University Handbook 2018

Master of Applied Linguistics by research (EDMAL)

Course code/s: EDMAL

Course details
Course abbreviated name MAppLing (Rsch)
CRICOS Code 055078A
Location - domestic candidates* Bendigo, Melbourne (Bundoora campus)
Location - international candidates* Bendigo, Melbourne (Bundoora campus)
Course coordinator Dr Howard Nicholas
Course duration The standard duration of this course is one to two years.
Internship/exchange opportunities Yes
Leave of absence available Yes
Course queries Current students: Graduate Research School
Prospective students: Get a research degree

*Enrolment on any campus for any candidate is subject to the availability of supervision and appropriate research environment. International candidates may only enrol at a CRICOS-registered campus.

Course-specific information:

As researchers in this discipline are concentrated on the Bundoora campus in Melbourne there are currently more opportunities for supervision on this campus.

Course overview:

The Master of Applied Linguistics by research degree requires you to develop specialised knowledge and skills for research in at least one of the fields of applied linguistics. You will be expected to show advanced and integrated understanding of an appropriate body of complex knowledge or practice. You will use this understanding in the independent, critical analysis and synthesis of an appropriate body of information, practice, concepts or theory. The research thesis that you undertake under supervision will demonstrate your capacity to independently research and apply expert judgements about relevant data and theory to your chosen problem, issue or aspect of practice and to communicate effectively your findings to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

A Master’s by Research degree may also serve as an entry into a PhD. A Master’s by research candidate is eligible to apply for entry into a PhD if they meet the individual entry requirements of the particular degree and have completed no less than 12 months and no more than 18 months of full-time equivalent candidature.

The following conditions must be met in order to gain admission into a Master’s by research degree:

  • you must meet the minimum entry requirements for the degree as outlined below
  • the Department or School in which you seek enrolment must be able to provide appropriate facilities, resources and supervision for your chosen area of research.

Standard duration of study:

You will be expected to complete your Master’s degree by research within one to two years full-time (or equivalent part-time).
Your research project must be conceived from the outset as clearly achievable within the applicable time frame.

Entry requirements:

In order to apply for Master’s by research candidature, you will normally require either:

  1. the satisfactory completion of an Australian Bachelor’s degree with an honours year with at least an H2A result in the relevant discipline
  2. a qualification from La Trobe University or a recognised tertiary institution which is deemed by the Board of Graduate Research to be equivalent to the qualification specified in (a) above
  3. a Bachelor’s degree without honours strengthened by additional qualifications or the demonstrated possession of research skills or publications of an especially meritorious nature, approved by the Board of Graduate Research as an acceptable basis for admission to candidature. Some additional preliminary studies may need to be undertaken.


As a Master’s by Research candidate, your progress will be reviewed regularly throughout your degree. To qualify for award of the degree, you must submit a satisfactory thesis of typically 40,000 words or less which demonstrates specialised knowledge and research skills in your field. Your thesis will be examined by at least two examiners and must demonstrate the following course learning outcomes: 

  • Competence in the design and conduct of a research project that incorporates methodological skills appropriate to the discipline and a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in one or more disciplines.
  • Ability to provide a critical appraisal of relevant literature and available research, to appreciate and understand the relationship of the investigations undertaken to the wider field of knowledge in which these investigations are located, and to draw out the contribution to knowledge made by these investigations.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the methodological techniques used in the research and any shortcomings associated with these techniques
  • A satisfactory level of literary presentation reflecting an ability to communicate in a clear, concise and authoritative manner appropriate to the field of research and to the scholarly community to which it is addressed.

Papers written by you during your candidature may be included in your thesis, where these are of direct relevance to the research you describe in your thesis.

Policies and guidelines:

You can access La Trobe University’s official policies and guidelines for candidature, supervision, progress, examinations and thesis requirements on the Graduate Research School website.

Areas of study:

The Master of Applied Linguistics is for candidates wishing to focus on research across the range of concerns related to language, communication, interaction and learning in applied contexts including TESOL, cross-cultural studies and literacy education.
To learn more about our research strengths visit the School of Education website.

Fees and charges:

Citizens of Australia and New Zealand and Australian permanent residents will not normally pay tuition fees, as research degrees are funded by the Australian Government via the Research Training Programme. This provides eligible candidates with a Commonwealth-funded Research Training Programme Fees Offset Scholarship for up to a maximum period of two years’ full-time equivalent study for a Master’s by Research.

All domestic students are required to pay a bi-annual Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). Details about the SSAF, including costs and payment options, can be found at the webpage - Student services and amenities fee.
Tuition fees for international students will vary, depending on the research area. Detailed information about tuition fees by research area can be found at the webpage - Tuition fees for international students.

Study plan:

The Master of Applied Linguistics by research has two alternative study plans, outlined below.

Strand 1: Thesis only

Students enrolled in this strand on the Melbourne Bundoora campus may audit approved research methodology subjects or classes from the Master of Applied Linguistics (Coursework).

Strand 2: Coursework and major thesis

This strand is only available on the Melbourne Bundoora campus and consists of two Master’s level coursework subjects (60 credit points) and the thesis.
Where students include coursework in their degree the subjects will be mainly drawn from the coursework degree, Master of Applied Linguistics (Coursework), but other subjects may also be included in consultation with the supervisor.

Students are expected to attain at least a B average (70-79%) in their coursework subjects before proceeding to the thesis. Students who do not achieve a B average in their coursework subjects may transfer their enrolment to a Masters by coursework degree.

Application details:

For full details on how to apply go to how to apply for a graduate research degree.

Contact details:

The Graduate Research School



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