Master of Education Research

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Master of Education Research

Duration: 2 year full-time/4 years part-time (domestic students only)
Delivery: On campus and online
Credit Points: 96
Available to: Domestic (FEE-HELP)/International
CRICOS Code: 107123M
IELTS: 6.5 with no band less than 6.0
AQF: Level 9
Tuition Fee: International students: $11,000 semester/$44,000 total tuition fee

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The Master of Education Research is a supervised research degree that requires candidates to propose, design and implement a significant research project in education in an area that is of interest to the candidate or negotiated with the research supervisor. 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 equip students with the knowledge and skills to design a sound research project, conduct a literature review, use quantitative and/or qualitative methods for data collection and analysis, and prepare a research and ethics proposal.  

A Master of Education (Research) opens up a variety of doors for graduates within academia, providing them with advanced research skills, specialist knowledge and transferable skills in communication, thought leadership and critical analysis. Master of Education (Research) graduates can positively use these skills to transform the education sector and pursue further research, a Doctoral program or become an education decision-maker or leader within education.

Foundational Skills for Research in Education

This unit builds students’ understandings of the foundational principles and practices in educational research. Unlike other fields of study in which empiricism is a dominant research paradigm, research in education is characterised by its diverse approaches, methods and techniques through which educational phenomena are studied. Students in this unit critically evaluate the epistemological premises on which educational research is grounded so that they develop a thorough understanding of the wide range of possible research and methodological paths available to them when designing, developing and implementing their research project. 

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. 

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 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

Academic staff for Master of Education Research

Professor Patrick Danaher | Education | Master of Educational Leadership, Master of Education Research and Master of Education Research (STEM) Coordinator | Excelsia

Lecturer & Course Coordinator, Master of Education Research

Professor Patrick Danaher

Entry requirements

Admissions Criteria:

• 4 year undergraduate degree, or 

• 3 year undergraduate degree, combined with relevant education industry experience, and  

• Grade Point Average of a Credit or above, achieved in an under-graduate degree


In addition to the above entry requirements, 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 of  how  their research motivations align with and fit into Education. 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 in education;   

• showcase applicants’ mastery of subject knowledge and familiarity with current research trends;     

• show evidence of how applicants’ area of specialisation (e.g. Educational leadership, pedagogy, curriculum studies, educational policy, etc.)  and varied levels of expertise are linked to educational settings;    

• match applicants’ 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: PTE Academic = 58 (no score less than 51). 

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