What is a Graduate Certificate of Research Studies?
A Graduate Certificate of Research Studies offers the foundational theoretical and technical knowledge and skills in research.
During your studies you will undertake four research training units. You will gain an understanding of literature, future research requirements and research proposal writing, as well as the analytical and communication skills required in future research.
On completion you will be equipped to work in research-related fields and support researchers with foundation research skills.
Graduates at this level will have advanced knowledge and skills for professional, highly skilled work or further learning. They will have advanced theoretical and technical knowledge in one or more disciplines or areas of practice plus advanced cognitive, technical and communication skills, which they will use to analyse critically, evaluate, and transform information to complete a range of activities.
- Students will develop an understanding of the differences between practice and theory-based literature
- You will gain skills in practical planning, searching, recording and interrogation practices
- You will develop capability in communications, critical analysis, critical problem solving, and evidence-based decision making
- You will gain an understanding of the interrelationship of concepts, constructs, models, and frameworks in research
- You will develop skills in advanced research methods for qualitative and quantitative research
Graduates will be well-positioned to contribute to research projects or to work in research-related fields, supporting researchers with research skills in government, community, or commercial settings. The course content is designed to be tailored to suit current employment context or areas of interest.
Subjects and units
This course comprises of 4 subjects. Each subject involves 10 hours of study per week, comprising 3 hours of facilitated study and 7 hours self-directed study.
Critical Literature Review | RES611This subject provides students with an overview of critical reading practices and develops the practical skills required to undertake a higher degree research project. Students will develop an understanding of the differences between practice and theory-based literature, and learn practical planning, searching, recording and interrogations skills needed to identify research gaps and undertake critical analysis with the view to establish future research directions. This subject will culminate in the development of a project statement for further scholarly research.
Developing the Research Proposal | RES612This subject develops the foundations of research, critical problem solving, and evidence-based decision-making skills required when undertaking a higher degree research project. Students will gain an understanding of the core structure of the research proposal, research integrity and the importance of positioning a chosen research project to offer significant contribution to new knowledge. Through the compilation and review of emerging constructs from literature, students will establish key concepts for analysis and build a framework for critical evaluation and investigation in the chosen field of study. On completion of this subject, students will understand the interrelationship of concepts, constructs, models, and frameworks in research, and possess the skills to communicate this in a structured project proposal capturing their emergent propositions ready for further investigation.
Methodology and Design | RES613This subject aims to build the methodological literacy for higher degree research. It addresses methodological questions and specific issues connected with the choice of research methods and the associated forms of data. The subject includes discussion on the process of discovery and the formulation of the researcher's paradigm of reality. This subject caters equally for students pursuing various quantitative and qualitative methodologies in their research projects. It provides targeted training in key research methods as well as developing the student's overall understanding of the use and usefulness of various research methods in the field of research. This subject covers advanced topics in qualitative and quantitative research methodology relevant to the current set of projects undertaken by the cohort of students at this level.
Preliminary Research Thesis | RES614This subject aims to provide students with the skills for planning, conducting, analysing, and reporting for a research project. This subject develops your understanding of the requirement for responsible conduct of research including ethical review for projects involving human research participation. On completion of this subject, students should be able to: further understand the significance of research and the challenges associated with undertaking independent research and design and complete a qualitative and/or quantitative research study using public data. You will report your project in a preliminary independent short thesis.
International students must not enrol in more than one-third (33%) of online subjects over their course, and must study at least one face-to-face subject each study period. Please note that due to COVID-19, authorities have provided exceptions to the usual face-to-face learning requirements. For more information, visit Study in Australia.
International students on a student visa are required to study full time (i.e. must complete a minimum of 1.0 EFTSL of study per year). For the latest information on study locations, please check the entry requirements flyer.
The Graduate Certificate of Research is comprised of four research training units. Under the guidance of experienced supervisors, your studies will culminate in the submission of a preliminary independent short thesis.
Check the domestic course fee schedule for the cost of your course.
Eligible Australian students may choose to defer some, or all, of their tuition fees through FEE-HELP, a loan scheme repaid through the tax system based on income.
