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ERIC Number: EJ1052471
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0729-4360
Why Start a Higher Degree by Research? An Exploratory Factor Analysis of Motivations to Undertake Doctoral Studies
Guerin, Cally; Jayatilaka, Asangi; Ranasinghe, Damith
Higher Education Research and Development, v34 n1 p89-104 2015
Despite the increasing numbers of candidates embarking on higher degrees by research (HDRs, e.g., PhD, professional doctorate, practice-based doctorate), we still have limited knowledge about why they are choosing this path. What are the factors that motivate students to embark on research degrees? Given that many of those who succeed in completing their doctorates will not go into academic positions, the motivations for choosing to undertake a research degree may not match the experience or outcomes (and hence, perhaps, contribute to incompletion rates). This article investigates the motivations of students in all faculties embarking on HDRs at an Australian university. A survey of 405 students was subjected to a factor analysis. Five factors emerged: family and friends, intrinsic motivation, lecturer influence, research experience, and career progression.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A