The Experience of Doctoral Studies in the UK and France: differences in epistemology, research objects and training

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Abstract

This article investigates how doctoral students perceive their research education in different disciplines in two higher education systems, the UK and France. It explores what underlies the diversity of doctoral students' experiences. Three theoretical positions are identified: the epistemological position, conceptualisation of research objects and organisational structures of research training. A questionnaire on the experiences of research training was distributed to doctoral students in Economics & Management (representative of social sciences) and Chemistry (representative of natural sciences) in France and was compared to a survey carried out earlier in Education (representative of social sciences) and Chemistry (representative of natural sciences) in the UK. Strikingly, similar disciplinary patterns were found in the doctoral research experiences in the two countries. The findings were used to review the three theoretical positions on the experiences of doctoral studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-270
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Education
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

Keywords

  • research training
  • doctoral students
  • student experiences
  • supervision
  • comparative study

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