Trust Me, I’m a Doctor: Academic Knowledge and Professional Practice in the Criminal Justice Sector

Published 15/09/2010
Type Article
Author(s) Jane Creaton, Dr. Phil Clements
Corresponding Authors Jane Creaton, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Portsmouth

Professional doctorates are becoming increasingly well established in UK higher education, with a growth in the number and diversity of programmes being offered. Several institutions have now developed professional doctorates which are targeted at criminal justice professionals. Although there is an increasing body of research which has examined the impact of professional doctorates, this has tended to focus on the more established programmes, such as education, engineering and business administration. This article explores the role of professional doctorates in the specific context of the Criminal Justice Sector. It provides an overview of the relationship between higher education and criminal justice institutions and explores some of the tensions between academic and administrative criminology. It compares recruitment, programme structures, curriculum content and assessment across selected programmes and considers how these reflect complex sets of relationships between different higher education institutions and different professions within the sector. It concludes with a discussion of the future role of professional doctorates in the sector and analyses the implications for higher education institutions and criminal justice professionals, and for criminal justice education and training as a whole.