The M.Phil. Degree

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Asymptote, Jun 2, 2020.

  1. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Still waiting on those.

    I didn't attend the commencement at Leicester; too busy with government requirements. I watched the video, though. They didn't even announce the graduates who were not in attendance. "You can't be here? Your dead to us. You hear me? Dead!"

    Or something like that.
  2. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I don't think Walden offers an M.Phil. as a standalone degree. On their website, they state the following:

    "Walden understands the rigors involved with preparing for your doctorate. To signify how far you’ve come on your journey, you will be eligible to be awarded a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree upon completion of program requirements, prior to completion of your dissertation. Walden is one of a few universities that offer this advanced research master’s degree. Highlight your academic achievement and show employers and others that you possess comprehensive knowledge in your field of study."
    Dustin likes this.
  3. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Not even a kazoo salute? I'm shocked!
    Rachel83az likes this.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I like this SO much! I wish I could have gotten something like this along the way.
  5. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I sense sarcasm, since you previously stated:

    "Since the MPhil is often a consolation prize for a failed doctorate, I would not want one on my resume, even if it was a stand-alone degree."
    JBjunior likes this.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Good call, but no sarcasm. I was reacting to the notion of receiving a master's along the way, not the MPhil in particular. Your point is well-taken. However, the potential negative image of an MPhil would be eliminated by the subsequently awarded doctorate.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    At Leicester, the viva voce could result in the following

    • Accepted. (Yeah, like never)
    • Accepted, but with minor changes (common)
    • Accepted, but with major changes (also common--this was mine. I said something about what was really happening with the phenomenon and the external advisor said, "I like that. Write that!" It cost me almost a year, but it resulted in an original grounded theory and a much better thesis. I can't complain.)
    • Failed, permitted to re-submit (rare)
    • Failed, not permitted to re-submit (really rare)
    • Approved for a lesser award (also rare). This award depends on the kind of program you were in. If you were in the PhD, you likely were offered the MPhil. If you were in a "taught" program, you were likely offered a Master of Science. I guess, but I can't confirm, that the Master of Arts could also be awarded, depending on the discipline being studied.)
    When I was trying to push through my thesis proposal, this very British university wasn't convinced that my subject--the Chief Learning Officer--was an appropriate topic for a scholarly thesis. The role just wasn't known over there. Also, they weren't thrilled with a doctoral student doing an inductive study using grounded theory. I was getting pretty frustrated, so I flew over and met with one of their leading faculty--I already knew him, he knew me, and we both knew some of the same people. I was ready to quit. I even offered to take a lesser award--a Master of Science. Instead, he went to bat for me with the school. I was required to write a paper demonstrating why this subject and this approach was appropriate. About 5,000 words later, I won my case. But trust me, that paper went into my thesis almost word-by-word.

    At my viva voce, things were going swimmingly. Then, my external examiner--a very prominent scholar in my field that I had (luckily, since I didn't know it would be him assigned) cited prominently in my thesis--asked me what was really happening with the CLO. I described it using a metaphor--that the CLOs were establishing the role while filling it, like laying down railroad tracks while operating the train. He reacted really positively and said, "Write that!" This cost me a year. But I developed a more thorough grounded theory about the CLO, using a theory called strong structuration, and I'm really proud of the work I did. It has change me deeply.

    When I did my Union PhD, I thought I would make a career move into distance learning. In many ways, I have, just not in a linear, quid pro quo fashion. But, at the end of the day, I remained a talent developer. So, I went back to school to get on top of my field's theoretical foundations and then use them to contribute to the field. I also knew it would solidify my practice going forward, and it has. The DSoSci at the University of Leicester is a human resource development degree, but it is firmly rooted in sociology. I used sociological theory to examine my CLO phenomenon, and in doing so I became who I would be professionally for the remainder of my life. THAT'S a pretty good reason for going to school.

    I am deeply transformed by the experience. The degree? It has never mattered. I am now in my third phase. The first was the military, where I served from the age of 18 until I was almost 37. I went into the Air Force as an airman basic and retired as a captain. My second phase was the private sector for a dozen years, and then I went into the civil service as a GS-15 for 14 more. My third phase is the consulting practice I now have, for which I am hugely grateful.

    I love talking about nontraditional applicants seeking academic jobs because I secretly wish that could happen to me. I love talking about leadership, because I focus on that in my practice--turning effective managers into resilient leaders able to withstand whatever unknown challenge or opportunity presented. And yes, I love talking about how things in distance learning used to be, because I believe the past is prologue.

    If I could do one thing, just one thing, it would be to design, develop and deliver a professional doctorate in strategic leadership, because I know so much more about that subject than you can imagine. And it would be the nexus of my expertise and experience in higher education, talent development, and strategic leadership development. I guess we'll see....
    Last edited: May 14, 2022
  8. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Now after reading all that, can ANYONE really argue that the J.D. isn't just a professional bachelor's degree?
  9. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for admitting this. Of course, I appreciate everything else that you've shared as well.
    RoscoeB likes this.
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    "Admitting" is quite a loaded word, especially since I've talked at length about it in the past.

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