We're serious about supporting your studies from start to success, which is why we offer partial scholarships for both international and domestic students undertaking HDR, and eligible students can also apply for the Research Training Program scholarship (RTP). RTP Scholarships for 2022 are now closed.
Before you get started with your course application, check you meet all the requirements listed below.
Three years’ work experience
Guaranteed pathway and Recognition of Prior LearningIf you have already completed a qualification you may be able to credit this against your degree with us, even if it’s from another institution. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning. We also offer pathway opportunities to further your learning.
Check the international course fee schedule for the cost of your course. Onshore international students requiring a student visa should choose campus-based / blended options.
Course fees can be paid across three study periods. Each instalment to be paid before the beginning of the academic stage census date.
We're serious about supporting your studies from start to success, which is why we offer partial scholarships for both international and domestic students undertaking HDR. Please contact the HDR Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
How to apply
Read through the admissions criteria and ensure you meet the entry requirements.
We’ll contact you shortly after to confirm your details and help you through the rest of the process.
Frequently asked questions
What is a Higher Degree by Research (HDR)?A higher degree by research is focused on undertaking self-directed independent research that contributes to discipline-based knowledge and theory building. A student pursuing a higher degree by research requires core knowledge in a discipline, research skills, self-motivation and drive, the ability to work independently with a supervisor, critical thinking skills and very strong academic writing skills.
What is the application process?
The first step in the application process is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).
This document needs to be completed in full. The EOI is an opportunity to show your academic ability, your ability to follow instructions and your attention to detail. Incomplete applications and EOIs will be rejected.
The EOI needs to be submitted to HDR@torrens.edu.au along with the following supporting documentation:
- Official and certified copies of all academic transcripts (including course offerings and results) and certificates attained from any and all undergraduate and postgraduate courses completed
- Proof of citizenship
- Evidence of English Language Proficiency (if applicable)
If applying for a PhD:
- copies of, or links to, any research publications authored by you (in English), and
- An up-to-date curriculum vitae.
The EOI is a screening assessment to ascertain:
- Your level of academic writing
- Your ability to interrogate literature
- The alignment of your project area to the targeted projects of TUA
- Your ability to follow instructions and problem solve, and
- Your understanding of the current literature and research opportunities.
When we have received your EOI, your academic eligibility will be assessed first. If you have met the academic criteria for entry, the quality of your EOI will then be assessed based on the criteria listed above.
Late or incomplete EOIs, including EOIs submitted with insufficient documentation, will not be assessed. If the EOI is approved, we will request a two-page Research Proposal. The Research Proposal should advance on your EOI, further developing your research idea and proposed methodology. To ensure your proposal is of the standard required for entry, we suggest you interrogate the research in your chosen area, ensure your proposal is founded in research and that clear gaps for future research have been identified.
The strength and quality of your Research Proposal will also be assessed, and supervisor availability will be determined.
Please be advised that Expressions of Interest and Research Proposals are run through software which identifies similarity rates to other submitted and published work. If your submission returns a high similarity rate, it will not be accepted and we will not review any resubmissions.
Applications can be rejected at any stage during the application process for a variety of reasons, ranging from not meeting the entry requirements, to the university being unable to supervise the project. Please be assured all efforts are made to carefully review and accommodate all applications.
What is required in a Higher Degree by Research?A Higher Degree by Research is an advanced program of study which requires the candidate to conduct independent research into a particular topic in their field, while being guided by a supervisory team. It requires the submission of a thesis comprised entirely of original work and submitted for examination at the end of the student’s candidature. The submitted thesis must demonstrate original and critical thought, contribute to the current body of knowledge in the student’s chosen area, and be clearly and coherently written.
What is the time commitment for a Higher Degree by Research?A full-time HDR course requires a 40-hour commitment each week. HDR students are entitled to four weeks of annual leave, and can apply for 12 months of additional leave due to exceptional circumstances such as illness or injury. Although the academic year at Torrens is divided into three trimesters, HDR students do not have trimester breaks and are expected to work consistently throughout the year.
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