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Abstract

During the academic year 2009/10, 18,755 students in the United Kingdom completed a doctoral degree after either full- or part-time study. The vast majority of these doctorates were obtained by young researchers immediately after the completion of a first degree or master’s programme, and were undertaken in many cases as an entry qualification into the academic profession. Indeed, the PhD today is the sine qua non for embarkation upon an academic career, yet within the United Kingdom the degree itself and the concept of professionalized academia are less than a hundred years old. [Excerpt].

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