Master of Education

Course Convenor: Assoc. Prof. Maria Northcote
Course code 2055

Master of Education (Research) is a research master's degree offered in the Faculty of Education, Business & Science, that provides students an opportunity to study research methods appropriate to education and social science, and to conduct a supervised independent research project on a topic of their choice, resulting in the submission of a thesis. Students are supervised by a principal supervisor and normally an associate supervisor, and undertake research in the field of education. In addition, the Master of Education (Research) aims to develop students' appreciation, understanding and application of research knowledge, skills and abilities, in order to make an original contribution to existing knowledge. It allows free choice of topic (within the constraints of the availability of supervisors, resources, infrastructure and the broad discipline of education), to cater for students interests and professional requirements.

The purpose of the Master of Education (Research) degree is to qualify individuals who apply an advanced body of knowledge in a range of contexts for research and scholarship and as a pathway for further learning.

The course is designed to enable educators and practitioners to take responsible, intelligent decisions and actions associated with research that are useful and relevant to their profession in their particular time and location. The degree is designed so that graduates will have undertaken supervised study and research of which two thirds will be devoted to research, research training and independent study.

The course enables graduates, particularly Christian educators, to enrich, extend and apply their knowledge and skills beyond the traditional professional boundaries of educational institutions. In this course, students are encouraged to explore research practices, methods and knowledge which will advance their learning beyond the horizons of conventional knowledge or understanding, while adopting a futures and global perspective. This course provides a mechanism for experienced educators and practitioners to extend their professional learning by extending their understanding of research as it impacts on the discipline of education and other related disciplines.

Candidates may draw on a range of qualitative and/or quantitative methodologies, and the research may be related directly to their own professional life, or to another type of study, including ethnographic or sociological research, a survey-based study, policy analysis, historical research, or discourse analysis. Consultation with the Course Convenor for the Master of Education (Research) and Dean of the Faculty of Education & Science, will assist applicants to determine eligibility for admission, to identify proposed topics for research, and to ascertain the availability of suitable supervisors.

Graduates may find employment in fields related to primary, secondary and tertiary education such as leadership, curriculum design, professional learning, management, digital technology and educational research. The Master of Education (Research) provides graduates with a pathway for further learning. Furthermore, graduates may be eligible to pursue further study and research at the doctoral level.


This course can be taken full-time over four academic semesters (2 years full-time) minimum, or four years maximum full-time enrolment. Students who elect to undertake the degree part-time must be enrolled for a minimum of three years or a maximum of eight years. Students who move from part-time to full-time candidature will have minimum and maximum periods of enrolment calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Mode of delivery

Full-time or part-time by distance education


Master of Education (Research)
Abbreviation: MEd (Research)


The course is accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and may be offered to Australian students or international students (CRICOS Number 062227A). International students are subject to regulations outlined in the ESOS National Code (2007).

Entry requirements

The Master of Education (Research) requires the student to have attained from a university or accredited higher education provider either
  1. an undergraduate degree of Bachelor of Education at an average of Distinction; or
  2. an undergraduate degree of Bachelor of Education at an average of Credit plus a minimum of two years’ experience in professional education practice; or
  3. a Bachelor honours degree with a major in education, or equivalent.

Where applicants have not attained one of the above degrees from a university or accredited higher education provider, their suitability for entry to the Master of Education (Research) degree may be considered if they can demonstrate:
  1. their potential for further study with a grade point average of 6 (on a 7-point scale)or better in a degree other than those stated above in a-c; or
  2. substantial demonstrated sector experience, previous higher education studies and professional experience, and/or published research work.

Where applicants are adjudged to have not met the entry requirements, they may be required to complete appropriate Master of Education (Coursework) units prior to enrolment in the Master of Education (Research) degree.

Course content and structure

To qualify for an award of the degree of Master of Education (Research) a candidate shall accrue an aggregate of at least 96 credit points, including satisfactory completion of the four core subjects noted below.
  • two coursework subjects (6 credit points each, or 12.5% of the degree);
  • one research proposal subject (36 credit points or 37.5% of the degree) and
  • one major thesis (48 credit points, 50% of the degree).

