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The Potential for Practice-led Professional Doctorates in Providing Higher Level CPD in Kent & Medway. Dr Mike Nicholls, Centre for Professional Practice.

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Presentation on theme: "The Potential for Practice-led Professional Doctorates in Providing Higher Level CPD in Kent & Medway. Dr Mike Nicholls, Centre for Professional Practice."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Potential for Practice-led Professional Doctorates in Providing Higher Level CPD in Kent & Medway. Dr Mike Nicholls, Centre for Professional Practice University of Kent at Medway

2 Acknowledgements Kent & Medway Life Long Learning Network Mandy Hobart of Mirabeth Consultancy Judyn Mathewman of TRC Consultants Ltd

3 Redefining the Doctorate – HE Academy discussion paper (Park 2007) “The ‘knowledge economy’ places a growing expectation on the higher education system to provide research and education that is more relevant to the needs of the work force and the competitive position of the economy in general.” “most if not all the stakeholder groups agree the need to review the UK doctorate and evaluate whether it remains fit for purpose and effective in practice”.

4 “Kinds” of Doctorate 1 st Generation – “traditional” PhD. 2 nd Generation – “Professional Doctorates” or “Taught Doctorates“ Egs. EdD; D.Clin.Sci.; DBA; Eng.D. Provider-led pedagogy (“taught doctorate”) Universities are “gate keepers” of “legitimate knowledge” (McIntyre & Symes 2000)

5 “Kinds” of Doctorate 3 rd Generation sometimes called the “practitioner doctorate”, “practice-led” or “work based” doctorate Pioneered in Australia, US and UK “gives the ‘professional student’ control of content, context and assessment and these negotiated with the university and where appropriate a professional body or employer” (Costley & Stevenson 2009). a learner-managed pedagogy trans-disciplinary compatible with cultivation of higher order transferable skills and continuing professional development. Eg. Middlesex University D.Prof and D.Prof (Public Works) candidates 2007/08 ; > /13

6 Other kinds………. “New route” or “integrated” PhD Integrated with “employability skills” delivered as taught modules (eg. team building; enterprise; technology transfer; language skills…) ‘……of direct value to the world of work, whether in academia, industry or government” (www.newroutephd.ac.uk) Arguably an “augmented” 1 st Generation PhD.

7 Other kinds………. “Industrial PhD” Increasingly in Europe (eg. Denmark, Germany) and beyond (e.g. Singapore, Malaysia). Government initiatives – 3 way partnerships between government, a university and industrial host.

8 K&M LLN Project Aims Assess the potential for supply and demand for Practice-Led, Professional Doctorates in local south- east region; Assess likely demand amongst employers and others working at senior levels; Assess potential for development of ‘third generation’ practice-led professional doctorates in local HEIs

9 What’s on offer in the region? University A A pre-1992 university with academic and some professional departments PhD & “NewRoute” PhD; D.Clin.Sci. University B A post-1992 university and former polytechnic. Offers professional, applied and academic subjects. PhD; Ed.D University C A former university college which recently gained university status. Integrates academic and professional disciplines with emphasis on public services. PhD (of HEI A); Ed.D; D.Clin.Psych. University D A multi-campus specialised university PhD (of another university) also Open University Ed.D

10 Potential Demand- 19 Senior Managers from Public/Private Sectors/ Professional bodies Health (4) Local Government(4) Professional bodies/Skills Councils (4) Education(2) Chemical/Pharmaceutical(2) Public Services(1) Environmental consultancy(1) Leisure/ insurance(1)

11 Questions asked…. In your opinion: Is there a need for a work-based, professional Doctorate? What should be the key features of a work-based doctorate?* What benefits would you like to see accrue from a work-based Doctorate in your work place/ organisation? Would you be interested to help in shaping such a degree? *N.B. Difficult to describe a WB, Prof Doc without being unduly prescriptive.

12 Responses: Managers in Organisations Although doctoral level achievement is recognized, valued and respected ….. currently little interest in traditional PhDs or taught doctorates taken by part-time mode. Most (18/19) however responded positively to the concept of a practice-led, work based professional doctorates “Universities need to be more responsive to what employers want and more flexible in their provision” 14 had ideas how it could work with the staff they manage. E.g. one large pharmaceutical company suggested the could place around 40 candidates if such a programme existed.

13 Case study - Elaine Product Safety Manager for major, multinational chemical company. Responsible for global compliance of products to health and environmental law. Needs deep understanding of chemistry, environmental science, marketing, law, business……. Tried to do a PhD…. but supervisors couldn’t agree!

