Understanding doctoral progress assessment in the arts and humanities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


This study examines the early-stage progress assessment for doctoral candidates at a British university through the perceptions of academic staff who acted as assessors. It was conducted in response to staff concerns about changes to the process that shortened the timescale for candidates to prepare and present their research for peer review. As well as having an impact on doctoral supervisors, there were implications for researcher developers and ‘third space’ professionals who supported candidates with research skills training. The findings of four in-depth interviews with assessors in the arts and humanities are discussed in the form of a reflective, ‘structured debriefing’. The results of these reflections form recommendations for practice that highlight the importance of conceptual frameworks for doctoral assessment, and the interpretations of criteria at institutional, disciplinary and individual levels. These could be emphasised by academic supervisors and third space professionals supporting doctoral candidates through this milestone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-59
Number of pages15
JournalArts and Humanities in Higher Education
Issue number1
Early online date10 Sep 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • reflective practice
  • doctoral education
  • assessment
  • academic development
  • humanities

Cite this