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Examining the Doctorate: institutional policy and the PhD examination process in Britain.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2000
JournalStudies in Highter Education
Journal number2
Volume25
Number of pages14
Pages167-180
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In this article the authors attempt to shed some light on the PhD examination process, a process that is arguably far less transparent than those at other levels of British higher education. More specifically, the authors focus upon institutional policy from a sample of 20 British universities and attempt to document policy and interrogate the principles underpinning guidelines governing examination practices. They examine definitions of what constitutes a doctorate and policies governing a range of practices that are integral to the examination process. The research reveals that although there is a large degree of inter-institutional consistency regarding key criteria for the award of a PhD, close inspection of institutional policy suggests that the PhD examination is in fact conceptualised and operationalised in diverse ways.