Master of Science (Research)



The first of its kind to be offered at Deakin, the Master of Science (Research) comprises a unique combination of coursework and research, and is ideally suited to those seeking a pathway between undergraduate and PhD studies. You will develop expertise in a different but related discipline area from that of your undergraduate degree to build skills necessary for a professional career in research or industry.

The course offers a distinctive suite of specialisations to provide opportunities in advanced research training, specialised coursework and professional skills development. The first year of the course includes units related to the specialisation of your choice and is focused on research training and methods. The second year of the degree comprises a research thesis.

The flexibility offered by this course enables you to graduate with a specialised degree that has been customised to suit your research interests and career aspirations. You can choose one of the nine specialisations on offer and explore areas in engineering, information technology, biotechnology, frontier materials and nanotechnology, and sustainable regional development.

This course meets the growing need for well-trained scientists to work in applied, commercial and innovative industry environments and government organisations/departments.

As a graduate of this course you will be well-prepared for professional employment or further research training in fields aligned to your area of specialisation. Depending on the specialisation undertaken, you may find employment in a range of careers including policy development in government or non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as opportunities for industry researchers in engineering, information technology and frontier science.


Key facts

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6 (or equivalent). More information is available at


2 years full-time or part-time equivalent

Trimester 1

  • Start date: March
  • Available at:
    • Burwood (Melbourne)
    • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)

Trimester 2

  • Start date: July
  • Available at:
    • Burwood (Melbourne)
    • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)

Key information

Award granted

Master of Science (Research)


2017 course information

Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

Deakin code





Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)

Approval status

This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.

Australian Quality Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9.

Entry requirements

Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories.
In all categories of admission, selection is based primarily on academic merit as indicated by an applicant's previous academic record. The minimum requirements are successful completion of a three-year undergraduate degree, or equivalent, from an approved university or other educational institution or successful completion of other equivalent qualifications gained by examination, or approved professional or industrial experience. International students must also meet the postgraduate English language requirements.

A bachelor's degree in the appropriate science, engineering, or information technology field that is aligned with the chosen specialisation in the Master of Science (Research). The undergraduate qualification must be equivalent to an Australian degree of at least three years of full-time study with a minimum weighted average mark (WAM) or grade point average (GPA) of 65% in the final year units/subjects.

Career outcomes

The course prepares students for a career in research and industry.  Graduates from the proposed Master of Science (Research) will be well prepared to continue their doctoral studies at Deakin or elsewhere. 

Course learning outcomes

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes (DGLOs)

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

1. Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities: appropriate to the level of study related to a discipline or profession.

  • Demonstrate mastery and specialist knowledge through the application of scientific research principles and methodologies in the investigation of recent developments within a chosen field of study.
  • Plan and execute a substantial research project to demonstrate a deep understanding and mastery within that scientific field.
  • Creatively apply high-level technical and cognitive skills to research activities in a professional and/or academic setting in order to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of scientific methodologies pertinent to a field of study.
  • Demonstrate autonomy, well-developed judgement and responsibility to argue about characteristics and aspects of scientific research in the advancement of a discipline of science through the application of appropriate hypotheses, laws, facts and theories for investigation, testing, analysis, and evaluation of scientific data.

2. Communication: using oral, written and interpersonal communication to inform, motivate and effect change.

  • Present a reasoned argument that highlights essential details of scientific procedures, key observations, results and conclusions of scientific research in a professional manner using appropriate style, language and references including local, national, and international contributions or contexts.
  • Apply listening skills and effective communication skills to accommodate, encourage and answer questions from a range of audience and to defend research findings and scientific propositions.
  • Interpret the boundaries or limits of scientific information, experimental or field data, discuss error, probability, uncertainty, conclusions and arguments to justify theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions.

3. Digital literacy: using technologies to find, use and disseminate information.

  • Use well-developed technical skills, judgement and responsibility to independently locate, analyse, evaluate the merits of, synthesise and disseminate scientific literature in the planning and implementation of research projects.
  • Reflect on information, data and results and develop strategies for disseminating research outcomes in a digital world.

