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Volume 1, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1474-273X
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0896


Whilst the contribution to knowledge has long been understood as an outcome of doctoral research, in more recent times the spotlight has increasingly shifted to that other outcome of doctoral education: the trained researcher. The aim of this paper, similarly, is to set aside the epistemological and definitional issues that surround any notion of design knowledge and how one contributes to it, in favour of a focus on the process of studying for a research degree, the knowledge and skills one might reasonably expect research students to acquire, and the structuring of doctoral training programmes.

Drawing on recent papers and policy documents in this area, as well as personal experience of developing a formal postgraduate research training programme, the paper identifies three key areas for consideration in the development of new doctoral training programmes for design. First, preparation for research degree studies. Second, the development of competence in research skills and procedures, including associated research career skills. Third, the promotion of methodological reflexivity. The paper expands on the implications of each for the structure and content of research training programmes in design. The intention is not to develop a definitive programme for doctoral education; rather it is to set out a framework for the discussion of a diversity of practices.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Design; doctoral education; research degrees; research training
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