Doctorate in Psychosocial Studies

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The doctorate in psychosocial studies (‘DPS’) has two tracks.  The first track (formerly called the Doctor of Psychosocial Intervention or ‘DPI’ degree) is oriented to activists who wish to advance their education and achieve a degree that emerges from their commitments to social activism. The second track is oriented to those who wish to advance their education and achieve a degree based on their accomplishments in the area of critical social theory.

About the Intervention track:  Candidates admitted to this degree will typically be active in developing and implementing all sorts of intervention programs and other modes of social activism that are informed by psychoanalytic and psychodynamic insights about human functioning. Thus the focus of this doctorate will be on the advanced education of individuals who are involved in all sorts of community action, environmental advocacy, cultural or political organization and related programs, and who are sensitive to the relevance of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic insights about human functioning. Based on the expertise that such individuals have acquired in the field, Candidates will craft an educational program that will advance their work.  Candidates will then take at least one Qualifying Tutorial or Seminar with one of the Institute’s Faculty.  The purpose of this learning experience would be to ensure that the Candidate has knowledge of a broad range of issues concerning psychosocial intervention theories and practices, rather than being too narrowly focused on the particular work they have already achieved.  Following this Qualifying experience of learning, the Candidate ‑‑‑ together with the guidance and mentoring of a member of the Institute’s Faculty ‑‑‑ completes a Doctoral Project.  This might be an article or book published in a reputable outlet, a series of publishable case reports, or a publishable piece of research.

An example of the sort of Candidate who should come to the Parkmore Institute:  Ms. D is the Director of an NGO engaged in early childhood intervention for people in a slum district. She comes to the Institute to gain a broader understanding of some of the issues surrounding such interventions as well as the history of community action of the type she is undertaking.  Her doctoral project will consist of a report and critical evaluation of the work done by her NGO. She chose the Parkmore Institute because she wants to learn more, because she wants learning that is directly relevant to her activism, because she does not want to have to leave her work with the NGO and her home to fulfill residency requirements, because she knows the Institute’s Faculty are “the real thing,” and because ‑‑‑ let’s be forthright ‑‑‑ she knows she deserves the dignity of the title, “Doctor.”

About the Theory track:  Candidates admitted to this degree will typically be interested in theoretical issues pertaining to personal and social change that is informed by psychoanalytic and psychodynamic insights about human functioning. In short, this degree is about developing the capacity for critique. This will include a broad category of Candidates with intellectual interests that are aligned with the Mission and Vision of the Parkmore Institute, yet do not entirely fit with the four other doctoral degrees.  Individuals interested in this program should discuss their proposed project with the Director to ensure that it fits with the expertise of our current group of Faculty Fellows.  Once a productive experience is anticipated, Candidates will craft an educational program that will advance their interests.  They will take at least one Qualifying Tutorial or Seminar with one of the Institute’s Faculty.  The purpose of this learning experience would be to ensure that the Candidate has a broad knowledge of the area in which she or he is interested. Following this Qualifying experience of learning, the Candidate ‑‑‑ together with the guidance and mentoring of a member of the Institute’s Faculty ‑‑‑ completes a Doctoral Project.  This might be an article or book published in a reputable outlet, a series of publishable case reports, or a publishable piece of research.

An example of the sort of Candidate who should come to the Parkmore Institute:  Mr. E has had a longstanding interest in the notion that personal and social change is impeded by the way in which ideologies are internalized.  He comes to the Institute to gain a broader understanding of the current state of theorizing about ideology, both within the critical tradition and elsewhere.  His doctoral project will be an appraisal of the contemporary relevance of the writings of Antonio Gramsci.  He chose the Parkmore Institute because … where else can you get an advanced education in social critique, without the constrictions and restrictions that so often characterize traditional PhD programs.  He wants learning that is directly relevant to his interest, he does not want a traditionally structured doctoral program and anyway cannot afford to leave his employment to fulfil residency requirements.  He will find that the Institute’s Faculty are “the real thing” ‑‑‑ committed to critical and creative thinking. His scholarship will indeed earn him the dignity of the title, “Doctor.”

If you are interested in applying for this program on either of these two tracks, please contact Director@ParkmoreInstitute.org

The Parkmore Institute has offices in South Africa (Johannesburg, Gauteng) and the USA (Wilmington, Delaware).  However, it is currently expanding and welcomes applications from prospective students, as well as potential Faculty and Fellows, from all parts of the world.