Coursework in industrial doctorates: a worthwhile contribution to students’ training?
Responsibility of (Applied) Research
Christina Sin, Diana Soares, Orlanda Tavares
Single presentation - 30 Minutes
Coursework has become a common component of doctoral programmes in Portugal, usually assigned to the first year. This paper aims to understand if coursework is also an element of the relatively recent industrial doctorates and, in this case, if it represents an added value for the training and experience of doctoral candidates in a primarily research-based degree, driven by the shared interests of industry and academia. To this end, the perceptions of candidates enrolled in the publicly funded industrial doctorates have been gathered through focus groups. Findings suggest that students tend to believe that coursework does not add a lot of value to their training, although its relevance seems to increase when students are given the possibility of choosing courses which are related to and feed into their research topic or when courses have a practical orientation. This represents food for thought and invites a reconsideration of curriculum design in doctoral degrees.