Art and design has recently seen considerable growth in PhD studies and in the UK the sector has been at the forefront in developing practice‐based doctorates. There is an ongoing debate about the nature and quality of these PhDs. There are residual confusions about practice and research, and wide variations in requirements across universities. In the UK, design has a long tradition of vocational education arising from well respected art schools, which for the most part have been absorbed into the modern universities. Generally, the award of first degrees across mainstream design dates back only three decades, the award of PhDs less than one decade. There is still a shortage of experienced supervisors and examiners who themselves hold the PhD and have deep knowledge of the process. A model specification defines clearly what is expected for the award of PhD in Art and Design.
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