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Higher Degrees by Research (HDR)

A strong nexus between research, teaching and learning underpins the structure of our HDR programs.

Our programs are benchmarked with other Go8 universities, and our international collaborations in research introduce broader issues (UNESCO and OECD reports, TIMSS and PISA studies) into our theory and practice of education.

What is the process of applying for a PhD?

  1. Read the relevant information on this page, as well as the Adelaide Graduate Centre Future Students page.
  2. You can then apply formally through the Adelaide Graduate Centre.
  • Current HDR Supervision Areas
    Name of academic staff member Research supervision areas for PhD, Ed.D. and M. Phil.
    Sivakumar Alagumalai
    • Assessment and Evaluation in Education
    • Test theory and Rasch Measurement models Quantitative methods (SEM & MLM) and models in Education Computer Adaptive Testing and Learning Diagnostic Systems Science Education Problem-solving in STEM
    Igusti Darmawan
    • Science and Mathematics Education
    • Assessment and the measurement of student achievement, progress, and attitude
    • Cross national and comparative studies
    Cally Guerin
    • Doctoral education
    • Academic identities
    • Theories of pedagogy in higher education
    • Teaching research writing
    • English language teaching in universities
    • The multicultural academy and cosmopolitanism
    • Academic integrity
    • Internationalisation and academic mobility
    Chad Habel
    • Foundation programs in Higher Education
    • Access and equity in Higher Education
    • Academic self-efficacy
    • Connections between game design and curriculum design
    • Applications for user-generated content in Games-Based Learning
    Andrew Hope
    • Schools and surveillance
    • E-safety
    • Internet Use in Schools
    • Young people, risk and social control.
    • Critical explorations of education technology.
    • Representation, authority and power in qualitative social research.
    • Criminology, Crime Policy and Education
    Nina Maadad
    • Multiculturalism, cultural aspects and language
    Julie Matthews
    • Refugee education
    • International education, cosmopolitanism, globalisation, transnationalism.
    • Education and cultural diversity, multiculturalism, reconciliation, antiracism.
    • Postcolonialism and education.
    • Education for sustainability.
    Robert Matthews
    • Psychodynamic approaches to Education, Creativity and Learning.
    • Psychology of Learning.
    • Non-linear approaches to Learning and creativity.
    • Moral Dimension of Teaching.
    • Life-long teacher development.
    Julia Miller
    • Applied linguistics (especially TESOL, phraseology and loanword studies)
    • Games in foreign language teaching
    • Pedagogical lexicography and cultural dictionaries
    • Innovative teaching methods
    • Blogging as a learning tool
    Edward Palmer  
    • Learning technologies (development, application, analysis, impact on society, innovation, classroom teaching, elearning, mlearning)
    • Games in education Assessment in HE Student experience and expectations
    Michelle Picard
    • Researcher Education (including research supervision, research writing)
    • Academic literacies
    • Online Education
    • Qualitative research methods (interpretative and critical) 
    Anthony Potts
    • The academic career
    • Life in new universities
    • University student cultures
    • Politicians'' perspectives on universities
    Linda Westphalen
    • Indigenous/Australian studies
    • Cultures (not languages - I'm not a linguist)
    • Care (as in 'duty of... after feminist philosopher, Nel Noddings)
    John Willison
    • Student Research Skill Development in:
      • Undergraduate and Masters by coursework
      • Higher Degree by Research and Early Career Research
      • Secondary School
      • Early Childhood and Primary School
    • Academic Staff Development
    • Scientific Literacy
    • Hands-on Experiences in high school Science
  • How do I choose a supervisor?

    You can choose a supervisor from the HDR Supervision Areas by matching your research proposal with the research interest of one of the members of academic staff.

  • What if I can't identify a suitable supervisor?

    You can still submit an application to the Adelaide Graduate Centre. In some circumstances we will subsequently be able to find a suitable supervisor for you.  Importantly if we feel that your research proposal does not match the research interests and expertise of academic staff within the School then we may decline your application, so please consult the list of staff supervision areas carefully.

  • Can I contact my proposed supervisor before applying through the Adelaide Graduate Centre?

    We would prefer that you don't. It is important that the Graduate Centre first centrally check that you meet all the academic requirements for undertaking a HDR within the School of Education.

  • Submitting a Research Proposal

    As part of the application process you will need to complete the Adelaide Graduate Centre Admission Research Proposal Template. Before doing so, in order to assess whether we can support your application and allocate a supervisor the School of Education requires a 500-1000 word research proposal from you. The guidelines below are very similar to the Graduate Centre Template so you should be able to use what you write in your submission to the School of Education to complete the Admission Research Proposal Template as well.

    1. Project title
      Provide a short descriptive title of no more than 20 words.
    2. Project (research topic) summary
      In no more than 100 words, summarize the aims, significance and expected outcomes of your proposed research.
    3. Project details
      1. Introductory background
        What is the rationale behind the study? Why is it important?
      2. Research questions
        What is / are the main research question(s) or hypothesis that you plan to address.
      3. Literature review
        i) Existing research: Provide an overview of some of the main research undertaken in your identified field.
        ii) Theoretical framework: What are the main academic sources that you plan to draw upon. It would be useful not only to cite possible key texts but also to provide some indication of disciplinary background. For example, is the research grounded in sociology, history, psychology, linguistics etc.
      4. Methods
        i) What research method(s) do you plan to use. Please be specific. Don't just write 'interviews', 'observation' or 'content analysis' etc.
        ii) Sampling: Identify your research population and discuss the type of sampling you might use and some of the possible sampling decisions, particular with reference to numbers of participants or institutions involved.
    4. References cited / Bibliography of planned reading
      Please provide one or both of the following in an appropriate and consistent referencing style:
    • A list of the scholarly references cited in the proposal
    • A bibliography of planned reading

    Please note that ultimately you will need to submit a research proposal to the Adelaide Graduate Centre using the provided submission template.

  • Checklist to Prepare Your Application

    You must have the following documents ready to upload prior to starting the application form on this page.

    1. Current curriculum vitae.
    2. Degree parchments
    3. Academic transcripts. The transcript(s) should include details of your social research experience in terms of research courses or projects undertaken. Read more information on entry requirements.
    4. If English is not your first language, evidence of a sufficient level of English language. Read more information on English proficiency.
    5. A research proposal of 500-1000 words. Please refer to the guidelines in Submitting a Research Proposal.

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School of Education

Faculty of Arts


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Staff Directory: School of Education