2 years full time or longer for part time
Delivery mode: 
Face to Face


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
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Post-colonial Studies
  • Social Policy
  • Sociology
  • 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.

Victoria University has several generous research scholarships for successful applicants. There are also externally funded scholarships from dozens of organisations, some of which 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:

Find out more about graduate opportunities at VU.


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
  • publishing
  • 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 in Australia, via Job Outlook, are:

Course structure

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).

Students are invited, in the first instance, to discuss their potential research topic with the College Research Professor, or contact the College Postgraduate Coordinator for more information.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Additional information

(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.

How to apply

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.

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At Victoria University, we aim to display accurate and complete course information online. However, we are unable to guarantee that every course change is currently displayed. You may contact the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100 to confirm the most up-to-date course fees, pathways and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations and services available to our students.