Work-based doctorates: professional extension at the highest levels

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Costley, Carol ; Lester, Brian Stanley (2011)

The growth and evolution of professional doctorates in Australia, the UK and other parts of the English-speaking world has been widely reported and discussed. Recently, forms of doctorate have emerged that are not geared to specific professions or disciplines and are used by senior practitioners as vehicles for professional extension and for addressing complex work issues. These transdisciplinary, candidate-centred, research-and-development programmes can collectively be referred to as work-based doctorates. Although stemming from more than one tradition they are evolving towards a set of common practices that reflect the transdisciplinary model of work-based learning used in some UK and Australian universites. Evidence is beginning to indicate that these doctorates have significant value in terms of organisational benefit and individual professional development, and although they still occupy disputed territory within the university they are capable of being conceptualised and implemented in a way that is intellectually rigorous and robust.
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