Transdisciplinary qualities in practice doctorates

Costley, Carol ORCID: and Pizzolato, Nicola ORCID: (2018) Transdisciplinary qualities in practice doctorates. Studies in Continuing Education, 40 (1) . pp. 30-45. ISSN 1470-126X [Article] (doi:10.1080/0158037X.2017.1394287)

PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Download (541kB) | Preview


Doctoral programmes in which candidates research their own practice can be characterised as having transdisciplinary (TD) qualities. While most of the emphasis in the literature and in policy on TD is on research in teams, we argue for an expansion of the scope in the conception and understanding of TD research to include the way it can be articulated and assessed in practice-led and practice-based doctorates. In this sense, it is worth exploring instances of doctoral programmes that potentially allow doctoral researchers to undertake projects that have TD qualities. In these doctoral projects, researchers draw from a variety of perspectives, for example from their work practices, the theorisation of those practices, experiential learning, multiple disciplinary knowledge and approaches as well as communications and networking with appropriate stakeholders. Drawing from previous scholarship of TD in other fields we analyse and evaluate the TD qualities of a particular doctoral programme. This analysis reveals a set of qualities recognised by the literature as TD and relevant to doctoral researchers: Researching collaboratively with stakeholders; Diversity of disciplinary expertise and assessment criteria; Integration of different methodologies; Situating the research in multiple contexts; Impact on the ‘situation’ through novel procedures or products; Ethics and the importance of trust; Reflection/reflexivity. The paper posits a convergence between practice doctorates and TD research and demonstrates how TD qualities help doctoral candidates to situate their research at the interface between academia and their professional work and develop projects that have creative and beneficial relevance for practice.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
Item ID: 22854
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Studies in Continuing Education on 04/11/2017, available online:
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Nico Pizzolato
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2017 15:19
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2021 09:48

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.