4. Critical thinking: evaluating information using critical and analytical thinking and judgment.

  • Appraise complex scientific methodologies and information using critical, analytical and logical reasoning from multiple perspectives for evaluating the merits of scientific methodologies, theoretical propositions and practice.
  • Formulate research questions to test and / or contest ideas, concepts and theoretical propositions through an evidence-based well-structured research project.

5. Problem solving: creating solutions to authentic
(real world and
ill-defined) problems.

  • Plan and implement scientific research investigation by using evidence to identify problems and by applying analysis and synthesis skills, and appropriate scientific methodologies to solve research and / or practice problems.
  • Demonstrate complex problem solving skills by identifying and creating solutions to real world ill-defined problems through scientific inquiry.
  • Contribute to advancements in scientific knowledge through mastery in the use of scientific instruments and techniques to device an investigation, and in the collection, interpretation, analysis, synthesis and dissemination of scientific results and conclusion.

6. Self-management: working and learning independently, and taking responsibility for personal actions.

  • Take personal, professional and social responsibility within changing national and international professional science contexts to develop autonomy as researchers and evaluate own performance.
  • Work autonomously, responsibly and safely to solve unstructured problems and actively apply knowledge of regulatory frameworks and scientific methodologies to make informed choices.

7. Teamwork: working and learning with others from different disciplines and backgrounds.

  • Work independently and collaboratively with advice from the supervisor towards achieving the outcomes of research project and thereby demonstrate interpersonal skills including the ability to brainstorm, negotiate, resolve conflicts, managing difficult and awkward conversations, provide constructive feedback and work in diverse professional, social and cultural contexts.

8. Global citizenship: engaging ethically and productively in the professional context and with diverse communities and cultures in a global context.

  • Apply scientific knowledge and skills with a high level of autonomy, judgement, responsibility and accountability in collaboration with the supervisor to articulate the place and importance of scientific inquiry in the local and global context.

Approved by Faculty Board 14 July 2016

Course Structure

To complete the Master of Science (Research), students must attain 16 credit points. Most units (think of units as ‘subjects’) are equal to 1 credit point. So that means in order to gain 16 credit points, you’ll need to study 16 units (AKA ‘subjects’) over your entire degree. Most students choose to study 4 units per trimester, and usually undertake two trimesters each year.

The 16 credit points include 4 core units (these are compulsory), 2 research thesis units (comprising 4 credit points each) and 4 units from a major study. You will be required to complete at least one major study as part of this course.


Core units


Research Thesis (4 credit points each)


Specialisation units




Year 1 - Trimester 1

  • Research Planning and Management SSC803 ^
  • Research Frontiers Project 1 SSC801 ^
  • Plus two units chosen from a specialism

    Year 1 - Trimester 2

  • Research Communication SSC804 ^
  • Research Frontiers Project 2 SSC802 ^
  • Plus two units chose from a specialism

    Year 2 - Trimester 1

  • Research Thesis 1 SSC805L (4cp)
  • Year 2 - Trimester 2

  • Research Thesis 2 SSC806L (4cp)
  • ^ units are available in both trimester 1 and trimester 2


    Refer to the details of each specialisation for availability.

    Frontier Sciences


    Information Technology

    Sustainable Regional Development


    How to apply

    Apply direct to Deakin

    Applications must be made directly to the University through the Applicant Portal. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the Apply web page. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

    Apply through Deakin

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    PDF Application form - 306 KB

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.

    Credit for Prior Learning

    Am I eligible to receive credit for prior learning?

    If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for credit for prior learning. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your credit for prior learning.
    Your credit for prior learning is formally approved prior to your enrolment at Deakin during the Enrolment and Orientation Program. You must bring original documents relating to your previous study so that this approval can occur.

    You can also refer to the Credit for Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.

    Fee information

    The tuition fees you pay are calculated depending on the course you choose.

    The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Credit for Prior Learning you have.

    Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

    Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships

    Offered campuses


    Just 30 minutes from the city centre, the Melbourne Burwood Campus is Deakin's thriving metropolitan campus.

    Geelong Waurn Ponds

    Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus is located on the western edge of Geelong, boasting expansive landscaped grounds.

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