Support for research students

Research skills

All research students should participate in the Higher Degrees by Research induction sessions and workshop series. Participants need to register to ensure they are informed about upcoming events and changes to scheduled events, via the Research Events Registration website. Presentations from many of the HDR workshops are available to download.

The School of Management and Marketing has designed research modules for students which are available to assist you.

Deakin University Library website has a Research Support page and Research Skills modules on a range of topics.

The Division of Student Life has an academic skills section in its web site with a range of guides and links to relevant information including:

  • editing;
  • critical analysis;
  • referencing; and
  • presentations.

Notes on Publishing your Research have been developed to guide you in identifying the best research journals in which to seek publication.

Professor Gus Geursen's Power Point presentation on The Treatment of Complex Literatures for Research [367KB Powerpoint], presented at Faculty of Business and Law seminars

Presentations on research methodology may be downloaded here:

Notes on preparing a poster presentation for a colloquium or conference may be downloaded here: How to Prepare a Poster [28KB DOC]

Presentations by Professor Ruth Rentschler may be downloaded here:

The Concluding Chapter [127KB PDF]

Effective Presentations [3.4MB PDF]

Managing research data

Research data are broadly defined as all data created by researchers in the course of their work. Research materials include, but are not limited to, physical samples, photographs, written or audio-visual recordings, artwork, questionnaires or other instruments, fieldwork notes, and other items which are either the sources of data or themselves constitute data in a research project.

Research data management includes all the activities associated with data other than using the data including data storage, backup, organisation, archival, sharing or publishing, security and collaboration.

Information on Management of research data at Deakin

Data management tools and help

IT support

Deakin eSolutions Top Tech Tips for HDR Students.

Confirmation of candidature

All HDR candidates are admitted on a provisional candidature basis and must satisfy the requirements for transferring to full candidature, which is referred to as "confirmation".

Details of the Deakin University Guidelines for Confirmation, including the compulsory Research Integrity training component, are available on the Current Research Students website.

Completed candidates

Deakin offers many resources for completed students to help assist them after they complete their candidature.

Contact Division of Student Life careers for more information.

Thesis support units

The Faculty of Business and Law offers units designed to support PhD, DBA and Masters by Research candidates to complete key stages of their thesis. These units aim to build on existing research training and research experience and to facilitate the development of a doctoral/masters-level thesis. The units involve two or three one-day workshops and are generally offered in Trimesters 1 and 2.

Higher Degree by Research candidates in Accounting, Economics or Finance may complete up to four units from a discipline-specific series in the first year of candidature as specified. Options for students in other disciplines are detailed below.

MPD911 Thesis Proposal

This unit is about the design of doctoral and Masters level business research projects. The unit covers:

  • Techniques for scoping a project from the initial research idea through to development of precise research questions.
  • The importance of identifying a research problem and formulating appropriate aims and objectives.
  • Ways in which research can make a contribution to knowledge.
  • various research paradigms and approaches to research.
  • The role of theory and the importance of a critical literature review (see MPD910) for supporting the development of research questions.
  • Issues about the data used to provide evidence to answer research questions/hypotheses.
  • Design of appropriate data collection regimes that take into account any ethical issues and the selection of appropriate methods for analysis.
  • Project management issues.

That is, the unit is designed to support the initial design and development of candidate's own research project. The result is the research proposal.

MPD911 is normally taken in the first trimester of the candidate's research project at the same time as MPD910.

MPD910 Thesis Literature Review

This unit deals with the practical aspects of critically evaluating existing knowledge in a selected business field, and effectively communicating, in a clear and persuasive way, insights gained from this assessment in a literature review. This capability is crucial for successful research projects at doctoral level.

The unit assists candidates to situate their proposed research and chosen research methods within the body of existing research within their discipline. This will allow them to make knowledgeable choices about methods for undertaking that research and to develop clear and relevant research questions, propositions or hypotheses.

The main output from the unit is a draft of the literature review chapter of the thesis. The work is usually also incorporated into the candidate's research proposal for MPD911.

MPD910 is normally taken in the first trimester of the candidate's research project at the same time as MPD911.

MPD912 Quantitative Thesis Research

This unit provides an overview of research methods used in quantitative business research projects. It aims to develop each student's ability to produce conceptually well-grounded, systematically-conducted and well-analysed quantitative research. At the end of this unit, students should be able to:

  • Design a research method that is appropriate for answering a quantitative research question including design of an appropriate way of identifying and selecting participants.
  • Development of an appropriate instrument for collecting the data.
  • Consideration of any ethical issues.
  • A plan for analysing the data.

This unit covers the basics of descriptive and inferential statistics. Students will develop a practical plan for obtaining specialist methods training in techniques such as ANOVA/MANOVA, factor analysis, regression, or structural equation modelling.

An important output from the unit is a draft of the methods chapter of the thesis.

The unit is normally taken after completion of MPD911 and MPD910. Candidates may undertake both MPD912 and MMD916.

MMD916 Thesis Method: Qualitative Research

This unit provides higher degree by research candidates with a grounding in the qualitative research methods used in a business discipline thesis. It covers practical aspects of interviewing and other methods for collecting qualitative data. We also investigate and discuss techniques for analysis of qualitative data.

The unit provides candidates with the skills and knowledge to write the methods chapter of their thesis. A draft of the methods chapter comprises the main output from the unit.

The written material will be linked to the literature review underlying the study and will address the research questions that flow from it. The unit is normally taken after completion of MPD911 and MPD910. Candidates may undertake both MPD912 and MMD916.

MPD914 Thesis Results Reporting

This unit is designed to assist students writing up the findings of a doctoral-level research project. The output can be an article suitable for publication in a practitioner or academic journal, an academic conference or be used as the results, findings and/or discussion chapters of your thesis. Purely conceptual articles are also acceptable. Students must consult with their supervisor and the unit chair to ensure that they choose the most appropriate type of document to write, and plan an appropriate set of drafts leading to the final document. Candidates may be required to attend writing workshop sessions.

The unit is normally undertaken after the candidate has collected the data for the research project and is 'write-up' stage.

Course requirements

  • DBA candidates must pass four of the units (MPD911, MPD910 plus two of the others) while working on their research project.
  • PhD candidates may be required to pass some of the units as part of their candidature agreement.


All the units are assessed to an ungraded pass (UP) level only. PhD candidates who enrol in MPD911 and MPD910 will receive an XA (result not yet finalised) in the units until their candidature is confirmed after which the result is changed to UP. The unit chair, in consultation with the candidate's supervisory team, will determine all other results for DBA and PhD students.

To accommodate the needs of different projects, some flexibility in the due dates of assessment tasks in the thesis support units is necessary. The supervisory team will normally be involved in setting due dates. Some submissions, especially the final submissions for MPD911 and MPD910, are often not in the trimester of enrolment.


Results are normally finalised by the end of the trimester following the unit of enrolment. The exception to this is for PhD students taking MPD911 and MPD910 which are finalised after confirmation. Full-time DBA students must finalise results within 10 months of the start of the trimester of enrolment.

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