Available in 2017
Course code



10 units


4000 level

Course handbook


This course is an introduction to fundamental discussions and concepts in educational research. Students will engage with key debates in the philosophy of social science, consider the role of theory in educational research as well as appraise questions concerning ethical conduct and the building of productive research partnerships.

Availability2017 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2017


  • Semester 1 - 2017

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Understand key issues in the philosophy of social science including recognising how different paradigms conceptualise knowledge, validity and the researchers' position

2. Understand the role of theory in research and become familiar with some of the major contemporary theoretical perspectives in educational research

3. Be knowledgeable of what constitutes ethical conduct in research involving humans

4. Be familiar with university ethics clearance processes

5. Recognise the importance of building and maintaining productive research partnerships with external and internal stakeholders.


1.   Introduction to educational research.

2.   Key issues in the philosophy of social science.

3.   Knowledge, objectivity and relativism.

4.   Quality and validity: defining criteria.

5.   The role of theory in educational research.

6.   Major theoretical perspectives: phenomenology.

7.   Major theoretical perspective: critical theory.

8.   Major theoretical perspectives: post-structuralism.

9 Student presentations

10 Ethics in educational research

11 University ethics application processes

12 Creating and maintaining productive research partnerships

13 Review


This course replaces EDUC4960. If you have successfully completed EDUC4960 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

Minimum of 160 units of undergraduate study including: 120 units study in Education units incorporating both EDUC2102, EDUC2103, and EDUC4940; and an average GPA of 5.5 or higher.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assignment 1: Competing paradigms

Written Assignment: Assignment 2: Research Implication

Essay: Essays/Written Assignment: Research Proposal

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah

Self-Directed Learning

Online 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks