Researching the past, present and future of doctoral education.
Director: Professor Lesley Gourlay
The Centre for Doctoral Education (CDE) undertakes research to inform, challenge and develop doctoral education internationally.
Our work explores the experiences, practices and achievements of doctoral students, supervisors and early career researchers. We draw on this expertise to offer doctoral programmes within our own institution, supporting the largest concentration of doctoral students studying education and related social sciences in the UK.
Study with us
Our centre builds on a strong history of research into doctoral education, drawing on new areas of interest in the wider impact of doctoral studies.
We have launched a research agenda for 2019/20 to help shape contemporary conversations about doctoral education and researcher development.
Areas of interest
The 2019/20 agenda includes the following well-established areas of interest:
- doctoral andragogy
- transitions onto doctoral study
- student progression
- student and supervisor experience.
We are also exploring new uses of secondary data, which has been underused in research on doctorates, adding it to the academic debates around professional doctorates.
Recent projects include:
- Early career social science researchers: experiences and support needs for the ESRC by Professor William Locke, Dr Richard Freeman and Dr Anthea Rose
- Making space to study: student experiences of managing time and space in an Online MPhil/PhD by Dr Richard Freeman and Professor Martin Oliver
Recent publications include:
- Taylor, S. (2018). The UCL EdD: an apprenticeship for the future educational professional? London Review of Education
- Kehm, B., Freeman, R.P.J. and Locke, W. (2018) ‘Growth and Diversification of Doctoral Education in the United Kingdom’, in Shin, J.C., Kehm, B.M. and Jones, G.A. (eds) Doctoral Education for the Knowledge Society: Convergence or Divergence in National Approaches?, The Netherlands: Springer, 105-121
- Locke, W., Freeman, R.P.J. and Rose, A. (2018). Early career social science researchers: experiences and support needs. London: Centre for Global Higher Education
- Hawkes, D., & Taylor, S. (2016). Redesigning the EdD at UCL Institute of Education: Thoughts of the Incoming EdD Program Leaders. In V. A. Storey (Ed.), International Perspectives on Designing Professional Practice Doctorates: Applying the Critical Friends Approach to the EdD and Beyond (pp. 115-126). UK: Palgrave Macmillan
In September 2017, the Centre for Doctoral Education hosted a symposium marking 100 years of the UK PhD and recordings of presentations and subsequent panel discussions are available below:
- “A brief history of the UK PhD” by Dr Richard Freeman (UCL Institute of Education)
- “Doctorates in the digital university” Professor Martin Oliver (UCL Institute of Education)
- “The Changing Landscape of Doctoral Research: Diversify, Differentiate, Collaborate” by Dr Rebekah Smith McGloin (Coventry University)
- Panel discussion (morning)
- “Doctoral education: Equipping our researchers to thrive in academia and beyond” by Dr Janet Metcalfe (Vitae)
- “The Truth” by John Wakeford (Missenden Centre)
- Panel discussion (afternoon)