Master of Education Research (STEM)
Duration: 2 years full-time/4 years part-time
Delivery: On campus and online
Credit Points: 96
CRICOS Code: 107125J
Available to: Domestic (FEE-HELP)/International
IELTS: 6.5 with no band less than 6.0
AQF: Level 9
Tuition Fee: International students: $10,000 semester/$40,000 total tuition fee
Rapid changes in the educational landscape, largely driven by the unprecedented impact of globalisation and information communication technologies (ICTs), have accelerated the need for teachers, educators, educational leaders as well as other education stakeholders to be well equipped with the skills and knowledge to meet the education needs of the future. The Master of Education Research (STEM) aims to help enhance students’ knowledge in areas of science, digital and information technologies, engineering, and mathematics, with a particular focus on and application to how these can be integrated into and across a range of educational contexts.
The Master of Education Research (STEM) is a supervised research degree that requires candidates to propose, design and implement a significant research project in the field of STEM education. The program includes a one-semester coursework stage and a three-semester thesis stage. In the coursework stage candidates undertake four compulsory research training units which are intended to equip students with the knowledge and skills to design a STEM education research project, conduct a literature review, use quantitative and/or qualitative methods for data collection and analysis, and prepare a research and ethics proposal.
Employment opportunities in STEM specialised areas continue to emerge nationally and internationally. In Australia, research graduates in STEM have a wide range of employment prospects in some of the largest and most prestigious companies across different industries.
Embracing opportunities to study in STEM-related fields can help society to function economically, with implications in areas like medical advancements; as well as in social justice such as addressing poverty and the inclusion of women in male-dominated professions such as engineering, finance and information technology.
Data from the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business labour force revealed employment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) occupations grew by 19.7% between November 2014 and November 2019. This is 1.9 times higher than the growth rate for other occupations (DESE 2020*).
The OECD Report: Trends Shaping Education: Spotlight 15 (OECD, 2018**) for technology notes the growth of industrial robots worldwide over the past decade has been heavily driven by the Asian market and closely followed by the demand for electrical or electronic goods which all involve STEM.
* Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business labour, 2020, STEM jobs growing almost twice as fast as other jobs, https://www.dese.gov.au/newsroom/articles/stem-jobs-growing-almost-twice-fast-other-jobs
** OECD 2018, Trends Shaping Education Spotlight 15, A Brave New World: Technology & Education, https://www.oecd.org/education/ceri/Spotlight-15-A-Brave-New-World-Technology-and-Education.pdf
Variety of STEM occupations
• medical scientist or researcher
• information technology manager
• computer systems analyst
• engineer (nuclear, software, aeronautical, electrical, civil, mechanical)
• data scientist
• cybersecurity expert
• financial analyst
• teacher (engineering studies, design and technology, science, mathematics)
• environmental scientist
This unit builds student understandings of the historical development of STEM as a concept and as a practice. Students of this unit critically evaluate both research and practice in relation to access to STEM learning and STEM-specific graduate employment. This includes new and emerging approaches to engaging students in STEM education through digital technologies, ways of thinking and practices such as ‘making’, coding programming, game-based learning, data visualisation and flipped classrooms. Throughout the course, participants will be given an opportunity to explore the fundamental concepts and contemporary issues underpinning STEM education, curriculum documents and policies at national and global levels to understand the impact of place and context on STEM practices. Pre- and post-class activities may include reading of academic texts, watching flipped class materials such as videos, quizzes, and individual and collaborative creation of digital artefacts. Students engage in the application of inquiry-based learning in relation to STEM education.
Qualitative and Quantitative (Research) 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.
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 self-directed 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 and Ethics Proposal
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.
Supervised Research and Thesis Writing
This unit, undertaken in Semesters 2, 3 and 4, is the capstone unit of the degree and provides the student with the opportunity to demonstrate, with respect to a defined topic, mastery of research in the field of education. In order to demonstrate this mastery, the student will be required to undertake a substantial research project resulting in a contribution to knowledge or understanding and/or the application of knowledge in a designated area of study within the field of education. The work will include: a searching review of the literature; the use of observation, research methods and/or other systematic approach(es) to the acquisition of knowledge; the careful analysis of data; and the preparation of a well-ordered thesis demonstrating a thorough understanding of the relationship of the research to the broader frameworks of the field of study. The thesis will be of publishable quality, and peer-refereed publications arising from the research are a normal expectation. The process of completing the thesis represents the acquisition of complex knowledge, refined skills, and an extended capacity to apply both knowledge and skills in the pursuit of valued academic and professional outcomes. As such, the thesis unit prepares students for the intentional pursuit of lifelong learning and for high-level engagement in their chosen career(s).
Supervised Research and Thesis Writing
Supervised Research and Thesis Writing
• Minimum of three-year undergraduate degree* in a STEM^ discipline, with a Grade Point Average of a Credit or above, combined with relevant industry experience, or
• a bachelor (honours) OR master degree* in a STEM^ discipline, and
• 1,000-word expression of interest (EOI).#
In particular, the purpose of the EOI is to:
• demonstrate the extent to which the research project will result in a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge
• showcase an applicant’s mastery of subject knowledge and familiarity with current research trends
• show evidence of how an applicant’s area of specialisation and varied levels of expertise are linked to educational settings
• match an applicant’s research area with potential supervisors in terms of disciplinary orientation and research interests.
In addition to the criteria above, applicants whose qualifying undergraduate studies were taken in a language other than English will be required to demonstrate English proficiency equivalent to the IELTS Academic minimum overall result of 6.5 with no band score below 6.0. Equivalent test requirements are as follows: TOEFL iBT (internet-based) = 79 (no score less than 20); PTE Academic = 58 (no score less than 51).
* Equivalent overseas qualifications must be recognised by the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR).
^ Applicants from other disciplines may be considered based on merit. Evidence of relevant skills, industry experience, and capacity to undertake a STEM-based research project is required.
# Applicants are required to submit an expression of interest (EOI) of approximately 1,000 words to demonstrate their field of expertise, the broad areas within which they wish to position their research, and how their STEM speciality aligns to education.
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