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

Course overview

This 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 complexities of contemporary organisations in consulting and researching 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.

It is uniquely arranged with other professional doctorates covering social work and social care and systemic therapy, making for a multidisciplinary student body and enriching learning experience.

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).


8th/9th October

12th/13th November

10th/11th December


7th/8th January

11th/12th February

11th/12th March

22nd/23rd April

20/21st May

17th/18th June.

Karen izod edit

Karen Izod

Karen Izod, D.Phil, MA., CQSW has been working as an independent consultant to organisational change and professional development, as an educator and researcher for over 30 years.  She has a long-standing association with the Tavistock & Portman Trust and with the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations where she is a founder and former director of their professional development programmes in consulting for change, and in coaching.

Karen has extensive experience in consulting to organisations both nationally and internationally across wide ranging sectors: financial services and banking, health and social care, government, professional practice and arts-based organisations. 

She is concerned with the way individuals and working groups build and sustain connection with each other, so as to bring more effective and creative selves to their work. This relational practice involves a continuing interplay between research, consultancy and educational practices to support change, and the awareness gained from experiential forms of learning and the arts.

Karen has an an Advanced training in Social Work from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, and a Master’s degree in Advanced Organisational Consultancy from the Tavistock Institute.  Her doctorate from the University of West of England develops theory in the understanding of group and organisational processes from a relational systems-psychoanalytic perspective.

Karen is additionally visiting tutor at Henley Business School on their MSc Coaching and Behavioural Change and a Visiting Research Fellow at University of West of England where she has been working on themes of attachment and representation. 


£7000 per annum


£14000 per annum 

Please note that course fees are subject to a 3% 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. 

Professional Doctorate
Course length:
4 years
The Tavistock Centre, London
Admission status:
Course lead:
Karen Izod

Enquire about this course

Make an enquiry

Share this page