Forming a professional doctoral reading and writing identity

Amanda French | Birmingham City University

Professional doctorates are an increasingly popular way for professionals in many occupational fields gain a doctoral qualification in their vocational field. This popularity has led to the introduction, by many universities, of a variety of professional doctorate programmes aimed at people working in areas such as engineering, social work, nursing, business studies and teaching. However, engaging in with a professional doctorate programme will inevitably bring individuals from the workplace into contact with forms of disciplinary reading matter and concomitant academic literacies, either disciplinary or methodologically based, which are often in stark contrast to their own, established professional reading histories and familiar professional literacies. Not surprisingly, once engaged in doctoral study, Prof Doc students, who are usually studying part-time alongside full-time jobs and family responsibilities, often find themselves struggling with the kinds of reading and writing required of them in their new role as researcher. Not least because they have to continue to juggle the demands of their professional work with the new, often challenging, domains of academic reading and writing.

This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to explore emerging questions about how academics and professional doctoral students (as professional doctorate supervisors and supervisees) can productively explore the continuities and discontinuities between different institutional and workplace contexts in order to share ways of celebrating the resultant boundary crossings and hybridisation of academic and professional reading and writing at doctoral level in all its multiplicity and complexity. This workshop will also be useful for those working within professional and postgraduate programmes which present similar challenges, such as MBAs, L7 Apprenticeships, Post-Registration Medical courses or PGT vocational programmes such as Counselling.

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