NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1151045
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0018-1609
Choosing to Study for a PhD: A Framework for Examining Decisions to Become a Research Student
McCulloch, Alistair; Guerin, Cally; Jayatilaka, Asangi; Calder, Paul; Ranasinghe, Damith
Higher Education Review, v49 n2 p85-106 2017
Given its importance to institutions, policy-makers and intending students, there is a surprising lack of research exploring the reasons students choose to undertake a research degree. What studies there are tend to be largely descriptive and the topic lacks a theoretically-informed framework through which student decisions can be examined and comparative work developed. We outline such a framework drawing on self-determination theory and social cognitive career theory. Our framework comprises five categories: autonomy; relatedness; competence and self-efficacy; outcome expectations; and goals. To assess its utility, the framework is used to interrogate data generated through a series of focus groups involving PhD students studying in Australia in the area of information and communications technology. The framework proved capable of organizing data in a robust, comprehensive and coherent way.
Tyrrell Burgess Associates. 34 Sandilands, Croydon, CRO 5DB, UK. Tel: +44-2086-561770; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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