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Events Programme
4th International Conference on Professional Doctorates
Date: 10th & 11th April 2014 Download
Time: 9.15am - 5pm (10/4) & 9.15am - 4.30pm (11/4)
Category: Conference Book now
Venue: The Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Middlesex University & UKCGE Logos

Jointly hosted by Middlesex University and the UK Council for Graduate Education

To submit a poster to the Conference please click here

A warm welcome is extended to those interested in professional and practice-led doctorates and who would like to attend and/or run a session at ICPD-2014. The interest in practice oriented doctorates has grown steadily over the last few decades, so that research and developments in this area have attracted colleagues from a wide variety of subject areas. ICPD-2014 will be of interest to those delivering doctoral programmes at the leading edge of doctoral education internationally, as well as those who support and participate in these programmes, together with anyone wishing to learn more about the latest developments.

The conference will be grouped around the following three themes and we would encourage and welcome proposals for sessions where delegates offer particularly innovative, thought-provoking and challenging ideas – including, for example, multi- and trans-disciplinary approaches to doctorates, widening participation and issues around practice knowledge.


Conference Themes

Theme 1: Professional Practice and Professional Associations

Professional associations are, in many countries, the gatekeepers to professional recognition. The working lives of members of these associations are increasingly complex. Members are now more likely to be working on larger projects, and having to interact with other professions acting through inter-professional networking and trans-disciplinary knowledge. This is recognised by a number of professional associations which often identify multi- and trans- disciplinary professional attributes for chartered status and for workshop training in the UK and across the world. The professional associations may also act as a bridge between academia and industries through formal processes such as programme accreditation, as well as informal networking.

This theme aims to explore the interaction between the academic and the professional. Papers are invited to discuss and analyse collaborative relationships and any potential tensions between the three domains (academia, professional associations and industry) and explore ways of increasing collaboration. The theme includes:

  • Impact of the professional doctorate employee on the organisation; manager and employee perspectives
  • Professional doctorates involving collaborative and commercial partnerships.
  • Approaches to doctoral training & professional development
  • Comparison of doctorates in various professional arenas
  • Professional association as gatekeeper to a profession
  • Professionals working as inter-professional teams
  • Multi-/ trans-disciplinary working
  • Accreditation by professional associations


Theme 2: Pedagogy

Progression and completion are long-term concerns in doctoral education and professional and practice-led doctorates have particular issues related to the largely work-based and part-time nature of the candidates and programmes.  In addition, the whole character of the planned learning experience that is appropriate for studies aiming to develop practitioners is open to debate.  Modes of study including distance, work-based, and blended learning, and support patterns such as residential weekends and more conventional individual support processes are used to both meet candidate needs and enhance learning. 

This theme aims to explore the various pedagogic approaches used and their impact on the student experience, learning processes and outcomes.  Evaluation studies arising from practice and/or research that situate results in the literature, or more conceptual explorations of teaching and learning practices appropriate to professional doctorates are welcome.  This theme also aims to explore the development needs of those who facilitate this kind of learning.  The theme includes:

 - Distance/online learning and the professional doctorate; global learning communities.
 - Strategies for effective formal and informal assessment
 - Strategies for developing internal and external Research Supervisors/ Advisers
 - Studies of progression and completion
 - Implications for programme delivery of differing modes of study and learning:
blended learning
- Innovative support networks


Theme 3: International Quality Issues

 The rapid development of professional and practice-led doctorates in the UK, Ireland, Australia, the USA and some parts of Europe has raised issues regarding the perceived quality of the doctoral qualification in different areas of research.

 Papers are welcomed on strategic and innovative approaches to establishing baseline academic standards for practice doctorates, including the thesis element. Also welcome are papers on international comparisons between awards in comparable subject domains located in different geopolitical areas.  Papers about approaches to establishing appropriate protocols and standards for the doctoral examination process will also be welcomed, including the role of examiners and the setting of appropriate criteria for the achievement of doctoral outcomes –originality, actual or potential contribution to knowledge and the development of practice, and the candidate’s capacity to carry out independent doctoral-level research. Papers on the evolving role of Regulatory Agencies at national and international level, in establishing and monitoring appropriate criteria for professional doctorates in the broad context of doctoral awards, are also welcome. The theme includes:

 - International perspectives on developments in Professional and Practice-led Doctorates
 - Quality assurance and quality enhancement of Professional and Practice-led Doctorates
 - Validation issues and audit practices for the Professional and Practice-based Doctorate
 - Evaluative and other studies of:
Validation processes for taught elements, research, assessment and management of programmes
Programme structures
Comparability of standards across institutions, discipline areas and within collaborative programmes
Conceptual studies of appropriate teaching and learning processes


Call for papers

The deadline for submitting abstracts for Presented Papers, Round Table Discussions and Workshops has now passed.  Submissions for Posters or Posters (with introduction) are still being accepted.

