Faculty of Education

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedNot offered in 2014


This unit helps students identify the value and specific nature of research in education for sustainability, including its relationship to small-scale inquiry in education and other social science disciplines. Students learn about the traditions and forms of explanation used in small-scale inquiry, and the types of knowledge that can be generated that inform professional practice. Students also consider the major ways of designing and conducting research studies to address a range of issues and challenges, including appreciating the often complex relationship between research, policy and practice.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. distinguish the main purposes and reasons for initiating and designing small-scale research
  2. understand the major traditions of research and their implications for designing small-scale inquiry (e.g. survey, experiments, case study, ethnographic approaches, biographical/narrative approaches)
  3. appreciate the relevance of key concepts in research (e.g. objectivity, subjectivity, reflexivity) and how they inform research design, knowledge generation and uses of research knowledge
  4. identify researchable problems and formulate research questions that relate to professional practice
  5. appreciate the logic and art of research design (e.g. the importance of literature review, and ethical considerations concerning the connection between researcher and researched in research and professional settings).


Slide presentation online (2000 words equivalent, 50%)
Critical review of data collection strategies employed in prior research around selected themes (2000 words equivalent, 50%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 24 hours per week for six weeks (144 hours total per term) comprising:

(a.) Study schedule for online students:

  • 4 hours of directed online activities per week

(d.) Additional requirements:

  • 20 hours of independent study per week


72 credit points in Master in Education for Sustainability