Journal Article

Social Work Doctoral Students in the UK: A Web-Based Survey and Search of the Index to Theses

Jonathan Scourfield and Nina Maxwell

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 2, pages 548-566
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Social Work Doctoral Students in the UK: A Web-Based Survey and Search of the Index to Theses

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Despite traditionally having low numbers of doctoral students, social work research is currently undergoing expansion at doctoral level. Professional doctorates are starting up, which are highly applied to practice and include modules as well as a thesis, and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has now recognized social work as a separate discipline for doctoral training. The aims of this research project were to identify who these social work doctoral students are, what they are researching and what their experience is of doctoral study. Quantitative and qualitative data were generated via a web-based survey of social work doctoral students across the UK—those on professional doctorates as well as Ph.D.s and those engaged in full-time and part-time study. The data were subject to bivariate analysis. There was also a search conducted of the Index to Theses for doctoral theses on social work topics over a ten-year period. Findings from both elements of the research are presented in relation to student demographics, employment and funding, type of doctorate, methodology and student satisfaction.

Keywords: Doctorates; social work research; research capacity-building

Journal Article.  7139 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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