Undertake a research project to gain a respected masters qualification in the humanities, arts or social sciences.
You'll be supported by a large community of academic staff with experience conducting research projects, presenting papers to international conferences, and publishing academic journal articles and books.
Our position in the west of Melbourne offers unique opportunities for collaborative research. We have strong connections with community, healthcare and arts organisations, as well as local and national government departments.
During your masters study, you'll expand and develop specialist knowledge and demonstrate independent thought, while undertaking an original thesis.
You'll also improve your career prospects in a competitive field by highlighting your ability to research, write, manage projects, and think critically and logically.
VU Research offers supervision for masters degree programs in areas including:
- Asian and Pacific Studies
- Political Science
- Post-colonial Studies
- Social Policy
- Social Movement Studies
- Globalisation Studies
- Criminal Justice Studies
- International Development.
We offer opportunities to embed your research in important creative, community and health organisations. Our partnerships include collaborations with:
- SBS Television
- Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne
- Baryshnikov Art Centre (NY)
- Malthouse Theatre
- Australian Multicultural Foundation Centre for Multicultural Youth
- Footscray Community Arts Centre
- Western Health
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Victoria Police.
VU Research gives you opportunities to:
- connect with other researchers
- participate in research festivals and competitions
- develop your research skills
- get funding for your research
- publish and promote your findings.
We offer support for graduate researchers including:
- an orientation program
- a specialised Office for Researcher Training, Quality & Integrity
- study spaces
- units to help you conceptualise and contextualise your research
- research ambassadors and student association.
Find out more about graduate opportunities at VU.
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Be part of a supportive community of researchers
Careers in social and cultural organisations
Masters graduates are prepared for a wide range of roles in government or the public service, community and non-government organisations and media.
Our graduates often go on to work in the following areas:
- journalism, writing or strategic communications
- arts administration and management
- government and policy work
- community-sector professional roles
- creative arts.
Career options with this qualification vary greatly depending on discipline. Example annual salaries for potential jobs are:
The standard duration of a Masters Degree (Research) is two years of full-time study or part-time equivalent, although in certain circumstances the degree may be completed in eighteen months.
In some cases the student may be required to complete approved coursework units such as laboratory skills or research design as part of the Masters Degree (Research).
The course objectives are to produce graduates who have the following knowledge and skills:
- a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in one or more discipline
- advanced knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the field of work or learning
- cognitive skills to demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on theory and its application
- cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories and to apply established theories to different bodies of knowledge or practice
- cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts at an abstract level
- cognitive and technical skills to design, use and evaluate research and research method
- communication and technical skills to present a coherent and sustained argument and to disseminate research results to specialist and non-specialist audience
- technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, implement, analyse, theorise and disseminate research that makes a contribution to knowledge
This knowledge and these skills will be demonstrated through the planning and execution of a substantial piece of research
- with creativity and initiative
- with a high level of personal autonomy and accountability, demonstrating expert judgement, adaptability and responsibility as a learner
What's a unit?
A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.
Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take and optional elective units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.
Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.
Admission & pathways
Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course. Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.
In addition to meeting the University requirements (See: Admission Requirements - Other) international applicants who will be studying in Australia must satisfy the English language qualifying requirement for gaining an entry visa to Australia for applicants from their country.
Find out if you meet the entry requirements, including English language and academic requirements.
If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.
Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course coordinator or academic adviser.
(a) Academic achievement and preparation to a level that is sufficient to undertake masters level research demonstrated in any one or more of the following:
i. Qualified, at minimum, for a bachelors degree at a standard considered by the University to be sufficiently meritorious (normally Distinction average in the final year); or
ii. Qualified for any other award judged by the University to be of a relevant and appropriate standard and have:
•Produced evidence of professional experience; and
•Fulfilled any other conditions relating to prerequisite studies which the University may impose.
(b) Demonstrated competency in English sufficient to work at research masters level, through meeting one or more of the following criteria:
i. Successful completion of one of the degrees stipulated under a) i) – ii) above with English as the language of instruction and assessment and undertaken in a predominantly English speaking context; or
ii. Been taught for two of the past five years at a tertiary institution where English was the primary language of instruction; or
iii. Achieved an overall band score of not less than 6.5 in an International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) test with no individual band score below 6.0; or
iv. Achieved a score of not less than 92 and no section score less than 22 in the internet-based Teaching of English Foreign Language (TOEFL) test; or
v. Documented evidence of English proficiency equivalent to the above.