Presentation on theme: "How do I know that my work is PhD level? Professor Chris Park Director, The Graduate School."— Presentation transcript:
How do I know that my work is PhD level? Professor Chris Park Director, The Graduate School
The bad news … … you cannot be absolutely certain that your work is PhD level until it has been declared such by independent peer review judgements from 2-3 people –procedural aspects of examination can be questioned –academic judgements cannot
Things to bear in mind Dynamic context –Changing notions of what a PhD is –Frontiers of knowledge expand Thesis as a unique artefact Journey not just destination –Not just your conclusions, but how you got there! Is it what practitioners in your field would generally regard as sound/good research?
Defining national standards Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (2002) –Quality Assurance Agency –England, Wales and Northern Ireland –Separate system for Scotland Comparable standards
FHEQ Descriptor for qualifications at level HE5: Doctoral degree Doctorates are awarded to students who have demonstrated: i.the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research … of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication; ii.a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of an academic discipline or area of professional practice;
iii. the general ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems; iv. a detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry. Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to: a. make informed judgements on complex issues in specialist fields, often in the absence of complete data, and be able to communicate their ideas and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
b. continue to undertake pure and/or applied research and development at an advanced level, contributing substantially to the development of new techniques, ideas, or approaches; and will have: c. the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations, in professional or equivalent environments.
Lancaster PhD requirements A successful candidate for the degree of Ph.D. must show convincing evidence of the capacity to pursue scholarly research or scholarship in his or her field of study on a scale which can be completed during three years of full-time research. The results of this research must then be embodied in a thesis which makes an original contribution to knowledge and the completed thesis must contain material of a standard appropriate for scholarly publication. The thesis must comply with the requirements for the form, submission and deposit of theses.
Role of PhD examiners The External Examiner(s): to assess the quality of the submission and help to uphold the quality of the degree in the UK The Internal Examiner(s): to assess the quality of the submission and help to uphold the quality of the degree in Lancaster University. The role is similar to that of the External Examiner, and it has equal status and standing.
There are no absolutes! Academic peer review process –No absolute criteria –Experience and views of particular peers –University framework –UK standards (external examiner) Contrast North American Model
Pointers – not guarantees Admission – potential Supervisor –Professional judgement –Interaction with student (two-way) Annual review of progress Upgrade Panel Submission –supervisor approval recommended not required
Professional activities Consult with other academics –Lancaster and elsewhere Conference presentations –Feedback from peers –Comparability with peers Academic publications –Reviewed and judged by peers