University of Sydney Handbooks - 2020 Archive

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Master of Education

The aim of this program is to provide students with an advanced-level research training experience in education; make a contribution to knowledge; education as well as offer a research track to doctoral level study in education.

This degree focuses primarily on research in the area of education. The Master of Education (Research) is designed for students who wish to undertake a research degree but not one of the length and scale of a PhD, EdD or MPhil; use this degree as a pathway into the PhD and EdD degrees, and/or wish to enrol in a higher degree that contains some coursework but do not wish to undertake the amount required by the Master of Education coursework degree.

Course convenor

Associate Professor Ruth Phillips
Phone 02 9351 6899
Room 741, Education Building, A35


Master of Education (Research)

These resolutions must be read in conjunction with applicable University By-laws, Rules and policies including (but not limited to) the University of Sydney (Coursework) Rule 2014 (the 'Coursework Rule'), the Coursework Policy 2014, the Resolutions of the Faculty, the University of Sydney (Student Appeals against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006 (as amended), the Academic Honesty in Coursework Policy 2015 and the Academic Honesty Procedures 2016. Up to date versions of all such documents are available from the Policy Register:

Course resolutions

Part 1: Preliminary

1 Course codes


Course and stream title


Master of Education (Research)


Part 2: Admission requirements

2 Eligibility for admission to candidature

To be eligible to be admitted to candidature by the Dean or Associate Dean, an applicant must:
hold or have completed the requirements for:
a bachelor's degree in a relevant area of study; and
a one-year Diploma of Education or a Bachelor of Teaching or a Master of Teaching degree; and
have attained a grade point average of at least 70% in the final year of university study prior to applying for admission to candidature.
The Dean or Associate Dean may admit to candidature an applicant who does not meet the requirements of sub-clause (1), provided that the applicant holds a qualification or qualifications that, in the opinion of the Faculty are equivalent to those prescribed in sub-clause (1).

3 Application for admission to candidature

An applicant for admission to candidature must submit to the Faculty satisfactory evidence of the applicant's eligibility for admission;
a proposed course of research and advanced study, approved by the Faculty Research Proposal Committee in which the work is to be undertaken; and
a statement certifying the applicant's understanding that, subject to the HDR Rule, if the candidature is successful, his or her thesis will be lodged with the University Librarian and made available for immediate public use.
In addition, an applicant for admission to part-time candidature must submit a statement that he or she will have sufficient time available to complete the requirements of the degree in accordance with these resolutions.

4 Credit transfer

The HDR Rule specifies the conditions for the granting of credit for previous studies, including the effect on completion times, except that for coursework:
no more than 12 credit points of units of study may be credited; and
the coursework should -
(i)  have been completed with a high level of proficiency in an area relevant to the candidate's program of study no more than six years prior to first enrolment in this degree; and
(ii)  not have been counted towards another award.

Part 3: Candidature

5 Appointment of supervisor

The Associate Dean (Research Education) will appoint a research supervisor and auxiliary supervisor for each candidate in accordance with the HDR Rule and the Supervision of Higher Degree by Research Students Policy 2013.

6 Control of candidature

The HDR Rule specifies the conditions for the control of candidature by the University.

7 Location of candidature and attendance

The HDR Rule specifies the conditions for the location of candidature and attendance by candidates at the University.

Part 4: Requirements

8 Degree requirements

To satisfy the requirements of the degree candidates must:
complete any specified probationary requirements;
if commencing during or after 2021, complete within the first year (full-time equivalency) of candidature a minimum of 6 credit points of study from Table R as determined in the relevant Faculty milestones atatement and any other studies as required by the supervisor(s) of the research project;
conduct research on an approved topic; and
write a thesis embodying the results of the research.

9 The thesis

A candidate shall produce a thesis that meets the requirements specified in the HDR Rule.
The thesis will normally have a minimum of 20,000 and upper limit of 40,000 words including footnotes, that may be exceeded by no more than 10,000 words with the permission of the Associate Dean (Research Education). The word limit does not include appendices.

10 The units of study

Candidates will be required to complete either 6 or 12 credit points of units of study from Table R.

Part 5: Enrolment and progression

11 Probation

A candidate is normally accepted for candidature on a probationary basis for a period not exceeding six months.
In the probationary period each candidate must:
complete a specified research methods unit of study;
develop and present a refined research proposal to the satisfaction of the supervisor and the Faculty Research Proposal Committee; and
meet any requirements set out in the Progress Planning review for Higher degree by Research Students Policy and Procedures.

12 Time limits, earliest and latest submission dates

The HDR Rule specifies the allowable completion times and submission dates available for full- and part-time candidates in this course.

13 Mode of attendance

The attendance pattern for this course is full-time or part-time.

14 Discontinuation of candidature

A candidate may discontinue enrolment in a unit of study or the degree subject to the conditions specified by the HDR Rule.

15 Suspension of candidature

A candidate may suspend enrolment from the degree subject to the conditions specified by the HDR Rule.

16 Leave of absence

A candidate may take leave of absence from the degree subject to the conditions specified by the HDR Rule.

17 Progress

A candidate is required to maintain satisfactory progress towards the timely completion of the degree. Progress will be reviewed annually according to the provisions of the Progress Planning and Review of Higher Degree by Research Students Policy 2015.

Part 6: Examination

18 Examination of the thesis

Examination of the thesis will be conducted in general accordance with standards prescribed by Academic Board for the Masters by Research which are set out in the Thesis and Examination of Higher Degree by Research Policy 2015, and the HDR Examinations Subcommittee in determining the results of the examination.
The thesis will be graded by the examiners and a 'Thesis grade' will be recorded on the academic transcript.

19 Award of the degree

The degree is awarded at the Pass level.

Part 7: Other

20 Transitional provisions

These resolutions apply to students who commenced their candidature after 1 January 2020 and students who commenced their candidature prior to 1 January 2020 who elect to proceed under these resolutions. Students who commenced their candidature prior to 1 January 2020 may complete the requirements in accordance with the resolutions in force at the time of their commencement.