In their article, ‘Professional Doctorates in England’, Bourner et al. (2001: 81) pose the question ‘What light do professional doctorates throw on the question of what counts as knowledge in the academy at the start of the twenty-first century?’ This article attempts to address this question.

The article provides some background to the development of professional doctorates. It looks at forces, such as the rise of the knowledge society, economic drivers, and the demands of lifelong learning, that are shaping knowledge in the academy in the twenty-first century. I attempt to interpret these forces in the context of the development of professional doctorates.

I argue that the development of professional doctorates has unmasked some of the limitations of the ‘traditional’ Ph.D. as a vehicle for the production of knowledge. However, the development of professional doctorates brings new challenges to the academy of the twenty-first century.





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