An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the lived experiences of non-native English-speaking doctoral candidates in the successful completion of study

Hardman, MD 2020, An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the lived experiences of non-native English-speaking doctoral candidates in the successful completion of study , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

The slow completion of doctoral degrees is a serious concern; for students, supervisors, departments, institutions and economies. Themes such as the supervisor relationship have been well documented, however, there is a paucity of literature on the underlying, often hidden reasons for slow completion of study, and particularly for non-native English-speaking doctoral candidates. This study uses the conceptual framework of comparative Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to understand the lived experiences of two groups of non-native English-speaking doctoral holders; Study Group 1, that had completed their doctorate in a timely manner and Study Group 2, that were late completers. The participants were interviewed in-depth using a semi-structured narrative design, and these qualitative data were studied using IPA to identify commonalities and differences between the two groups. The individual lived experiences of the participants show that it is their unique personal make-up, in terms of their mental health, their support network, their self-identity and their personal drive, which determine how quickly they complete their study, rather than the superficial factors that are more socially and institutionally acceptable reasons for slow completion, and which are well documented in the literature. Furthermore, comparing the two groups allows for differences and commonalities to be drawn out, with the potential measures that could have helped the participants in Study Group 2 to progress more efficiently. These include increasing pastoral support at all stages of the PhD journey and increasing training available for both PhD students and supervisors. Developing effective pastoral structures requires there to be a greater understanding of the experiences that affect progression and completion, which is the focus of this study. The outcome of this study, therefore, is a gestalt of the lived experiences of two groups of non-native English-speaking doctoral holders; one group that had completed in a timely manner, and one group that had taken longer than normal timescales to complete their doctorate, thus providing a more in-depth, comprehensive understanding of relevant issues which impact on the timely completion of doctoral study. The study, therefore, provides new literature that articulates the narratives of non-native English-speaking PhD candidates through exploring their lived experiences, contributing to the gaps in literature relating to reasons for untimely completion of doctoral study in the UK.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > No Research Centre
Depositing User: MD Hardman
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2020 09:18
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2020 02:30
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/57481

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