Doctorate in Information Science DInfSc

Professional Doctorate in Information Science

1. Overview

The Professional Doctorate in Information Science (DInfSc) is a Doctoral Degree based on research into real professional issues. It offers a more structured alternative to the traditional PhD but is of an equivalent academic level.

The DInfSc is designed for experienced professionals in an information or knowledge management environment. It is an attractive option for those wishing to take the next step on the qualifications ladder, allowing them to enhance their professional practice and career prospects.

2. What you will study

The course comprises two principal stages. In the initial MRes stage you will develop your independent and original research project. During this stage you will undertake a tailored study programme comprising 60 credits of taught modules which you will select (with advice from your supervisor) to consolidate or extend your specialist subject knowledge. You will also take the 60 credit Post-Graduate Certificate in Research Methods.  This is followed by the DInfSc stage during which you will produce a doctoral level dissertation of around 60000 words that makes an original contribution to professional practice.

You will normally be expected to undertake research on issues of relevance to your own organisational and professional environment, engaging in critical evidence-based reflection on the impact of the research in changing practice.

Taught subject modules can be studied at a distance via the University's virtual campus. However you will be expected to attend the University for some portion of each academic year, to benefit from face-to-face discussions and planning within a vibrant research-focused environment.

We are particularly interested in receiving proposals for doctoral study in the following areas:

  • Organisational Learning, including Communities of Practice and Workplace Democracy
  • Information seeking behaviour and information and digital literacy
  • Information services and systems evaluation, design, usability and accessibility
  • Digital Curation
  • Usability and Accessibility of academic e-book content
  • Information Management Benchmarking
  • Quantifying the value of information assets (infonomics)
  • The development of new information professionals, CPD and online learning spaces
  • ICTs for Political Participation
  • Digital cultural heritage (with a specific interest in 3D gaming, laser scanning and semantic web)
  • Virtual worlds and AI, Semantic web and Open source software.

3. Entry requirements

Normal entry requirements are an MSc (at merit or distinction level) and a first or upper second class honours degree of a University of the United Kingdom, or from an overseas University, or degree equivalent qualification, subject to the approval of Robert Gordon University. The DInfSc also requires candidates to have a minimum of three years experience in a professional level Information Science-related role. Applicants holding qualifications other than those above shall be considered on their merits and in relation to the nature and scope of the proposed research programme.

Applicants will normally register for an MRes/DInfSc with transfer to DINnfSc dependent on satisfactory progress. However, applicants who already possess a Masters degree which includes a significant research component could be registered directly for a DInfSc, subject to a satisfactory research proposal, and clear evidence of research expertise.

Any applicant whose first language or language of previous University-level instruction is not English must normally demonstrate competence in English. This should be a score of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

4. Course Fees

For Academic Year 2016/2017

All Students


  • £9,335 per academic year


  • £4,670 per academic year

For Academic Year 2015/2016

All Students


  • £9,000 per academic year


  • £4,500 per academic year

For Academic Year 2014/2015

All Students


  • £8,700 per academic year


  • £2,895 Year 1
  • £2,895 Year 2
  • £5,078 Per year, dissertation stage

For Academic Year 2013/2014

All Students


  • £8,400 per academic year


  • £2,800 Year 1
  • £2,800 Year 2
  • £4,900 Per year, dissertation stage

For Academic Year 2012/2013

All Students


  • £8,100 per academic year


  • £2,700 Year 1
  • £2,700 Year 2
  • £4,725 Per year, dissertation stage

For Academic Year 2011/2012

All Students

  • £7,900 academic year full time
  • £2,640 Year 1 part time
  • £2,640 Year 2 part time
  • £4,605 Year, dissertation stage part time

All course fees are reviewed annually and subject to change. Published fees apply to the course's mode of delivery. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

For further information see Student Finance pages


5. How to apply

All applications should be made via the University's application form for research students. Informal enquiries can be made Dr Elizabeth Tait

Completed application forms should be accompanied by:

  • Two academic references
  • A transcript or mark sheet for all graduate qualifications
  • A research proposal (View the research proposal guidelines)
  • For applicants whose first language or language of university education is not English -Certificate of English language competency score of IELTS 6.5 in each of the four test components (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking). Students who can demonstrate successful completion of tertiary (university or college) studies in a country whose national language is English, may be exempted from this requirement

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Start date

September or January

Course length

Between 3 and 7 years

Mode of Attendance

Full-time and Part-time

Academic school
Aberdeen Business School
More information:
Dr Elizabeth Tait Lecturer
+44 (0)1224 263916

Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781