2 years full time or longer for part time
Delivery mode: 
In person
Start date:
1 January 2024


Gain a solid foundation in research methods before undertaking a thesis related to health or sport. The Master of Applied Research is designed for bachelor graduates from any discipline.

When you undertake a Master of Applied Research at Victoria University, you'll study crucial topics to set you on the path to success, including research methods, ethics, project-design and disciplinary expertise relevant to your research. On passing the core units with a 70% average, you’ll begin your own research in a field of personal passion and interest that aligns with our focus areas.

Victoria University conducts highly-ranked research:

Within the Institute for Health & Sport you can study towards a qualification in a range of disciplines, including biomedical sciences, biotechnology, business, nursing, food science, sport science, and social sciences.

Specialise in your area of passion and personal interest within our research programs, which incorporate:

  • diversity and inclusion
  • health, mental health and disease
  • sport performance
  • sport business
  • policy.

Further opportunities exist to complete a Master of Research in our Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities.

Sport & fitness

Our $68 million high-technology sport and exercise science research facilities include:

Health & wellbeing

This $51.6 million five-level Western Centre for Health Research and Education building at Sunshine Hospital provides cutting-edge education, research and training facilities. Clinical trials area include:

  • consulting rooms
  • gait and balance gym
  • falls and fracture clinic
  • bone and muscle imaging (DXA and pQCT)
  • metabolic testing.

Science labs

Our research centre at Werribee campus offers the latest technology for food analysis and scientific research.

We have labs dedicated the full range of science topics, including:

  • cell culture and PC2 facilities
  • thermodynamics
  • analytical chemistry
  • biotechnology
  • biochemistry
  • biomedicine
  • polymer research
  • chromatography
  • elemental analysis
  • food analysis
  • small-animal testing
  • imaging research.

Libraries & special collections

The VU Library holds several special collections and archives that are available to assist graduate students and staff in their research.

VU has partnerships and collaborations with dozens of public institutions, health organisations and private sporting bodies.

We also work with other universities to provide the highest-level expertise and resources for our students.

Our partners include the following, among many others:

Specialise in your area of passion and personal interest within Institute for Health and Sport (IHES) research programs:

  • Mechanisms & Interventions in Health & Disease: Muscle, exercise and movement; Cardio-metabolic and muscle disorders; Cancer, autoimmunity and immunology
  • Sport Performance & Business: Analytics and technology; Skills and development; Sport business, policy and integrity; Training.
  • Clinical & Community Health & Wellbeing: Mental health and addiction; Maternal and child health; Capacity building in health and wellbeing
  • Healthy & Inclusive Communities: Movement for healthy bodies and minds; Diversity inclusion and culture

Further research programs exist in VU's Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities.

Victoria University has several generous research scholarships available for successful Master of Applied Research students. These scholarships are highly competitive.

There are also externally-funded scholarships from dozens of organisations, some of which are aimed at postgraduate students.

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 Graduate Research School
  • study spaces within your disciplinary area
  • units to help you conceptualise and contextualise your research
  • research ambassadors and student association.

Find out more about graduate opportunities at VU.

Victoria University offers expert supervision for masters research in these areas:

  • Applied Science
  • Arts
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Biotechnology
  • Business
  • Chemical Sciences
  • Civil and Building Engineering
  • Computer Science and Mathematics
  • Education
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental and Risk Engineering
  • Food Science
  • Law and Justice
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nursing
  • Physics
  • Sport Science

Some of these topics are better studied in a Master of Research within our Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities.

Victoria University offers Master of Research options to fit your experience and qualifications.

Our Master of Applied Research allows graduates of any bachelor program to move into a different discipline, with the support needed to prepare for high-quality study.

Within our Health and Sport focus areas, we also offer:

  • Master of Research – an 18-month full-time program for students with a relevant bachelor degree, or honours degree in a different discipline.
  • Master of Research Practice – a one-year program for students with an honours degree in a relevant discipline.

You can also undertake a Master of Research, or choose from the same suite of research degrees, within our Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities.

