Supervisors tend to be immersed in their busy academic and/or professional lives, and seldom have the time to maintain an overview of developments in doctoral education. In consequence, many are experiencing new demands without understanding the wider context within which they arise. The purpose of the present chapter, then, is to try to set that wider context. The chapter begins with a brief summary of the historical origins and evolution of doctoral education from its modern origins through to the 1980s and then looks at subsequent developments that have transformed the doctorate itself, the population of candidates and expectations of doctoral supervisors.