Doctor of Education

Course 300BB (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Year and Campus: 2012 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 051658B
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Research Higher Degree
Duration & Credit Points: Students are expected to complete this research in 3.00 years full time, or equivalent part time.


Associate Dean (Research)


Education Student Centre

234 Queensberry Street

Course Overview:

The Doctor of Education is an advanced professional doctorate for experienced professionals with educational responsibilities. Carefully designed to parallel their regular work, the course enables experienced educators to carry out advanced academic and professional study which has direct relevance to their professional role. It is undertaken over three years on a full-time basis or six years on a part-time basis.


Students who have completed the Doctor of Education should have:

  • advanced their knowledge in areas of special significance to their profession;
  • achieved an advanced level of education and professional development in respect to the operation, design and development of Victorian, Australian and other systems of education;
  • been involved effectively in a program of study and research directly related to their professional settings and educational responsibilities;
  • have participated in high level and systematic analysis of practical problems related to education in their profession through the application of appropriate discipline analysis and research methodology in a manner which has strong potential for changing professional practice;
  • made a contribution to the wider theoretical and/or professional debates in the relevant field of study.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The first stage of the program consists of coursework and preparatory studies for the thesis. Full time students complete this stage in year 1, part time students in years 1 and 2. During this period:

  • Students complete 75 points of coursework. However, students who have not completed an educational research methodology subject in a prior Masters degree must complete 50 points of coursework as well as EDUC90620 and EDUC90729 (see below for details).
  • All students must undertake the compulsory subjects EDUC90320 (Doctoral Research Seminar) and EDUC90319 (DEd Thesis Proposal) in the semester immediately prior to the commencement of the thesis (i.e. semester 2 of full-time enrolment, semester 4 of part-time enrolment).
  • All students must gain at least an H2A average in the subjects undertaken in first year, including at least an H2A result in the DEd Thesis Proposal to proceed to the second year of the course.

The second stage of the program consists of a 55,000 word thesis. Full time students complete this stage in years 2 and 3, part time students over years 3 - 6. Furthermore:

  • Full time students are expected to present a report on their research at the beginning of semester two in the second year of their studies. Part time students will be required to produce this report at the beginning of the fourth year of their studies.
  • The report will normally be at least 4,000 words and present a detailed account of the implementation so far of the research proposal. The report will be considered by a panel consisting of at least three staff members. Students must also make a presentation speaking to the report, which, in normal circumstances, will be open to other members of the Graduate School, including other research students. If the panel deems the report unsatisfactory, they may: refer the student to the Unsatisfactory Progress Committee immediately; or permit the student up to three months to revise the report. If the report remains unsatisfactory, the student will be referred to the Unsatisfactory Progress Committee.
  • Students must also publicly present a research paper in the last six months of their candidature.

Additional information:

  • Students that are not permitted to proceed to thesis but who have completed 100 points of coursework studies may take out a Master of Education degree if they wish, since they will have met the requirements of the 100-points coursework Masters.
  • See Melbourne Graduate School of Education website for further details on the DEd thesis:
Subject Options:

Year 1 (Coursework Year) comprises 100 points

  • EDUC90620 Reading Educational Research (12.5 points)
  • EDUC90729 Conducting Educational Research (12.5 points)
  • 50 or 75 points of coursework electives (see below for details)
  • EDUC90320 Doctoral Research Seminar (12.5 points)
  • EDUC90319 Doctor of Education Thesis Proposal (12.5 points)

When completing the coursework component of the Doctor of Education:

  • Research Methods must be completed before the compulsory subjects (EDUC90320 and EDUC90319) are undertaken (ie. in first semester of full time enrolment, in semesters 1 -3 of part-time enrolment). However, students who have undertaken sufficient research methodology subjects in their Masters degree may be granted an exemption from EDUC90620 and EDUC90729. If granted an exemption from these courses the student will be required to undertake 75 points of coursework electives.
  • Students must undertake the compulsory subjects EDUC90320 and EDUC90319 in the semester immediately prior to the commencement of the thesis (i.e. semester 2 of full-time enrolment, semester 4 of part-time enrolment).

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
August, Semester 1
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2

Coursework subjects available

Students are able to undertake appropriate subjects from the Master of Education and the specialist Masters courses. For more information on available subjects see

Years 2 and 3 (Thesis)

Credit points are not assigned to the research thesis subjects that are offered as part of graduate research courses. The load or weight varies according to the duration and structure of the course, enrolment status (ie. full-time or part-time), etc.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
RHD First Half Year, RHD Second Half Year
Entry Requirements:

An applicant may be eligible for entry into the Doctor of Education if the applicant has:

  • completed a Masters degree or equivalent in the discipline of Education or a cognate field relevant to the proposed area of study, with at least an H2A average over the course;
  • a documented record of at least five full-time equivalent years of professional or teaching experience in a field relevant to the proposed area of study: and
  • evidence of capacity to undertake research. (Such evidence may be the completion of a research Masters thesis, producing a sustained policy document, conference presentations, articles in professional journals, etc).
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Graduate School of Education welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Graduate School policy to take reasonable steps to enable the participation of students with disabilities, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the Graduate School’s programs.
The core participation requirements for study in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education are:

In all courses

  1. The ability to comprehend complex information related to education and the disciplines in which the student is teaching.
  2. The ability to communicate clearly and independently in assessment tasks a knowledge of the content, principles and practices relating to education and other relevant disciplines.
  3. Behavioural and social attributes that enable a student to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

    In courses requiring students to undertake practicum placements
  4. The ability to undertake professional practice placements independently, including:
    a. the ability based on personal maturity to establish a professional relationship with students and interact with them appropriately;
    b. the ability to communicate to students the subject matter being taught with clarity and in a way that is age-sensitive;
    c. the ability to model literacy and numeracy skills independently for students and in all their interactions meet community expectations of the literacy and numeracy skills teachers should have;
    d. the ability to demonstrate skilfully and safely activities required in particular discipline areas being taught (e.g. physical education activities, science laboratory techniques);
    e. the ability to create, monitor and maintain a safe physical environment, a stable and supportive psychological environment, and a productive learning environment in their classroom;
    f. the ability to establish effective relationships with all members of the school community, including colleagues, students, and caregivers;
    g. the ability based on mental and physical health to exercise sound judgment and respond promptly to the demands of classroom situations, and the personal resilience to cope and maintain their wellbeing under stress.

Students who feel a disability will prevent them from meeting the above academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit.

Graduate Attributes:

The University's general graduate attributes are located on the Office of the Provost's website:

Links to further information:

Download PDF version.