The Master of Education (Research) is consistent with the requirements of a Level 9 research masters degree as outlined in the Australian Qualifications Framework. It is intended that graduates will achieve the following outcomes by successfully completing the four core units of the course:
Unit Outcome
EDRE60100: Research Methods I
  1. describe the nature of research in education and/or social science
  2. develop advanced knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to research in education and/or social science
  3. use a variety of media to organise, synthesise and present complex, integrated information about research in education and/or social science
  4. develop a body of knowledge that includes the recent developments in educational and/or social science research
  5. reflect critically on research theory and its application to education and/or social science
  6. critically evaluate research practices, methods and findings
  7. demonstrate cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories applicable to research in education and/or social science
EDRE60200: Research Methods II
  1. plan and design a substantial piece of research
  2. critically analyse research theory and methods applicable to a specific context
  3. develop a body of knowledge that includes understanding of recent developments in research in education and/or social science
  4. critically reflect on and synthesise complex information from previous research in education and/or social science
  5. contribute to a community of scholars in an online context
  6. demonstrate creativity and initiative in the development of scholarly research formats
  7. apply knowledge and skills to demonstrate expert judgement, adaptability and responsibility as a practitioner and researcher
EDRE60300: Masters by Research: Proposal
  1. prepare and submit an updated literature review demonstrating an awareness of recent developments related to the research project
  2. design and plan an ethical research project based on advanced knowledge of research principles and practices applicable to the field of study
  3. utilise advanced writing and communication skills to present a coherent project proposal
  4. prepare an ethics submission, where relevant
  5. complete satisfactory progress reports at regular intervals
EDRE60400: Masters by Research: Thesis
  1. conduct an ethical research project based on advanced knowledge of research principles and practices applicable to the field of study
  2. complete satisfactory progress reports at regular intervals
  3. prepare and submit thesis that makes a contribution to knowledge for external examination

The unit sequence for full-time students is as follows:

Year Research Period Units
1 1 EDRE60100: Research Methods I (6 cps)
EDRE60200: Research Methods II (6cps)
EDRE60300: Masters by Research: Proposal (36 cps)
OR EDRE60100: Research Methods I (6 cps)EDRE60300: Masters by Research: Proposal (36 cps)
1 2 EDRE60300: Masters by Research: Proposal (36 cps) OR EDRE60200: Research Methods II (6 cps)EDRE60300: Masters by Research: Proposal (36 cps)
2 1 EDRE60400: Masters by Research: Thesis (48 cps)
2 2 EDRE60400: Masters by Research: Thesis (48 cps)

Part time students normally are enrolled at 50% the normal full-time load and undertake the following sequence:

Year Research Period Units
1 1 EDRE60100: Research Methods I (6 cps)EDRE60300: Masters by Research: Proposal (36 cps)
1 2 EDRE60200: Research Methods II (6 cps)EDRE60300: Masters by Research: Proposal (36 cps)
2 1 EDRE60300: Masters by Research: Proposal (36 cps)
2 2 EDRE60300: Masters by Research: Proposal (36 cps)
3 1 EDRE60400: Masters by Research: Thesis (48 cps)
3 2 EDRE60400: Masters by Research: Thesis (48 cps)
4 1 EDRE60400: Masters by Research: Thesis (48 cps)
4 2 EDRE60400: Masters by Research: Thesis (48 cps)

Advanced standing and credit transfer

In some cases, students apply for advanced standing or they may apply for credit transfer.
Prospective students applying for credit transfer or advanced standing in the Master of Education (Research) are encouraged to consult Avondale's Advanced Standing/Credit Transfer policy [A.03].

Students who consider that prior completed studies should be taken into consideration with their application for candidature, should complete the Credit Transfer/Advanced Standing Form and attach documentary evidence in support of their claim. This application, supporting evidence, and the current policy will be considered at the time students apply to enrol in the degree, and students shall be advised of the outcome of the decision in the Letter of Offer.

It should be noted that the greatest amount of Advanced Standing and/or credit transfer that may be awarded towards the Avondale College Master of Education (Research) is 12 credit points for those candidates who have successfully completed 2 units equivalent to EDRE61000 Understanding and Conducting Research in Education and EDRE60200 Research Project Proposal. Normally studies completed in a Graduate Diploma in Education would not be credited to the Avondale Master of Education (Research) unless the applicant had completed two research units assessed as equivalent to EDRE61000 Understanding and Conducting Research in Education and EDRE60200 Research Project Proposal.

In every case, the Course Convenor and Research Services Office review all such requests for advanced standing, prior to the awarding of advanced standing. This evaluation might include review of unit outlines, text materials, and the perusal of examination and course materials. Generally, marginal grades or requests for transfer credit from universities outside of Australia are not accepted.

Application for admission

Prospective students must make application to study in the Master of Education (Research) through the normal application processes (click here to download the application form). The Course Convenor, and Head of School, review all applications and accept or reject applications based on the applicant's ability to meet the entry criteria as stated above, the capacity of the School and/or Faculty to supervise the student, and the capacity of the library and other resources required. Associate supervisors or co-supervisors may be appointed to supplement school/faculty expertise. For those applicants who meet all of the criteria above, the Head of School and the Course Convenor recommend acceptance of the student to the Research Services Office.

