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Title: Australian professional doctorates: mapping, distinctiveness, stress and prospects
Contributor(s): Maxwell, Thomas W  (author)
Publication Date: 2011
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Abstract: Some doubt has been cast upon the impact of Prof Docs and the main purpose of this article is to identify the continuing and potential contribution of Prof Docs to Australian doctoral education. An analysis of Australian Prof Docs websites in 2011 found (1) the number of awards had approximately doubled in a decade and (2) the major growth had occurred in 'niche' awards. Maxwell and Shanahan (2001) found that about half of Australian professional doctorates (Prof Docs) offered were distinctly professional. In this article 'distinctly professional' is aligned with the Gibbons et al. (1994) Mode 2 knowledge production model coupled with researcher experience in the profession/workplace. The question of whether professional doctorates in Australia are 'distinctly professional' was addressed via an analysis of 34 interviews of Australian Prof Docs co-ordinators. Only a minority were clear about this issue. About 60% of Co-ordinators thought their professional doctorate had a bright future but about 20% were more circumspect. These and other data indicated that perhaps as many as 20% of extant professional doctorates in Australia appear to be under stress (in addition to those already taken off the books in recent times). Overall, the growth and greater focus upon the workplace in professional Doctoral research indicates that at the present professional doctorates are in a reasonably healthy state though some awards will disappear. For example, the 45 Doctor of Psychology awards will have to be re-worked following the recent publication of the Australian Qualifications Framework that requires two thirds of a doctorate to be devoted to research. Three professional doctorate types for Australian universities can be identified: profession specific, robust and niche professional doctorates.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Work Based Learning e-Journal, 2(1), p. 24-43
Publisher: Middlesex University
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 2044-7868
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130103 Higher Education
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930501 Education and Training Systems Policies and Development
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Education

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