Institute for Education and UKGRAD Programme Review of literature on the doctoral experience for the Higher Education Academy.


The NPC has supported the HEAs UKGRAD/IoE review of research literature.

The aim was to review existing research on the connections between the context in which research students work, the support they receive and their learning experience to identify evidence on the impact of the policies and practices of the last 20 years on the quality of students learning
more technically, to contribute to HEA discussions on different methodologies for surveying literature in Education (narrative/academic reviews versus Systematic Reviews).

The review aims to establish what evidence exists for what works in relation to the British doctorate (i.e. in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and South Africa) and to indicate areas for future research.

The output will be an annotated bibliography of the key literature and a systematic map of the field in a searchable mode for future use by researchers. The project also aims to be able to narrow down the question and to produce more focused systematic reviews answering one or two specific questions, such as:

"Is a critical mass of faculty researchers and/or other research students important in increasing doctoral student retention and reducing time to completion?"
"What effect does the research rating of an HEI or department have on student or employer satisfaction?"
"Is supervision a distinctive kind of pedagogic practice? Is it changing?"

"What are held to be the purposes of doctoral research training and what criteria have been used to assess the effectiveness of associated training programmes?"

The report is available to download here