Courses

Prospective Research Students

Why Do a Research Degree in the School of Education?

Research degrees in the area of Education are designed to prepare students for careers that involve the conduct of scholarly research in schools, tertiary education institutions, government departments, research agencies and consultancy. Most research degrees in education have an applied component whether by implication or directly incorporated into the research problem and outcomes. Our Doctorate of Education, however, is explicitly designed to prepare professional leaders in education and related areas.

All research students are supervised by at least one member of the academic staff with an established research reputation, and the required experience in supervision. Usually two supervisors are appointed to strengthen the support available to the research student and to provide a broad range of advice.

For administrative information please contact: Student Services Centre.

Research Degrees in Education

Master of Philosophy (Education)

This is a specialised research degree for students who either wish to pursue research careers in education or whose future career will require them to interpret and apply the findings of educational research. It is intended for students who are professionally qualified educators.

For more information on the degree structure please see Course Finder: Master of Philosophy.

Doctor of Education

The thesis should report original work, possibly of an applied nature, into issues of professional or policy concern. It is particularly applicable to candidates who want to bring about changes in professional practice or improve their own practice as a professional educator. It is expected that the work should be of a standard to produce refereed publications.

For more information on the degree structure please see Course Finder: Doctor of Education.

Doctor of Philosophy

The thesis will report original research which covers new ground and adds to the knowledge base of the discipline. It is expected that the work should be of a standard to produce refereed publications.

For more information on the degree structure please see Course Finder: Doctor of Philosophy.

Doctor of Philosophy - Integrated (4 years)

The PhD (Integrated) is a four-year research degree which integrates a traditional three-year PhD thesis with one-year of coursework, comprising generic research training and discipline-specific content into a single degree.

For more information on the degree structure please see Course Finder: Doctor of Philosophy - Integrated (4 years).

Entry Requirements

Entry into our doctoral programs is competitive. The University entry requirements for Doctoral candidature are: an appropriate Masters degree, completed at credit (65%) level or better or the completion of a Bachelors degree with Honours Class II or higher in an appropriate area, or an equivalent qualification. In addition, entry into the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program requires that the candidate demonstrate a strong research background (e.g. relevant research experience or publications). For Doctor of Education candidature, the candidate would need to have completed a minimum of three years of relevant professional experience.

Masters of Philosophy (Education) is available to candidates with a Bachelors Honours degree with a major in Education; a Masters degree by coursework in Education, or a Bachelors degree by coursework majoring in Education (or equivalent) where a Distinction average has been maintained, or a Bachelors (degree) by coursework majoring in Education including additional research experience deemed appropriate by the School of Education. It is expected that the candidate would have prior knowledge in introductory research methods through a Bachelor or Masters degree program.

Finding a Supervisor

Download the current list of supervisors and their areas of expertise to start your search for a potential supervisor with expertise in the field you are interested in. 

While identifying potential supervisors, look for two main qualities in a supervisor: expertise in the chosen area of study and some indication of personal compatibility. Ideally, a student would meet or speak to prospective supervisors and both parties agree to the arrangement.

You are encouraged to contact your potential supervisors before your application to discuss your research area – please refer to the list of supervisors and their areas of expertise. If you require assistance contacting supervisors then you can email the Head, Postgraduate Students (HPS). In your correspondence with the HPS please include the names of 2-3 potential supervisors, a research proposal (developed according to the template available below in Preparing Your Application) and a brief CV outlining your educational background; your work experience; your research interest; your research experience (e.g. minor project, major, dissertation, honours degree) with topics of the research projects you were involved in; and a list of your publications if any.

You need to liaise with a potential supervisor before submitting a formal application for a research degree. A potential supervisor will invite you to submit an application if they are interested in supervising you.

Preparing Your Application

Higher degree study is a major commitment so right from the start we would like to help you clarify your research plans before you complete your formal application.

When enquiring about the potential of an application into our research programs, you will be asked to provide information about your area of research interest. This will not be your final, formal proposal – in the first few months of your candidature you will be guided to develop and present your proposal to a panel. At this stage, however, you need to show that you have put some thought into what you would like to research. You should prepare a research proposal of about 700 words that provides a background to your proposed study and makes a case for its significance and importance. You should use the proposal template when developing your proposal. You may refer to the research proposal guidelines if you would like some guidance. If you are not yet clear about your research areas, you may contact your potential supervisor with a list of a few topics that you would be interested in or ask for further guidance.

The proposal you include in your application will provide evidence of your ability to start thinking like a researcher in identifying a relevant research topic and developing a research plan. If your application is approved, you might find that over the following months, your research topic could change – either completely or in small details.

Entry to research programs is very competitive. The more thought you put into your project at this stage, the more likely are your chances of being accepted.

Scholarships

Information on available scholarships can be found on the Research and Innovation Division (RaID) website.

Last reviewed: 27 April, 2016