University of Technology Sydney

023634 Honours Thesis 1

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Education: Initial Teacher Education
Credit points: 12 cp
Result type: Grade, no marks


In this subject students discuss and develop understandings and confidence to design and begin to implement a research study investigating an educational research question. Students develop their literature and methodology and undertake data collection and analysis. The subject culminates in 023635 Honours Thesis 2 with the submission of an honours thesis.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Developing an understanding of the structure of a thesis and a plan for seeing a thesis through to completion
b. Further development of their literature survey
c. Developing a methodology and methods to investigate it
d. Designing data gathering instruments
e. Implementing research in the field
f. Developing understanding of how to manage data and to analyse it
g. Understanding and applying appropriate project management skills

Teaching and learning strategies

Students will typically experience the learning in this subject through class discussion, short lectures, research in the field, reading and writing of theses, regular contact with supervisor.

Mode of Delivery
Two hour weekly class meetings over nine weeks, including a whole-day presentation of work-in-progress. Regular contact with supervisor.

Content (topics)

  • Complete ethics applications and responses;
  • Project management, including scheduling, time management, pacing, stress and conflict management.
  • Working with your supervisor.
  • Literature review – selecting, interpreting and critiquing literature;
  • Development of methodology – different paradigms, methods of data collection and analysis;
  • Developing and trialling data collection instruments
  • Issues concerning research in the field;
  • Making sense of data – analysis and findings;
  • Development of a thesis.


Assessment task 1: Assessment Tasks and Attendance Requirements

Required texts

No common text – reading should cover the designated research topic area and method. Students are expected to read widely from research journals and texts.


Highly Recommended

Bell, J. (2010). Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers in education andsocial science. (5th ed.). Maidenhead, England: Open University Press.

Lambert, M. (2012). A beginner's guide to doing your education research project. London: Sage.

Other useful texts (available in the UTS library)

Research methods - handbooks/overviews

Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research: meaning and perspective in the research process. St Leonards, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin.

McKenzie, G., Powell, J. & Usher, R. (Eds.) (1997). Understanding social research: perspectives on methodology and practice. London: Falmer.

Menter, I., Elliot, D., Hulme, M., Lewin, J. & Lowden, K. (2011). A guide to practitioner research in education. London: Sage.

Punch, K. (2009). Introduction to research methods in education. London : Sage.

Seale, C. (Ed.) (2004). Social research methods. London: Routledge.

Swann, J. & Pratt, J. (2003). Educational research in practice: making sense of methodology.London: Continuum.

Wellington, J. J. (2000). Educational research: contemporary issues and practical approaches. London: Continuum.

Research methods - practical (how to/fieldwork)

Adler, E. S. & Clark, R. (2003). How it's done: an invitation to social research. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Delamont, S. (1992). Fieldwork in educational settings: methods, pitfalls, and perspectives. London: Falmer Press.

Drew, C. J., Hardman, M. L. & Hosp, J. L. (2008). Designing and conducting research in education. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

Fraenkel, J. R. & Wallen, N. E. (2006). How to design and evaluate research in education. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Kayrooz, C. & Trevitt, C. (2005). Research in organisations and communities: tales from the real world. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Robson, C. (2002). Real world research: a resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers. Oxford, U.K: Blackwell.

Tuckman, B. W. (1999). Conducting educational research. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.

Research methods - mixed methods

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Creswell, J. W. & Plano Clark, V. L. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Neuman, W. L. (2003). Social research methods: qualitative and quantitative approaches. London: Allyn and Bacon.

Research methods - qualitative / general

Anfara, V. A.; Jr., Mertz. N. T. (Eds.) (2006). Theoretical frameworks in qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Bogdan, R. & Knopp Biklen, S. (1998). Qualitative research for education: an introduction to theory and methods. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Denzin, N. K. & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.) (2008). Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Janesick, V. J. (2003). "Stretching" exercises for qualitative researchers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Lichtman, M. (2010). Qualitative research in education: a user's guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Marshall, C. & Rossman, G. B. (2006). Designing qualitative research. Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage.

Richards, L. & Morse, J. M. (2007). Read me first for a user's guide to qualitative methods. London: Sage.

Silverman, D. (2006). Interpreting qualitative data: methods for analyzing talk, text and interaction. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Taylor, S. J. & Bogdan, R. (1998). Introduction to qualitative research methods: a guidebook and resource. New York: Wiley.

Research methods - qualitative / specific

Campbell A. & Groundwater-Smith, S. (Eds.) (2007). An ethical approach to practitioner research: dealing with issues and dilemmas in action research. London: Routledge.

Clandinin. D. J. (Ed.) (2007) Handbook of narrative inquiry: mapping a methodology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Geelan, D. (2003). Weaving narrative nets to capture classrooms: multimethod qualitative approaches for educational research. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic.

MacLure, M. (2003). Discourse in educational and social research. Philadelphia, PA: Open University.

Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Mertler, C. A. (2009). Action research: teachers as researchers in the classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Sagor, R. (1992). How to conduct collaborative action research. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Stake, R. E. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: design and methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Research methods - qualitative/tools

Foster, P. (1996). Observing schools: a methodological guide. London: Paul Chapman.

Seidman, I. (1998). Interviewing as qualitative research: a guide for researchers in education and the social sciences. New York: Teachers College Press.

Stewart, D. W., Shamdasani Prem, N. & Rook, D. W. (2007). Focus groups: theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Vaughn, S., Schumm, J. Shay & Sinagub, J. (1996). Focus group interviews in education and psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Research methods - quantitative

Black, T. R. (1999). Doing quantitative research in the social sciences: an integrated approach to research design, measurement and statistics. London: Sage.

Gorard, S. (2006). Quantitative methods in educational research: the role of numbers made easy. London: Continuum.

Peers, I. (1996). Statistical analysis for education and psychology researchers. Washington, DC: Falmer Press