From a career development programme to professional doctorate or practice-oriented PhD : a Norwegian case study


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Work Based Learning e-Journal;2 (1)


Middlesex University

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This article describes a career development programme in Norway, which might be compared to the Professional Doctorate programmes worldwide. This particular programme supports teachers who intend to apply for ‘alternative’ associate professorships (so-called førstelektor in Norwegian). Such positions are equivalent to those that are awarded to candidates with PhDs or equivalent, but their profile is somewhat different. Candidates to such alternative positions need to provide evidence of their capacity to develop teaching and learning in higher education in an innovative way, in particular as far as preparing students for professional practice is concerned. In this article a short description of the two paths is provided, and the particular characteristics of the ‘alternative path’ are outlined. ‘A description of the dilemmas and challenges of having two parallel career paths that are meant to be ‘equal in status but different in form’ is followed by a discussion of the possibilities of formalising this path as a Professional Doctorate.


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