Doctorate vs PhD- differences and similarities

The PhD degree- (doctorate of philosophy) is a topmost or highest academic award given by any university around the world. 

The doctorate degree or honour is given in terms of technical expertise to the fellow in a specific field of research.  

Doctorate vs PhD- differences

It clearly indicates that the PhD degree is suited to those who want to pursue an academic career. 

While the doctorate honour is an umbrella term which is more suited for pursuing or achieving professional career not academic. 

However, the doctorate can also be a part of academics or vice versa but it depends on the organisation chosen for the award. 

The core difference between the doctorate and PhD is the outcome of the research or dissertation.

A PhD is dedicated honour for academics and thus involves theories applying original research, data analysis and interpretation to evaluate theory or hypothesis. 

On the other side, 

A doctorate honour is given for solving existing problems through research and thus focus on the practical problems, related issues and formulating solution related to the problem. 

In a layman language, 

The core element for achieving the PhD degree is doing original research for testing hypothesis or theory which contributes to the original existing research work in a particular discipline or subject. 

Whereas, the core elements of achieving a doctoral degree is to contribute or evaluate something new in the respected discipline or subject. 

A PhD fellow is a newbie to their field who analyse concepts, theories and hypothesis in their field while the doctoral fellow is an expert who evaluates existing theories or research for a specific outcome.

We can say the major work during the PhD is to identify gaps and loops in the current research done by others in his or her field. 

While the major work during doctoral is to apply current knowledge to solve the existing problem. 

As the major value of a PhD degree is in the academics, the student constitutes knowledge through their research while in the doctoral, an expert contributes or solve problems with the existing knowledge. 

As per my knowledge, the PhD answers “why” and the doctorate answers “how”. 

Labelled as an academic degree PhD is more concentrated on research and study meanwhile a professional doctorate degree is more concentrated on research and technical work and outcomes.

Thus, PhD can be done in any discipline offered by the university while the doctorate research is done majorly in science, engineering, medicine and law. 

Related article: PhD student- What skills and qualities one should acquire?

PhD vs doctorate- similarities:

As we said above, the main difference between the PhD degree and doctorate degree is the outcome. 

The aim of the PhD is to evaluate new knowledge while the aim of the doctorate is to apply that knowledge. 

However, many similarities are between them. 

A master degree must require to enrol in either PhD or doctorate program, sometime with or without M.Phill. 

Some universities also consider M. Phill to award both, but still, a master degree is mandatory. 

The duration for completion of PhD and doctorate research is almost the same, almost 3 to 5 or sometimes 7 years duration it takes to complete the degree. 

A thesis or dissertation is must require in both, the introduction of the topic, literature review, methodology, results-discuss and conclusion mandatorily be a part of a thesis. 

A PhD or a doctorate thesis is evaluated by the subject expert or panel of subject experts and one must have to defend it through viva voce.    

Reviewing present research and literature must be required in both PhD and doctorate. 

The outcome of the research must solve the existing problem occurs in the subject (either through hypothesis or through practical research). 

The outcome or the final results should be publishable in a peer-review journal for both PhD as well as a doctorate degree. 

Related: Difference between M.D vs PhD.

Roadmap for PhD and doctorate degree: 

  1. Select your supervisor or guide as per your discipline or subject. 
  2. Design the research or hypothesis. 
  3. Based on that, design or propose a title for your PhD or doctorate. 
  4. Propose methodology (as per you and your supervisor’s expertise)
  5. Literature review related to the topic
  6. Do “research” to correct your hypothesis or methodology. 
  7. Thesis writing 
  8. Publishing paper in a peer-review journal 
  9. Submit a thesis or dissertation to the respected authority. 

Conclusively we can say, a PhD degree is given to the novice in the related discipline while the doctorate degree is for the expert of specific subject or field or discipline. 

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