Professional doctorate in advanced practice and research: consultation and the organisation (D10D)

Course overview

This collaborative and well-supported course will provide you with an advanced and sophisticated education in organisational consultancy in a stimulating learning community. It is designed to equip you, as a professional consultant, to work with the complexity of contemporary organisations in private and public sectors using a systems-psychodynamic framework. You will complete an original research project in an area of relevance to the profession and contribute to the knowledge base in the field.

The Doctorate comprises two taught modules per year Research Methods and Advanced Practice. The Research Methods module involves you in formal research teaching, including lectures, seminars, research conferences and individual research supervision. Advanced Practice includes presentations from a range of experts in the field, practice-based and theoretical seminars, peer discussions and individual practice supervision. The emphasis throughout is on the development and integration of theory and its practical application to consultancy in context.

The programme will equip you with the skills to design and execute original applicable research informed by professional practice. It will enable you to contribute to a growing body of knowledge about organisational consultancy from a systems psychodynamic perspective and give you an advanced academic understanding of the field.

The first two years of this course will involve you in two full days of teaching per month. Research Methods is taught as part of the Tavistock integrated doctorate programme in advanced practice and research. This will give you the opportunity to experience peer learning and support and the benefits of participation in a stimulating research community. Towards the end of Year 2 you will finalise the design of your research project which you will then carry out with the support of supervisors and peer discussion. You may take a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years to complete your research and write your thesis. You will have the benefit of access to the Tavistock and Portman and the University of Essex online seminars and web-based learning opportunities.

You will develop sophistication in your professional practice by undertaking complex consultancy projects under supervision and through the application of contemporary thinking to your work. You will be joined by students at the same level of experience who wish to develop their consultancy practice to an advanced standard and are following the Advanced Practice module as continuing professional development. This makes for a rich and stimulating learning community.

This course will provide you with an advanced and sophisticated education in organisational consultancy using a systems-psychodynamic framework. It will enable you to continue your professional and academic development to an advanced level in order to meet the complex needs of organisations and deepen your understanding of intrinsic organisational issues. You will gain the skills to complete a high level academic research project which will contribute to the knowledge base in the field of systems psychodynamic organisational consultancy. You will leave the course with the capacity to train others in organisational consultancy.

What our students say

“Involvement with this programme has enabled me to think much more clearly and analytically about my professional work with clients, and also to confidently take on consultancy roles of increasing scale and complexity. I have found the research component particularly rewarding and exciting, as it has enabled me to develop a proposal that opens up new horizons in my intellectual and professional development.” 

"The Doctorate certainly does what it says on the box. I feel much more able to take up my role as a consultant, and near the end of completing my research, have been offered several senior positions in the consultancy world. Delighted.”

“Teaching is consistently high quality; the course design is a strength.”

“As an independent practitioner I have been able to think more clearly about my work.

This course is for you if you are an organisational consultant who has some education and/or experience in a systems-psychodynamic approach to consultancy wishing to extend your skills and deepen your knowledge. You should have a thirst for learning and a desire to explore a research idea in depth.

In order to undertake this course, we ask that you:


Part-time Two days per month, on a Thursday and Friday.


Knowledge and understanding of research methods is assessed via a critical literature review in Year 1 and by the submission of a research proposal in Year 2, which may then form the basis  for the research project and final thesis of 40,000 words.

Students are required to carry out a minimum of four consultancy assignments throughout the first two years of the programme, in which they will either work alone or, where appropriate (and where the student has a primary role), as part of a team.  Three of these assignments are written up as detailed case studies and are assessed on the basis of application of an ethical and client centred systems psychodynamic approach, understanding of organisational function and self-reflective capacity.   Other assignments recorded as field notes as part of a practice log.  This log is then appended to a Professional Development summary report which forms the last assignment and which is assessed on the basis of a reflective self appraisal, consultancy  mindset  and the range of work presented.    

Doctorate students are invited to participate in the Advanced Practice programme for a third year and on successful completion of an additional two case studies will be eligible for the Tavistock Qualification in Consulting (TQC).

Andrew CooperAndrew Mark Cooper

Professor of Social Work

Andrew Cooper BA MPhil DipASS CQSW MBPF Principal Fellow HEA has been Professor of Social Work at the Trust since 1986, where he was formerly Dean of Education and Training, Director of Research, and Head of the Social Work Discipline. Presently he is the course lead for Professional Doctorate in Social Work.

Andrew is a qualified and registered psychoanalytic psychotherapist, and a registered social worker. He practices as a clinical social worker in the Adolescent Family Therapy Service of the Trust.  Teaching, researching, and promoting relationship-based and therapeutic social work has been central to his career, and many of his published works reflect this, Andrew founded the Centre for Social Work Practice which is a charity dedicated to promoting and developing relationship based social work.  He is a frequent contributor to social work and psychosocial conferences and seminars  nationally and internationally.

Andrew has supervised 25 PhDs and Professional Doctorates to completion, and has a special interest in pyscho-social and psychoanalytic research methodologies as well as how to combine inductive and deductive methods in small scale qualitative research projects. He believes that the particular value of practitioner social work and social care research lies in 'surfacing' and giving voice to marginalised and unrepresented forms of social and personal  suffering and conflict, matters which social professionals know about from direct experience but which are often beneath the radar of public and even professional concern. This interest relates to his wider concern with the 'relational politics' of the welfare state in Britain, and the importance of sustaining 'relational services' in mental health,child welfare and safeguarding, and many other areas.

For 20 years, starting in 1992 Andrew was engaged with colleagues  in a long series of cross-national research studies of European child  protection systems and practices. These studies heavily informed his critical thinking about English child care and protection work, and he has published many papers on these themes, and made a number of media appearances at times of crisis in the child protection system. He contributed to both the Laming and Munro reviews of child protection.  Some of the ideas which emerged out of these European studies influenced the early development of 'problem solving courts' in England. of which the Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) is the most prominent example. The national development of FDAC is now led by social workers and other clinicians at the Tavistock.

Since 2003, Andrew has also convened the series of Tavistock Policy Seminars  which explore the relationship between public policy and human relationships, and has developed a distinctive approach to teaching, theorising and researching policy analysis.


£6600 per annum


£13200 per annum 

Please note that course fees are subject to a 2% or CPI uplift each year, whichever is greater.

We are happy offer a range of ways to pay your fees, as well as some funding for specific courses.

Please contact us if you have any questions. 

October 3rd and 4th 

November 7th and 8th 

December 5th and 6th 

January 9th and 10th 

February 13th and 14th 

March 12th and 13th

April 23rd and 24th 

May 21st and 22nd

Open lecture evening of June 17th.

June 18th (symposium) and 19th 

Professional Doctorate
Course length:
4 years
Tavistock Centre, 120 Belsize Lane, NW3 5BA
Admission status:
Course lead:
Andrew Mark Cooper

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