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Doctorates Downunder

Keys to successful doctoral study in Australia and New Zealand

Doctorates Downunder by Carey Denholm
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We considered it was time for a book that showcased examples of the best advice that experienced friends can give to doctoral candidates. We wanted it to have an Antipodean flavour in our approach: friendly; to the point; scholarly with welltested ideas and advice; generic (to apply across all disciplines); and, with a unique title. Although there are similarities between texts developed in the United Kingdom and the United States, this text is designed to suit the needs of candidates undertaking doctorates within Australia and New Zealand where, over the past 60 years, some particularities have developed to suit the local circumstances. Doctorates Downunder is designed to explore beneath the doctoral programs and their processes so that you can complete your own doctorate here successfully. Undertaking a doctorate is a special experience and one that few people do more than once. It is challenging, creative, emotionally and intellectually demanding and immensely productive. Yet many people view the process as a daunting trial that needs to be survived if success is to be grudgingly granted; we disagree with this approach. We take a positive and optimistic view. Studying for a doctorate is hard work, certainly, but with your efforts and a little help from your friends in this book (and elsewhere) we believe it will be one of the most satisfying and enduring achievements of your life. Your doctoral program may be viewed as the best form of independent learn ing; a form of learning through which you create new knowledge, not just for yourself, but for the world! After all, that's the 'acid test' of a doctorate: it needs to make a significant and original contribution to knowledge. If you are successful, the university will award you the title of 'Doctor' as a public statement and recognition of your achievement. Most of your previous learning, from kindergarten to now, is most likely to have been about learning other people's knowledge. Important though this is, the work of a doctoral candidate (get used to this, you will be called a candidate, not a 'mere' student!) is on a much higher and more important plane because it is about developing as a researcher through the production of a significant and original piece of research. Once 'doctored', you then have the 'licence' to continue researching (and supervising other graduate research candidates) forever!
Australian Council for Educational Research; March 2006
242 pages; ISBN 9781423773429
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Title: Doctorates Downunder
Author: Carey Denholm; Terry Evans