Practice-led Doctorates in the Arts, Design and Architrecture

Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups


Chaptetr in "Professional Doctorates in the UK (2011)". This Report on the Professional Doctorate (PD) in the UK was commissioned by the UKCGE to inform debate on the design, validation, audit and relevance of PDs to the needs and aspirations of the doctoral candidate, the requirements of Universities, the industrial and professional employers and society at large. In each chapter the design, development and policy issues relating to PD programmes are reviewed. The first Chapter reflects upon the key contextual developments and current issues for the PD in general. Issues include: comparison between the PD and the traditional PhD; the confusion caused by the burgeoning number of PD titles; the on-going debate on the use (or not) of credit for the research components of doctorates; the issues raised by the emergence in the USA of so-called ‘course-work only’ professional doctorates, not necessarily based on research outcomes; and the societal and economic impact of the successful PD graduate in the Knowledge Economy. The conceptual basis and core delivery issues of the ‘generic’ third-generation ‘Doctor of Professional Studies’ are explored in the Chapter 2, together with an assessment of the role of the researching practitioner. The EdD is deconstructed in Chapter 3 from a philosophical perspective, with an assessment of the nature of the EdD and the essential features of philosophically sound structures underpinning it. The scope and design factors of the EngD are discussed in Chapter 4, together with the key factors involved in securing industrial and Research Council sponsorship to underpin the research programme, while recognising the prerequisite that industrial partners appreciate the relevance of the research focus and the need to contribute towards it. Best practice in the design and delivery of the Doctor in Business Administration is illustrated through a series of case studies. The influential role of the Association of Business Schools in the UK in regulating the DBA on a voluntary basis by defining the benchmark is discussed in Chapter 5. The PD in Clinical Psychology is reviewed in Chapter 6 as the touchstone for entry into the profession, closely regulated by the Health Professions Council (HPC). In Chapter 7 the PD in Health and Social Care, also regulated by the HPC, is examined for its impact on practice in the area and for issues of perceived standards and parity of esteem, relative to the traditional PhD. The PDs embraced by the Social Sciences are explored in Chapter 8 with reference to their potential for capacity building of research in the Social Sciences. In Chapter 9 a review of Practice-Led Doctorates in the Arts, Design and Architecture illustrates the different modes for developing, recognising, assessing and valuing research activity in the creative and performing arts. Finally, in Chapter 10 the need to identify a suitable metric for PDs to provide valid, valued and effective measures of their principal features is discussed. The broader international issues for PDs are discussed with reference to the Bologna convention and practice in Australia. The continuing debate about the emergence of PDs with little training in doctoral-level research in North America is discussed. Questions are raised about whether the key features of a PD could be captured with one set of criteria, about the relative merits of internal and external measures of graduate performance and strategies for measuring the value of practice-focused innovations. Reference is made in Chapter 1 to the proposal that a longitudinal study of the experience of PD graduates 5 years after qualification be conducted, to assess the impact of PD skills training and research experience on the capacity of the PD graduate to meet the challenges of professional working life. If complemented by employers’ perceptions of the PD graduate’s performance in the workplace, this would permit an assessment of the ‘value- added’ to successful PD candidates, the relative value of different skills training components and the benefit of research experience to the reflective practitioner in the workplace. The authors of this Report, representing a range of disciplines and professions as academics and practitioners, have identified a clear need for dialogue between employers and sponsors with the academy, in order to strengthen the PD as a valuable and viable strategy for stimulating the continuing professional development of staff and capacity building for research in the community. Invited to contribute a report on current institutional approaches to practice-led research
Period22 Apr 2011
Work forUK Council for Graduate Education