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The University of Southampton
Doctoral College

What is a PhD for? Festival fringe debate Event

festival debate
14:00 - 15:00
26 May 2016
Building 67/1027, Highfield Campus

For more information regarding this event, please email the Doctoral College at .

Event details

‘Traditionally’ the doctorate was pursued by a few people in a select group of institutions, but since the 1980s there has been a dramatic increase worldwide in the number of researchers undertaking doctoral research.

Where the doctorate was once seen as the ‘apprenticeship’ for an academic career, without a corresponding increase in the number of academic posts, the question arises: ‘what is the PhD for’?


Dr Russell Bentley, Associate Professor of Political Theory and the University's Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor - Education, and Dr Julie Reeves, Researcher Development Coordinator, Professional Development - ILIaD, will express differing viewpoints on the purpose of the doctorate and discuss the ‘overproduction’ of PhDs.

The discussion will be chaired by Professor James Vickers, Professor of Mathematics and Director of the Doctoral College.

Open to all

We invite postgraduate researchers and their supervisors to join in the discussion and we hope that every PGR will leave this fringe event pondering what they are doing a doctorate for – in the nicest of ways of course!

This event makes up part of the Festival of Doctoral Research.

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