Master of Business (Research)

Lead with integrity

Excelsia College > Study > School of Business > Master of Business (Research)

Master of Business (Research)

* For students commencing in the Course from Semester 2 2023. For students who commenced in the Course prior to Semester 2 2023, please refer to the course progression plan available in ExO or consult your Course Coordinator.

Duration: 2 years full-time
Delivery: On Campus
Credit Points: 96 credit points (4 units + a master thesis)
Available to: Domestic (FEE-HELP)/International
IELTS: 6.5 with no band less than 6.0
AQF: Level 9
Tuition Fee: $11,000 semester/$44,000 in total for International students

Enquiry form

Enter the captcha

The Master of Business (Research) is an advanced coursework and research program in organisational leadership. Coursework will consist of research training units followed by an 18-month masters thesis. The course offers progression to the PhD program.

Reasons to choose this program:

• Builds your research abilities

• Equips you with the relevant skills and knowledge to develop or enhance your leadership skills

• Equips you with the expertise to write your leadership portfolio and development plan

• Pathway to doctorate studies

Course Units

The course structure includes four research training units, followed by an 18-month masters thesis. The course comprises:
4 research training units (24 credit points);
and 1 compulsory Thesis unit (72 credit points).

Graduates will be well-equipped to pursue further academic study in organisational leadership or a related area should they desire to pursue an academic career. Graduates will also be equipped to seek employment in leadership and management roles in government and non-government organisations and corporations. Other potential career options, depending on the research focus of the student, include those in consulting, finance, policy analysis, market research, data analytics, technology transfer, and technical and professional writing.

Bachelor of Management and Entrepreneurship

What do our students say?

‘The Master of Business has provided knowledge about being an effective organisational leader in the 21st century. I learned about people and their behaviours in organisations and how to practice organisational learning and change so that competitive advantage can be maintained even in turbulent times. All in all, I got a thorough understanding of how to practice responsible leadership.’

Sanjeeb Kafle

Master of Business (Research) Alumni 

Leadership Theory

The aim of this unit is not to provide a definition of leadership, but to discuss key aspects of the concept and their implications, in particular, the idea of a ‘leader’ as a role, or a person with particular qualities, or as a process; or, as is considered at length in this unit, a fluid combination of all these elements, the precise combination of which at any time and in any one situation will vary according to a host of factors, not the least of which is how people view themselves as ‘leaders’ and/ or ‘followers.’ Central to this unit is the view that in understanding how leadership is conceptualised and has been enacted, what ‘works’ and what doesn’t, we can better understand our own leadership behaviour and that of others.


As well as addressing the history and theories of leadership, the unit discusses the core themes and debates at the centre of contemporary leadership research. In seeking to understand a biblical approach to leadership, the unit analyses the difference between leadership and management, and how leaders are defined by, and define, organisational culture and stakeholder expectations. Particular attention is paid to the concept of ‘mindfulness’ in leadership, of awareness of context, an ability to reflect on the perspectives of self and others, and of the importance of learning from action as well as action learning.

Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

This unit aims to analyse the application of both qualitative and quantitative research in the human sciences, and in particular, how the nature of the problem and the questions posed lend themselves to one or both research approaches.
This unit fosters the development of all eight Excelsia College graduate attributes and requires the rigorous development of higher-order skills in all its six objectives. It divides into three parts: 1) Philosophy and Context, 2) Design and Data Collection, and 3) Data Analysis.
1. Philosophy and Context
It recognises that research within the human sciences unavoidably engages with the researcher’s presuppositions and worldview and gives rise to the approach to or paradigm of research employed in any research project or activity. It also recognises that research with a Biblical Christian worldview unavoidably engages with or finds its ground in considerations of practical theology and philosophy.
It examines and critically evaluates classical, current and emerging research paradigms including but not restricted to those arising from pragmatic, positivist, constructivist, critical theorist, and critical realist philosophies. It considers the philosophical and methodological dimensions of such paradigms including but not restricted to considerations of their ontologies, epistemologies, axiologies, doctrines of logic, questioning styles, and approaches to measurement or assessment and evaluation. It also considers historical and contemporary approaches to research in theology and practical theology that are necessary for research within the context of a Biblical Christian worldview.
2. Research Style and Data Collection
It begins by considering issues relating to research design or style and the subsequent selection and adaptation of methodologies and the development of instruments for data collection.
Regardless of the nature of the research project proposed in the section that follows, all students must demonstrate a competent understanding of both qualitative (the third objective) and quantitative (the fourth objective) methods of analysis.
Projects for which qualitative analysis is appropriate will benefit directly from the third objective. Projects for which quantitative analysis is appropriate will benefit directly from the fourth objective. Projects of which a mixed method is employed will benefit directly from both objectives three and four.
3. Design
This section will focus on the design of a specific research project proposed by each student and approved by the lecturer. Research projects thus approved must demonstrate consistency with the selected research paradigm and adequate consideration of orienting decisions and constraints, the methodology to be deployed, awareness of relevant literature, how data will be gathered and analysed, how validity and reliability will be assessed, and how findings will be presented and reported. Students will need to consider the appropriateness of any chosen research methodology to the research enquiry and be able to justify this.