To submit a poster to the Conference please click here

(For guidelines of the various sessions you can submit a paper for, please click here )


Plenary Speakers

Professor Andrew Brown, Institute of Education, University of London

 ‘Rethinking Professional Doctorates’

 Andrew Brown is a sociologist of education with a particular interest in doctoral education and research capability and capacity building. He was Programme Leader for the EdD at the Institute of Education University of London (IOE), where he subsequently served as Dean of the Doctoral School. For the past two years, he has been working in Singapore as Director (Research) of the Institute for Adult Learning, part of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, where he founded three research centres and initiated a programme of policy and practice relevant research in adult vocational education. He has been visiting professor at the National Institute of Education, Singapore and the Hong Kong Institute of Education. He has conducted research on professional doctorates (published as ‘Professional Doctorates: Integrating Professional and Academic Knowledge’ with David Scott, Ingrid Lunt and Lucy Thorne) and worked as a consultant on higher education and research capacity building projects in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. He is currently Professor of Education in the Department of Lifelong and Comparative Education and Centre for Higher Education Studies at IOE, from 1st September 2013, Dean of the Faculty of Policy and Society.


Associate Professor Gloria Dall’Alba, University of Queensland

 ‘Educating for Practice: A Lifeworld Perspective’

Gloria Dall’Alba is currently Associate Professor of Higher Education in the School of Education at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. She coordinates UQ’s Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. She has previously held appointments at RMIT University and the University of Melbourne, as well as in Sweden at Karolinska Institute and Gothenburg University.

Gloria's research interests include education for the professions, higher education pedagogy, workplace learning and qualitative inquiry. Her research draws substantially upon hermeneutic phenomenology, especially relating to notions of learning, teaching, professional practice, and inquiry. She has published extensively on a range of issues relating to higher education, workplace learning and research inquiry in book chapters and in journals such as Studies in Higher Education, Educational Philosophy and Theory, Review of Educational Research and Organization Studies. Her recent books are Learning to be Professionals (Springer) and Exploring Education through Phenomenology: Diverse Approaches (Wiley-Blackwell).

Professor Ingrid Lunt,
University of Oxford

'Integrating Professional and Academic Knowledge'

 Professor Ingrid Lunt is Director of the Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) at the University of Oxford. She was formerly Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford and before that Dean of the Doctoral School at the Institute of Education, University of London. Her research interests are doctoral education, and higher education, particularly in a comparative perspective, and she is currently engaged in researching Social Science DTCs. She has a career-long passion for doctoral supervision, and for finding ways to ensure that this works as productively as possible for all students.


Professor Gary Rolfe, Swansea University

‘Tame and wicked doctorates: Knowledge and practice in the corporate university ’

Gary Rolfe is Professor of Nursing in the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University. He qualified as a mental health nurse in 1983 and has an academic background in philosophy and education. He teaches reflective practice, practice development and the philosophy and practice of research, and has published ten books and over one hundred journal articles and book chapters on philosophical aspects of practice, research methodologies, practice development and education. He has been invited to speak at conferences across the world, including keynote presentations in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe. Since moving to Swansea University in 2003 he has worked with practitioners across West Wales to establish the Wales Centre for Practice Innovation. Gary co-wrote and teaches on the College's professional doctorate which is aimed specifically at the needs of health professionals. His most recent book, 'the University in Dissent', explores the challenges faced by the corporatisation of the university in the 21st century.



Venue information

The Wales Millenium Centre is an iconic arts centre located in the Cardiff Bay of, Wales' capital city, Cardiff.  For further details, please click here.



A special rate card with a selection of hotels for Conference delegates. To access the card please click here.
(Please select 'Atendee from the dropdown menu on the left-hand side of the page)

Additional information

Limited funds are available to offer reduced rates for:

- full-time doctoral students who are contributing to the conference by providing a poster or other session. Applications from students should be supported by their supervisors and confirm their full-time status.

- anyone experiencing financial hardship who would benefit from attending the conference. If you would like to apply through this route, please contact a.n.burns@ukcge.ac.uk providing a brief statement giving evidence of your situation and why you would like to attend.



For details of previous International Conferences on Professional Doctorates, please click the links below:

The 3rd International Conference on Professional Doctorates - European Universities Institute, Florence - 2nd & 3rd April 2012

The 2nd International Conference on Professional Doctorates - John McIntyre Centre, Edinburgh - 20th & 21st April 2011

International Conference on Professional Doctorates - Cavendish Conference Centre, London - 9th & 10th November 2009

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