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Why do a Professional Doctorate? Evidence from prospective EdD students

Hawkes, D; (2016) Why do a Professional Doctorate? Evidence from prospective EdD students. International Journal of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning , 8 (2) pp. 34-46. Green open access

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Abstract

With growing policy-maker interest in professional doctorates in the UK, demonstrated by the Higher Education Funding Council in England (HEFCE) funded professional doctorate project, and a growing desire to motivate more students to take on research degrees through the PhD and research master's loan scheme proposed in the March 2015 budget, it is timely to consider what motivates a student to undertake a professional doctorate. In addition, the broader question is whether the student's motivations to complete programmes, such as our EdD, are aligned with the desires of the policy makers to promote engagement with professional doctorates as a way to address the perceived skills gaps in the UK labour market. This study used two years of interview data collected from our potential EdD students. These data show that the most often reported reason for doing an EdD is having a long term problem of practice. The prospective students often reported having observed this problem of practice as practitioners for some time and wanting to find answers, to make things work better in their work places and for their students. This problem of practice has usually led to the development of their EdD proposals . Additional motivations included hoped-for changes in career, a push by employers to have a doctorate and the structure of the EdD programme itself. The misalignment between the motivation of policy makers to plug a skills gap and that of potential students to address the practice problem is evident. This paper discusses the implications of this mismatch for programme leaders of professional doctorates, both aiming to fulfil the need to ensure that the student's desire to undertake the programme is met and helping to plug the skills gaps in the labour market in the future.

Type: Article
Title: Why do a Professional Doctorate? Evidence from prospective EdD students
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=1...
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1485800
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