PhD by Portfolio route is flexible way to study

Beth Pickard, a HCPC-registered music therapist and university lecturer, is half way through her PhD by Portfolio

“I am studying for a PhD by Portfolio which means that I’m able to collate a number of publications and artefacts that I’ve been working on in recent years. This is an exciting way to draw together the diverse elements of my practice and develop a framework around this way of working. It is also a constructive model for me as I’m studying alongside my full-time teaching role.

"The portfolio format enables me to manage my workload autonomously and ensure that the research I engage with is complementary to my learning and teaching responsibilities.

“My PhD explores how we understand, interpret and portray disability in different contexts, drawing from my own research and practice in music education, music therapy and higher education.

“It can be challenging to balance my full-time role and my PhD studies. However, it has been rewarding to be working on dedicated research for my PhD and see the impact it is having at the university and in the wider community.

“I had completed two thirds of my outputs before enrolling, as is recommended, and have been working on a final project with my supervision team.

“I’m almost ready to submit the write up of this final research project for publication and to share the findings with stakeholders. Once this is completed I will start the writing of the Critical Overview component, which outlines how the range of outputs contribute to a coherent narrative and argument.

“I hope that through the PhD I will be able to develop a more consistent and rigorous narrative for my diverse areas of research and practice.

"Already, the PhD has enabled me to see the connections between my different projects and to understand that I have a particular philosophy which I am developing and applying in my work.”