Research topics

Prospective candidates are invited to contact the Course Convenor to discuss possible topics for research.


Area of Expertise Principal Supervisors Associate Supervisors
Traumatic Brain Injury
Psycho-social support systems
Neurosurgical and medical nursing
Dr Malcolm Anderson Dr Malcolm Anderson
Chemical epistemology
Chemistry education
History and philosophy of science and its application to teaching and learning of science
Science education
Qualitative and quantitative methodologies
Dr Kevin de Berg Dr Kevin de Berg
Biblical Studies of Revelation
Pauline eschatology
Dr Kayle de Waal
Sociology of religion
Ministry studies
Dr Rick Ferret Dr Rick Ferret
English pedagogy
Religious education and faith development
Literacy development
Barbara Fisher
English pedagogy
Qualitative research methodologies
A/Prof Phil Fitzsimmons A/Prof Phil Fitzsimmons
Postcolonial theory
English pedagogy
Dr Jane Fernandez Dr Jane Fernandez
Youth Ministry
Dr Barry Gane Dr Barry Gane
Gospel of Matthew
Historical Jesus
Memory and the Gospels
A/Prof Robert McIver A/Prof Robert McIver
Education Leadership Dr Andy Matthes
Outdoor Education Dr Wayne Miller
Change Management
Quantitative Methodology
Dr Peter Morey Dr Peter Morey
Exercise science
Lifestyle issues
PDHPE curriculum
Dr Darren Morton Dr Darren Morton
Marine biology Dr Jason Morton Dr Jason Morton
Education Studies
Learning Design and Learning Support
Threshold concepts
Assessment in higher education
Information/communication technologies and development
Qualitative methodologies
Dr Maria Northcote Dr Maria Northcote
Nutrition and cognitive function in adolescents
Dr Robyn Pearce Dr Robyn Pearce
Australian history
Media history
History of the local area
Denominational history
Dr Daniel Reynaud Dr Daniel Reynaud
Communications Dr Carolyn Rickett
Systematic theology
Biblical Interpretation
Professor Ray Roennfeldt Professor Ray Roennfeldt
Science and faith issues and policy Dr Lynden Rogers Dr Lynden Rogers
Education leadership
Special Education
Dr Marion Shields Dr Marion Shields
Curriculum development
Adult learning
Clinical nursing education
Dr Alison Smedley Dr Alison Smedley
Denominational History Dr John Skrzypaszek Dr John Skrzypaszek
New Testament
Greco-Roman Society
Dr Steve Thompson Dr Steve Thompson
International Development Studies Brad Watson
Honorary Senior Research Fellows
Religious history Dr Bryan Ball
Adventist studies Dr Graeme Bradford
English pedagogy Dr Merle Cozens
Denominational history Dr Milton Hook
New Testament studies Dr Norm Young
Education Dr Wilf Rieger
Conjoint Lecturers
Hebrew narrative
Solomonic literature
Christian evidences
Dr Grenville Kent
Clinical trials
Oxidative stress
Nutrition Dietetics
Dr Ross Grant
Sociology and sociological research methods
Philosophy and worldview
Qualitative research
Dr Don Roy
New Testament Dr Sook Young Kim

English language proficiency requirements

Courses at Avondale College are delivered in the English language. In order to complete the courses successfully, applicants from a country where English is not the first language must demonstrate proficiency in English in one of the following ways:
  • Provide documentary evidence that a significant part of the education was conducted in the English language; or
  • Successful completion of at least two years of tertiary study conducted in the English language in Australia or in another country in which English is the official language within the last two years; or
  • Provide documentary evidence that an IELTS score of 7.0 has been achieved with no individual band score less than 6.5. Consideration will be given to applicants with an average of 6.5 where they successfully submit a 3 to 4 page proposal of their own construction using appropriate language..

International students

Overseas applicants are required to satisfy the Australian Government visa requirements (see Department of Immigration and Border Protection).

The M.Ed(Research) thesis

The M.Ed(Research) thesis normally will report a research investigation (including findings). As a general rule the thesis length should be 30,000-45,000 words. However, the actual length of the report rests with the student after discussion with the supervisor, and it is somewhat contingent on the topic and the purposes of the research. The thesis is a coherent exposition of the research study and follows a sequence describing the research objectives, methodology, and methods employed.

Thesis binding

The thesis shall be bound in maroon binding upon which lettering will be in gold.

Academic regalia

The standard black master's gown is overlaid with a hood of green and a standard mortar board.


For any postgraduate study enquiries, please contact the Course Convenor on 61 02 4980 2307 or the Admission Enquiry Centre 02 4980 2377.
Updated By: Brian Greentree