Doctoral Degrees - Types - Research


Research doctorates are awarded in recognition of academic research that is (at least in principle) publishable in a peer-refereed academic journal. In many countries, including the United States, earning a research doctorate also requires successful completion of a regimen of coursework beyond the masters level. The best-known degree of this type, in the Anglophone world, is that of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D., or sometimes D.Phil) awarded in many countries throughout the world. Others include the degree of Doctor of Education, various doctorates in engineering, such as the US Doctor of Engineering (also awarded in Japan and South Korea), the UK Engineering Doctorate and the German Engineering Doctorate Doktor-Ingenieur and the German nature-science degree of Doctor rerum naturalium (Dr.rer.nat.). The Doctor of Theology, often stylized Th.D., is also a research doctorate, in theology, awarded by universities such as Harvard Divinity School and the University of Toronto among many others. Likewise, the Doctor of Sacred Theology is also a research doctorate in theology, but particular to Catholic Pontifical Universities and Faculties.

Criteria for award of research doctorates vary somewhat throughout the world, but typically requires the submission of a substantial body of original research undertaken by the candidate. This may take the form of a single thesis or dissertation, or possibly a portfolio of shorter project reports; see also Thesis by publication. The submission will usually be assessed by a small committee of examiners appointed by the university, and often an oral examination of some kind. In some countries (such as the US) there may also be a formal taught component, typically consisting of graduate-level courses in the subject in question, as well as training in research methodology.

The minimum time required to complete a research doctorate varies by country, and may be as short as three years (excluding undergraduate study), although it is not uncommon for a candidate to take up to six years to complete.

In the UK, an equivalent formation to doctorate is the QCF 8.

Read more about this topic:  Doctoral Degrees, Types

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