Master of Education (Research)


Michael Dalley, Master of Education graduate, talking with students

Aimed at practising professionals across the entire education spectrum, the Master of Education by research is also well-suited to the needs of professionals whose work has an educational component or some educational responsibility.

This research-classified course includes some coursework and a 20,000 word thesis.

Please note that this course will not provide you with registration to teach in Australia.

Have an enquiry? Course brochure (195kb PDF)

Entry requirements

  • A four-year education degree (or equivalent), or
  • An undergraduate degree in any discipline and at least 50 credit points (or equivalent) of graduate study in education.

In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider prior academic performance. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.

All students must meet English language requirements.

Please note that meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

Course structure

  • Course code: 960BA
  • 2 x 12.5 point core subjects: Research Methods in Education and Education Research Methodology
  • 2 x 12.5 point elective subjects (usually taken from the Master of Education coursework [MC-ED] suite of subjects)
  • A 20,000 word thesis.

With permission from the supervisor and course coordinator candidates may choose other elective subjects such as a relevant postgraduate subject from another Faculty or Graduate School.

In the six months prior to submission of their thesis candidates must present their research findings at a public completion seminar attended by their Advisory Committee.

Candidates enrolled in this research-classified Master of Education need to achieve an H2A average in the coursework component in order to proceed to the thesis. If the H2A average is not met, candidates may transfer to the Master of Education by coursework.

For detailed course and subject information, see the University Handbook: Master of Education (Research).


On completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a superior knowledge and understanding of educational theory and practice in general and in a specialised area
  • Express informed opinions about particular areas of current educational interest
  • Have an understanding of the theory and practice of educational research needed to evaluate research literature and carry out appropriate research activity
  • Make effective use of the findings of educational writings and research in addressing professional problems
  • Have the depth of knowledge and understanding that will enable them to be a resource for colleagues in particular professional situations
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of professional responsibilities and ethical principles which should characterise leaders in the education profession.

How to apply

Application dates

There are two selection rounds each year for entry to the PhD and Masters by research degrees, and one round for entry to the Master of Educational Psychology/PhD and the Doctor of Education degrees. New applications can be submitted at any time, however all applications must be submitted and complete by the closing dates below to be considered for each round.

Meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee admission into the course, as entry to candidature is very competitive. Entry to the PhD is particularly competitive; and an H1 (80-100%) overall grade is usually required to be admitted into this degree.

Semester 2, 2018

Applications closed on 18 April 2018. If your application was submitted but incomplete at that date, your application will be considered for 2019 commencement (please see below).

Semester 1, 2019

Doctor of Education and Master of Educational Psychology/PhD (combined degree): applications close 31 August 2018.

All other graduate research degrees (PhD, MPhil, Master of Education - Research): applications close 16 October 2018.

Semester 2, 2019

All graduate research degrees: applications close 18 April 2019.

We recommend you submit your application at least four weeks before the closing dates, just in case any additional documentation is required.

Please note: the Master of Educational Psychology/PhD and the Doctor of Education do not have a Semester 2 intake.

Application process

1. Write your research proposal

You must provide an extended research proposal with your application. Research proposals should be 1,500 words for PhD applications and 1,000 words for all other graduate research degrees.

They must succinctly address the following points under separate headings:

  • Aims of study: what's the proposed topic of your study and why is it important? What does your study want to achieve? What could your potential research questions be?
  • Key concepts and theories: briefly discuss key academic concepts and theories informing your study.
  • Approach and methodology: provide a brief overview of the approach and/or methodology you intend to use in your study.
  • Rationale for coming to the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE): why is MGSE the right research environment for your project? Why is your prospective principal supervisor a good fit for your project (see below)?
  • Bibliography: list up to ten key references for your project.

Once you've identified a principal supervisor, your research proposal should also be updated to reflect who they are and how they may contribute to your research project.

2. Find a supervisor

Find a principal supervisor who will support your research proposal and application. Your supervisor must be a current staff member at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE).

We recommend that you search for a supervisor on the University’s Find an Expert page, or visit our current research projects page to find staff members working on research projects. Please attach your research proposal (or a short summary) and CV when contacting your potential supervisors via email.

You'll need to upload evidence of your intended principal supervisor’s support when submitting your application. This can be in email format and must include the intended supervisor’s agreement to supervise you should your application be successful.

Please note that all supervision arrangements are also subject to the approval of the MGSE Selection Committee. Support of a prospective supervisor does not guarantee entry to MGSE’s research higher degree program.

3. Apply online

Read the application information and apply on the Future Students website.

Apply now

Don’t forget to provide your research proposal and evidence of your intended principal supervisors support when submitting your application. You will also need to supply a 100-word summary of your project in addition to your research proposal.

If you have any questions about how to complete or submit your application, please contact Graduate Research Admissions at


Prospective graduate research students will be automatically considered for scholarships as part of the graduate research degree application. Current graduate research students can apply for scholarships via their Student Portal.

Further information:

Application outcome

All correspondence regarding your application will be by email. If your application is successful, you will receive an offer letter via email explaining how you can accept your place.

Please note that for the current 2018 round, application outcomes for international applicants will be available in mid to end June. Outcomes for domestic applicants will be available in late June.

For the next round (commencement in the first half of 2019), application outcomes will be available by early December.