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Edge Hill University: Emergency Services Management (DESM)

Institution Edge Hill University
Department The Graduate School
Telephone 0169599729
Study type Research


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 Professional Doctorate in Emergency Services Management (ambulance, police, or fire and rescue services), 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.

What you'll study

You will work on a research project throughout the course, 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 course. 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 you'll 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 for one weekend in your first semester, for core and methodical training, 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.

Professional Doctorate

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