Need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our experienced VUHQ course advisers to get your questions answered.

Request a call back


A masters degree is increasingly important for a professional career. The Master of Applied Research will ensure you are prepared to enter the competitive job market.

This course could lead to a career as researcher or academic tutor, and prepare you for a senior role in a number of specialist fields.

You'll have the experience and confidence to take a leading position in a range of fields related to your discipline:

  • healthcare administration or management
  • policy making and development
  • public-sector research or writing
  • sports manager or coach
  • scientist.


Course structure

To attain the Master of Applied Research, students will be required to complete the below mentioned components consisting of:

  • Required coursework units with a minimum of an average of 70% or have approved advanced standing for the unit(s)
  • A Research Thesis unit and have had their thesis classified as passed by the Dean, Graduate Research (or nominee)

Core Units


12 credit points of Advanced Disciplinary learning undertaken through the following flexible curriculum unit, to be negotiated by the supervisor and Master of Applied Research coordinator:

Thesis Units

Applied Science


Biomedical Sciences



Chemical Sciences

Civil and Building Engineering

Computer Science and Mathematics


Electrical Engineering

Environmental and Risk Engineering

Food Science

Law and Justice

Mechanical Engineering



Sport Science

The new Master of Research at VU provides students with the opportunity to undertake and complete a research project under supervision at masters level (AQF 9). It will achieve this by providing students with a range of initial coursework units covering a) the nature and expectation of the research process and b) disciplinary specialisations where appropriate. The research progress will also be scaffolded by milestone requirements ensuring support throughout and quality and timely submission of the research. 

AQF level 9 criteria: Graduates at this level will have specialised knowledge and skills for research, and/or professional practice and/or further learning:

Graduates of a Master of Research will achieve the following learning outcomes and be able to:

  1. Critically review a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in one or more disciplines
  2. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the field of work or learning


  1. Conceptually map and critically evaluate theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on its application to the chosen field
  2. Develop high level cognitive, technical and creative skills with which to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories and to apply established theories to different bodies of knowledge or practice
  3. Develop high level cognitive, technical and creative skills required to generate, evaluate and synthesise complex ideas and concepts at an abstract level
  4. Analyse, critique and implement cognitive and technical skills required to design, use and evaluate research and research methods
  5. Develop effective communication and technical skills required to present a coherent and sustained argument and to disseminate research results to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  6. Demonstrate expertise in the technical and communication skills required to design, evaluate, implement, analyse, theorise and disseminate research that makes a contribution to knowledge

Application of Knowledge and Skills
Graduates of a Master of Research will demonstrate the application of knowledge & skills:

  • with creativity and initiative to new situations and/or for further learning
  • with high level personal autonomy and accountability
  • to plan and execute a substantial piece of research

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.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Entry requirements

Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in any discipline with an average grade of Distinction (or equivalent) in the final year.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

Use our credit calculator to find out how much credit you could get towards your course, based on your previous study.

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 chair or academic adviser.

How to apply

Available start dates:

  • 1 January 2024

Before you apply

Before applying, you should consider whether you also want to apply for:

  • Special admission programs: Depending on your life circumstances you may be eligible for special consideration of your application.
  • Advanced standing: If you have significant experience or studies elsewhere you may be eligible for credit for some units of your course and not have to undertake them.

Find out more about applying for our courses.

Apply direct to VU

Direct applications are due on 15 October 2023 for our next intake which starts on 1 January 2024.

Apply direct to VU

Already a VU student?

If you are already a VU student, apply direct to VU using our Admissions centre to transfer into this course. Remember it’s best to be accepted into your new course before withdrawing from your current one.

After you apply

  • It’s important to check for emails from us (which may go to your spam/junk folder).
  • Complete any requests for information by the given dates, otherwise your application may not be considered

You will need to follow the six steps to becoming a research student.

Contact the Office for Researcher Training, Quality & Integrity on +61 3 9919 4522 or email [email protected] if you require further information.

Enquire now

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