Doctorate in Social Science HRD Workplace Learning

The course lasts for four years in total and is studied on a distance learning basis.

To provide the latest and most sophisticated theoretical knowledge for practitioners.
To ensure that this knowledge can be used to inform practice and that practitioners can critically engage with
developments in their field.
To equip members of the profession to work with the tools and techniques necessary to conduct and evaluate
research pertinent to their professional interests.
To enhance the growing discipline areas of HRD and labour market studies.

By the end of the course the course members will have demonstrated:
A thorough grasp of the theoretical foundations of the profession. This will include advanced theory from a
number of different Social Science disciplines, e.g., sociology, economics, management science, the psychology
of learning, sociology of education and education and training policy.
A knowledge of the range of research techniques available for enhancing professional knowledge.
The ability to utilise appropriate research techniques to produce research of publishable quality.


Unit 1: Advanced Research Methods Training
To complete a doctorate each course member must be able to demonstrate that they have knowledge of a range of research methodologies and the philosophy of social research. To ensure that the course members obtain a comprehensive training in research methods, we have used the ESRC Framework for Research Methods Training as our guide. As such, this module will have the following learning outcomes:

i) Comprehension of the basic principles of research design and strategy, including an understanding of how to formulate researchable problems and an appreciation of alternative approaches to research;
ii) Competency in understanding and applying a range of research methods and tools; and
iii) Capabilities for managing research (including managing data), conducting and disseminating research in a way that is consistent with professional practice.

The overall outcome will be to demonstrate the ability to comprehend the use of appropriate research methods. Introduction to Social Research (20 Credits), Philosophical and Methodological Foundations of Social Research (20 Credits), Quantitative Methods and Analysis (20 Credits), Qualitative Methods and Analysis (20 Credits).

Unit 2: The Research Context
In order to demonstrate knowledge of the chosen specialist areas within the field candidates are required to select four specialist HRD options. Each option takes three months to complete and will be assessed by assignment. Unit 2 has the following learning outcomes:

i) Ability to demonstrate a full understanding of the classic or influential theoretical approaches in HRD analysis.
ii) Ability to critique different perspectives in the literature.
iii) Comprehension of the latest research in the field on HRD.
iv) Ability to critically evaluate HRD, Labour Market & Lifelong Learning problems.

Unit 2 Options
2a. Workplace Learning (25 Credits)
2b. Gender, Work and Society (25 Credits)
2c. Knowledge Management and the Learning Organisation (25 Credits)
2d. Comparing National Education and Training Systems (25 Credits)
2e. Vocational Education and Lifelong Learning (25 Credits)
2f. National Culture and HRD (25 Credits)
2g. The Changing Contours of Labour Markets (25 Credits)
2h. Youth Transitions and the Labour Market (25 Credits)
2i. Globalisation and HRD (25 Credits)
2j. Theories of Growth, Worker Skills and the Role of the State (25 Credits)

Thesis Proposal
Upon completion of the taught component of the course, course members will be asked to submit a revised thesis proposal of 2,000 words.
Unit 3: Thesis

Doctoral thesis of 50,000 words (270 credits). The main outcome will be the demonstration of the ability to apply appropriate research methodologies to analyse practical and/or theoretical problems confronting the HRD/Training profession. The thesis must be original work and of publishable quality.

Course Dates
From To
1 May 2007 June 2011
2 July 2007 August 2011
3 October 2007 December 2011

Sally Gatward
0116 2525954

Email Link:


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