14 Responses (contd): Managers in Organisations 18/19 organisations responded positively 13 Senior managers offered to give up time to work with a university on development. Mainly health trusts, local government, children services, one professional body and some private sector companies including chemical /pharmaceutical industries and an environmental consultant. of two professional bodies: one (veterinary surgeons) already working with Middlesex University another (quantity surveyors) already have a taught doctorate with another university, but would prefer something more flexible.

15 Potential Supply- 9 Senior Managers from 4 Universities University A (2) University B (2) University C (4) University D (1) Pro-Vice Chancellors Heads of Research & Enterprise Heads of Research Degrees Campus Academic Directors Faculty Dean

16 In the context of a practice led, work-based professional doctorate, please comment on… is there scope for development? If so then What would entry requirements be? taught components? recognition and accreditation of prior learning?; supervision of doctoral candidates? assessment strategies? duration of study and research?

17 Responses: University Senior Managers No trends or differences between universities; contrasting answers within institutions. Some (minority) considered there was no need as traditional PhDs could be customised to work-place needs; Others (majority) interested, provided that:  Suitable, distinct model developed  Comparability of standards with other doctorates ensured;  Sufficient demand merits investment  Appropriate assessment developed.  Must include “research methods” (Is thinking beyond 1 st and 2 nd generation doctorate?)

18 Recommendations for Universities from K&M LLN Each University could debate whether it should introduce an alternative Doctoral level award; Engage with volunteers from public/private sectors/professions to explore potential models; Design a framework which could be adopted, or not, by University Schools/Faculties and Departments Decide what it would be called!

19 Follow-up workshop in University B All university faculties/centres which currently offer PhD degrees and one a taught doctorate (EdD) Selection of those organisations who offered to help design a generic professional doctoral model. Guest presentation from Middlesex University Two academic departments interested (Health and Architecture). Beyond this general feelings were that professional doctorate either devalued or competed with PhDs. Presented findings to Research Degrees Committee and to Senior Management Team. Verdict was that any development to be “championed” by subject departments/faculties.

20 What has changed since original survey? University A Already offered PhD & “NewRoute” PhD; D.Clin.Sci Now a Professional doctorate in Sport, Exercise and Health Science. Regulations for professional (taught) doctorates University B Already offered PhD; Ed.D Briefly explored a professional doctorate in Architecture – no further action. University C Already offered Ed.D; D.Clin. Psych. PhD now has own research degree awarding power; University D Already offer PhD (of another university) expressed interest in more versatile doctorate for creative and performing arts.

21 Overall conclusions PhD is fit for original purpose, and employers respect holders. Potential Demand - Seems to be a vacant niche for a more flexible 3 rd generation doctorate in public and private sectors Potential Supply - Universities are cautious in responding to this potential demand and …. are likely to respond with subject/discipline-led offering (1 st or 2 nd generation doctorate)….. Do Kent & Medway universities have an appetite for 3 rd generation doctorate?

22 University of Kent regulations for professional doctorates Professional Doctorate Taught Component Research Component MRes Credits Required 180 credits 360 credits Fallback Awards 60 credits120 credits180 credits PGCertPGDipMA/MSc MRes Applicable Regulations Credit Framework Research Regulations MRes

23 My thoughts…. PhD by publication maps a candidate’s academic career Publications are peer reviewed “milestones” of an academic career. What about a doctorate that uses other peer revered milestones of a professional career? Cf. Middlesex University’s D.Prof by Public Works Definitely needs to be designed with stakeholders - not a dictated pedagogy.

24 References Costley, C. & Stephenson J (2009) Building doctorates around individual candidates’ professional experience, in Boud, D & Lee, A. Changing Practices in Doctoral Education, Routledge. McIntyre, J. and Symes, C (Eds) Working Knowledge: The New Vocalisations of Higher Education, Buckingham, Open University Press. Nicholls, M K et al (2009) Practice-led professional doctorates: the potential for Kent & Medway. Kent & Medway Lifelong Learning Network: professional-doctorates-the-potential-for-kent-amp-medway.pdf Park, C (2007) Redefining the Doctorate : Discussion paper Higher Education Academy.

25 How much of each? How is it negotiated? Work Based Learning Accreditation / Evaluation of Current Practice APL Accreditation of prior accomplishments New Learning: Taught Courses Research Projects Research Methods Learning Agreement = Programme Specification


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