Quality and Standards of Postgraduate Research Degrees

Michael Harloe

Michael Harloe was Vice Chancellor of the University of Salford from 1997 to 2009. He was formerly Professor of Sociology, Dean of Social Sciences and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research at the University of Essex.

This paper seeks to identify not only the current context within which UK research level education is being developed but also a number of thematic matters which we believe require further consideration by the sector. 

The matters discussed in this paper include, for example, the purposes of a doctoral education, the development of so-called ‘ non-traditional’ doctorates, examination mechanisms and international aspects. The paper is strictly intended as a discussion paper which, it is hoped, will promote further debate across the sector regarding research degree education.

The paper has been prepared by a Working Group convened by Professor Michael Harloe, University of Essex. The other members of the Working Group were Professor Alan Evans, University of Reading, Professor Ken Goulding, Middlesex University, Dr Chris Haslam, Higher Education Quality Council and Mr Keith Hodgson, University of Reading. The UK Council is very grateful to all members of the Working Group for their time and effort in preparing this paper which will assist institutions to debate these issues that are central to the development of postgraduate education and training.

UK postgraduate students in 1996 
Growth in postgraduates between 1979 — 1994 
PGRs enrolled for a doctorate in 1996