This study is situated within the changing role and value of Higher Education in the 21st century, particularly in a renewed focus on the importance of ‘practical’ research. It explores candidates’ experiences of the culture of three doctoral research degrees: the thesis-based Doctor of Philosophy, the practice-based Doctor of Philosophy by project and the profession-based Doctor of Education. Differences and similarities were identified, focusing on the norms and practices of candidates, their needs and expectations, and their various notions of research and practice. Analysis followed Bourdieu’s theory of practice, which provides new understandings by allowing candidates’ experiences and the doctoral structures within which their practice resides to be viewed through one critical lens. It contests current understandings of doctoral candidates’ experiences by highlighting complexities in the process. The book adds to the literature aimed at increasing understanding of candidates’ trajectories toward success in the doctoral field, thereby informing supervisor and learning support pedagogy and providing valuable knowledge to those managing postgraduate research programs.