Literature Review

In this unit students will complete a critical review of scholarly and other significant literature that relates to their thesis topic or area of study. Tuition will be provided in an intensive format or by supervision, though much of the learning approach will be student-driven and performed independently. This course will directly support the completion of a postgraduate research project, such as a thesis.

A literature review will involve:

• Demonstration of knowledge of the research field

• A summary of previous work in the field

• Showing gaps in the existing research

• A synthesis and/or comparison of previous research

• A justification for new research

• A critical analysis of existing research and the problems being addressed

The identification of problems, issues and questions that need further investigation

Students will undertake a review of relevant literature leading to the generation of research questions. Students will develop their understanding of the main approaches to literature review: traditional or narrative, systematic, meta-analysis and meta-synthesis; in order to execute the literature review most appropriate to the research enquiry and discipline.

The literature review will lead students to select and justify the need for research on a particular problem that arises from theory, research and/or practice.

Research Proposal and Ethics

This unit is designed to introduce conceptual, methodological, and procedural issues related to the preparation of a research project proposal. It develops a step-by-step approach involving the background to the project, framing of the research question and objectives, consideration of theoretical frameworks, justification of methodology selected for the research enquiry, the significance of ethics and ethical conduct in research, and research methodologies. It also enables the preparation of a research ethics application, which is a fundamental research skill for future research progression.  

Upon completion of this unit students will have:

• applied ethical principles to research and an introduction to the different research paradigms in their discipline of study

• distinguished between qualitative and quantitative methods

• developed a research proposal based on critical analysis of current and relevant literature

• prepared a research ethics application

72 credit points

Entry Requirements
  • The entry requirements for admission to the MBus (Research) are:

    Minimum of 3-year under-graduate degree* in a relevant discipline, with a Grade Point Average of a Credit or above, combined with relevant industry experience, or
    A Bachelor (Honours) OR Master’s degree* in a relevant discipline

    a 1,000-word expression of interest. **

    * Equivalent overseas qualifications must be recognised by the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR).

    ** Applicants are required to submit an expression of interest (EOI) of approximately 1000 words, to demonstrate their field of expertise, and the broad areas within which they wish to position their research.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants who have not completed an educational qualification in English will be required to demonstrate English proficiency as per the table below:



Minimum Score



6.5 with no band less than 6.0

PTE Academic


58 with no score less than 50

If the applicant is successful they will be issued an offer letter and a written agreement. Students will need to respond to the offer within 6 weeks. This is done online and a confirmation will be emailed back to the applicant. At this point, applicants are welcome to apply for Credit or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). If you are eligible for credit or RPL, you may be exempt from completing some units and you may be able to finish your degree in a shorter amount of time.

Please refer to the Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy reference.

Download the Student Selection and Admission Policy and Procedure.

  Applicant background
2019 Semester 2
Number of Students Percentage of all students
 (A)  Past higher education study
(includes a bridging or enabling course)
 (B)  Past vocational education and training (VET) study00%
 (C)  Work and life experience
(Admitted on the basis of previous achievement not in the other three categories)
 (D)  Recent secondary education:


  • Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR (regardless of whether this includes the impact of adjustment factors such as equity or subject bonus points)
  • Admitted where both ATAR and additional criteria were considered (e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR)
  • Admitted on the basis of other criteria only and ATAR was not a factor (e.g. special consideration, audition alone, schools recommendation with no minimum ATAR)
    International students36899%
    All students369100%


More degrees you might be interested in:

School of Business | Excelsia College
School of Business
School of Education | Excelsia College
School of Education
Social Work | Excelsia College
Social Work
Counselling | Excelsia College
School of Counselling
Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) Courses | Excelsia College
CSP Courses
Creative and Performing Arts | Excelsia College
Creative and Performing Arts
Professional Development | Excelsia College
Professional Development