In this unit, students independently conduct research which demonstrates their ability to define a problem, undertake a detailed literature search and review the relevant theoretical and practical literature. Students develop a methodology and apply it to an appropriate problem or situation. They also demonstrate good data selection, collection and analysis skills to inform their problem or situation, and the capacity to respond to academic feedback. Developing the minor thesis, or negotiated alternative, involves a high standard of written communication skills.  Each student has a supervisor who provides individual support.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


AED5001 - Education Research Design and Methods

Students enrolled in EMED Master of Education, EGED Graduate Diploma in Education, ETED Graduate Certificate in Education must also have completed EED6001 Contemporary Issues in Education and Training, and two units from the Core Units. Students enrolled in AMEB must have completed 96 credit points prior to enrolling in AED6001 Students enrolled in EMED must have completed 144 credit points prior to enrolling in AED6001 Students enrolled in AMTL must have completed AED5001 Education Research Design and Methods with a Distinction or higher grade, and have completed an accredited Graduate Diploma in TESOL or equivalent. Students enrolled in EMTP and EMTS and EMTL must have completed AED5001 Education Research Design and Methods.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Work collaboratively and ethically in conducting research and communicating research outcomes;  
  2. Conduct a substantial independent research project under supervision with a high level of personal autonomy and accountability;  
  3. Critically review relevant and current principal scholarly literature/s relating to the thesis topic;  
  4. Interrogate and challenge complex information, and synthesise a range of conceptual and empirical materials to draw defensible conclusions;  
  5. Authoritatively and effectively communicate structured, coherent ideas in a sustained written composition (or a negotiated alternative if choosing a creative work option) at a standard acceptable for academic peer review; and  
  6. Respond to feedback on their work, and show the capacity to engage in an academic discourse.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Thesis Minor thesis (15-20,000 words) Pass/Fail
The minor thesis will be a paper of no less than 15,000 or more than 20,000 words (or a negotiated alternative if choosing a creative work option). Examination of the minor thesis will be conducted by one external examiner and one internal examiner. The supervisor will not be the examiner. The examiners will recommend one of four outcomes for the minor thesis: (a) passed; (b) passed subject to amendments being made to the satisfaction of the supervisor; or (c) failed.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

Study a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree. Learn more about single units of study at VU.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.