Thesis theories

October 18, 1996

Andrew Morgan's letter about an article on the UK Council for Graduate Education's report on the PhD by published work (THES, October 11) shows that he has much to say about doctoral work but has misinterpreted or not read the council's report.

The report is not about replacing the PhD but about a parallel route to achieving a PhD with work of doctoral standard. Like Andrew Morgan, the council wishes to maintain high quality and standards at doctoral level. However, we recognise there are several routes by which a doctorate can be achieved.

Our report identifies key issues which the council believes are fundamental to control the quality of the PhD by published work and "to ensure that the publication route and the conventional thesis route to a PhD invoke the same degree of academic rigour and achieve the same high quality standards". In short, the council is promoting good practice and encouraging universities to think about the different ways in which doctoral standards can be achieved that is appropriate for the contemporary world.

Robert Burgess Founding chairman United Kingdom Council for Graduate Education.

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