least three years of relevant professional experience. Candidates may be also required to provide evidence of research expertise.


Normally equivalent to three years of fulltime study.

Learning Outcomes (AQF)

The Doctoral degree recognises a substantial original contribution to knowledge in the form of new knowledge or significant and original adaptation, application and interpretation of existing knowledge.

This substantial and original contribution to knowledge may take the form of:

  • a comprehensive and searching review of the literature;
  • experimentation;
  • creative work with exegesis;
  • other systematic approaches; or
  • advanced, searching and expansive critical reflection on professional theory and practice.

A graduate of a Doctoral degree is also able to:

  • carry out an original research project, or a project(s) addressing a matter of substance concerning practice in a professional field at a high level of originality and quality; and
  • present a substantial and well ordered dissertation, non-print thesis or portfolio, for submission to external examination against international standards.

The research for the Doctoral degree must be carried out during the candidature, although the thesis may refer to work published by the candidate prior to commencing.

Exit standard

Candidates for a Professional Doctorate by Coursework submit a thesis (not more than 50,000 words) which is either an original or substantial contribution to knowledge of direct relevance to the profession, in addition to completing coursework subjects.


The award is entitled Doctor of (specialisation/discipline)