University of Technology Sydney

028287 Doing Your Research Project 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 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Education: Professional Learning
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade, no marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


After completing two coursework subjects, in the previous year, about planning and undertaking empirical research and a literature review, in this subject students begin working with a thesis supervisor. The supervisor supports students to complete their ethics applications that were commenced in the previous session, finalise their methodology for their empirical research, undertake data collection and analysis, and complete a first full draft of their literature review. The subject culminates in 028288 Doing your Research Project 2 with the submission of an honours thesis.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Prepare and follow a project management plan for seeing a thesis through to completion
b. Develop and justify a research question and methodology
c. Critically review relevant literature
d. Conduct and manage a research project in a manner consistent with research ethics requirements and guidelines
e. Analyse data and formulate findings

Teaching and learning strategies

The main teaching and learning activity will be supported and advice provided by an academic supervisor who typically works with one or two students. The supervisor and student will meet at least four times during the semester and have email correspondence. There is a half-day research symposium in the final week of the semester when all students present their research-in-progress to peers and academic staff members.

Content (topics)

1. Development of methodology – different paradigms, methods of data collection and analyses;

2. Literature review – selecting, interpreting and critiquing literature;

3. Issues concerning research in the field;

4. Making sense of data – analysis and findings;

5. Development of a thesis, including structural procedural and ethical issues; and

6. Project management, including scheduling, time management, pacing, stress and conflict management.

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.

Recommended texts

Bell, J. (2010). Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers in education and social 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)

Other resources

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.

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.