Exploring doctoral students' expectations of work-based skills training

Jenny Candy, Padmali Rodrigo, Sarah Turnbull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose - Doctoral students are expected to undertake work-based skills training within their doctoral studies in areas such as problem solving, leadership and team working. This study explores student expectations of doctoral training within a UK Higher Education context.

Design - The data for the study was gathered via two focus groups conducted among doctoral students from different faculties in a post-92 UK University. Participants were selected using a snowball sampling approach.

Findings - The findings suggest that the expectations of doctoral students are contingent upon their year of study, study mode, perceived fit between training goals and available training, peer recommendations, Word-of-Mouth (WoM) and the scholarly support they received from their supervisors.

Practical Implications - The study suggests a better understanding of students’ segmentation can help Higher Education Institutions deliver training that meets the expectations of doctoral students in a way that result in zero or a positive disconfirmation.

Originality/Value – This paper develops and deepens the understanding of the doctoral students’ expectations of work-based skills training and highlights the need for universities to adapt their doctoral training according to the expectations of different student segments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-417
Number of pages15
JournalHigher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning
Issue number3
Early online date22 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


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