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Engineering the Doctorate: Designing a Highway to Traverse

  • Jay Somasundaram
  • Prue Howard
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Education Research Methods book series (PSERM)

Abstract

The demand for university education is increasing from an elite to a mass to possibly a universal requirement. Universities have evolved to the point where an undergraduate coursework degree has similarities to a batch manufacturing process. The research degree, though, continues to resemble more closely a traditional craft paradigm. The undergraduate degree has structures that support navigation for the student and reliable delivery for the institution. The research degree is far less structured: each journey is individually crafted to produce a unique work of art that showcases a journeyman’s readiness to be admitted into the fellowship of scholars. This chapter applies a comparative case study methodology, comparing the undergraduate degree with a research degree, with data drawn from documents from the Australian government and an Australian university. The comparison applies both the logics of the discipline of Education and the logics of the discipline of Engineering. From an Education logic, the undergraduate degree most resembles systematic instruction and a research degree an apprenticeship. From an Engineering logic, they most resemble process and project systems respectively. The first-named author used the analysis in the case study to design and implement his doctoral journey. The chapter concludes with his reflections.

Notes

Acknowledgements

One purpose of citations is to honour the scholars who have influenced the current work. But the body of knowledge that influenced us is vast and integrated. The scholars whom we cite are but a patch of tapestry that forms the culture and values of the community, the guild of scholars. The editors of this book established a supported community of chapter writers who encouraged and critiqued the chapters during their development. CQUniversity’s public website was used to draw much of the material used for this study. And, last but not least, Dave Somasundaram cheerfully read and critiqued the multiple drafts of this chapter.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay Somasundaram
    • 1
  • Prue Howard
    • 1
  1. 1.Central Queensland UniversityRockhamptonAustralia

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