University Handbook 2018

Master of Education by research (EDMER)

Course code/s: EDMER (current); EMERB (phased out)

Course details
Course abbreviated name MEd(Rsrch)
CRICOS Code 017544F
Location - domestic candidates* Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, Melbourne (Bundoora campus), Mildura
Location - international candidates* Bendigo, Melbourne (Bundoora campus)
Course coordinator N/A
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 overview:

The Master’s by Research degree requires you to deepen your knowledge of your discipline area and develop advanced skills in the conduct of independent and sustained research. As a Master’s by research candidate, you will undertake a supervised research project that culminates in the submission of a thesis for examination.

Upon completion of your candidature you must demonstrate through your thesis that you have acquired an advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge in one or more disciplines.

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:
            (a)    the satisfactory completion of an Australian Bachelor’s degree with an honours year with at least an H2A result in the relevant discipline
            (b)    a qualification of 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
            (c)    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:

Areas of expertise within the School of Education include: Adult Learning, Applied Linguistics, Art Education, Educational Administration and Leadership, E-learning Pedagogies, Gender and Sexualities, Health Education, Innovative Curriculum and Effective Classrooms, Intercultural Studies, Language and Literacy, Mathematics Education, Nature Tourism and Natural Resources Education, Organisational Change, Outdoor and Environmental Education, Physical Education, Policy Research and Evaluation, Psychology in Educational Practice, Science Education, Second Language Acquisition, Student Advocacy and Wellbeing, TESOL/LOTE Teaching, Technology Education, Transformative Learning and Vocational Education and Training.
To learn more about our areas of research strength 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:

Strand 1: Thesis only

This strand is applicable to you if you have already completed Research Methods and a minor thesis in a prior degree.

If your prior attempt at Research Methods was undertaken in a field other than education, or you completed the subject some years ago, you may be required to audit the Education Research Methods subject. You may also audit other subjects from the coursework degree.

Strand 2: Coursework and major thesis (previously known as EMERB)

This strand consists of 60 credit points of Master’s-level coursework subjects, including Research Methods, and the thesis.

Where students include coursework in their degree the subjects will mainly be drawn from the coursework degree, Master of Education (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


Research links


Contact us