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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

The Professional Doctorate

A Practical Guide

ISBN 9781137024190
Publication Date September 2013
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Palgrave Research Skills

Are you interested in studying for a professional doctorate but aren't sure what's involved? This book offers concrete, practical guidance for anyone wishing to study for a professional doctorate degree.

Fully up-to-date and based on the latest developments in the field, The Professional Doctorate: 
- Supports you through every stage of the journey, from identifying your research project and choosing your methodology through to the final assessment
- Gives advice on working with your supervisor, disseminating your findings and influencing your community of practice
- Encourages you to reflect on your personal development and transformation
- Features detailed case studies from real-life students

Based on the authors' extensive experience of working with professional doctoral students, this much-needed resource will help you to master all aspects of this demanding degree.

Dr. John Fulton has a career pathway spanning 25 years in the field of Mental Health Nursing and Clinical Education. He has worked extensively in the context of undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare and his research interests reflect a commitment to social theoretical perspectives in health and social care. He is currently a Principal Lecturer in the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the University of Sunderland, working predominantly with professionals undertaking doctoral level study.

Dr. Judith Kuit is Programme Leader for the BSc in Clinical Physiology and the BSc in Healthcare Science at the University of Sunderland. Her past experience includes clinical research in endocrinology, leading university staff development in learning and teaching specialising in reflective practice, assessment and e-learning, developing educational programmes for staff in healthcare and developing the professional identity of healthcare staff.    
Dr. Gail Sanders is Programme Leader for the University of Sunderland's Doctorate of Business Administration and a core team member for the university's professional doctorate programme, specialising in reflective practice. Her research focuses on professional identity and inter-professional working, particularly with respect to healthcare workers.  
Professor Peter Smith is Programme Leader for the Professional Doctorate programme at the University of Sunderland. He has published over 250 papers, and spoken at conferences throughout the world. Peter has supervised, and examined over 80 doctoral candidates, and is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and the Royal Society of Arts.  
The authors have published widely on the subject of professional doctorates. Collectively, they have supported over 100 students through the different stages of doctoral study. The authors' subject disciplines include sociology, nursing, sports science, education, chemistry, physiology, business, engineering, mathematics, and computer science.

1. Introduction
2. Choosing Your Research Project and Framing Your Research Question
3. Developing as a Researching Professional Through Reflective Practice
4. Methods of Enquiry
5. Contextualising and Planning Your Doctoral Project
6. Personal Development and Transformation
7. Putting Together a Portfolio
8. The Student/Supervisor Relationship: Expectations and Challenges
9. Dissemination and Influencing Your Community of Practice
10. Assessment and the Oral Examination
11. Case Studies
12. Summary and the Future
Appendices: Sample Coursework Assessments


"This book is a comprehensive guide for professionals attempting to acquire new knowledge and translating this into improved practice in the workplace. What's involved in starting and completing a professional doctorate is dealt with in an easy to understand manner with extensive reporting of real students' reflections and experiences." - Dr Stella Stevens, School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, Australia
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