The design of doctorate curricula for practising professionals

Armsby, Pauline, Costley, Carol ORCID logoORCID: and Cranfield, Steven (2018) The design of doctorate curricula for practising professionals. Studies in Higher Education, 43 (12) . pp. 2226-2237. ISSN 0307-5079 [Article] (doi:10.1080/03075079.2017.1318365)

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Expansion and changes in doctoral education globally have challenged universities to meet the needs of practising professionals. Values and purposes, structure and content and pedagogy of the provision are key considerations. This curriculum evaluation work investigated the views of 68 higher education staff mainly from Europe and North America involved in the development and delivery of professional doctorates on current issues in designing an appropriate curriculum for practitioners. Analysis of views from two international workshops suggested that while the social benefits of practitioner research were acknowledged, staff struggled with tensions in their higher education contexts to manage practitioner-focused elements, including the balance between theory and practice, recognition of practitioner methodologies and provision of appropriate supervision. The paper concludes that a wider understanding of the values and purpose of doctoral education within and beyond the academy is required that recognises the production of knowledge through practice, and supports ethical social action.


We would like to acknowledge the participants who took part in the two international workshops for their helpful contributions, and the reviewers for their helpful comments.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
Item ID: 21662
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Studies in Higher Education on 25/04/2017, available online:
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Depositing User: Carol Costley
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2017 15:07
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 19:27

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