Education a university for the real world

PhDs and research degrees

As a research student in our faculty you will be supervised by some of the best researchers in the education field in a world-class research environment. Our accredited supervisors include internationally recognised academics who are widely referenced.

You'll also be supported by our comprehensive research development and training framework, including academic writing, conference funding and publication support.

Research degrees

  • Master of Philosophy (Education): develop the skills you need to plan and write your thesis. This is the ideal course if you are a beginner researcher
  • Doctor of Education: this course is suitable for you if you've acquired knowledge and practical skills in your professional capacity, and you want to investigate an area of your expertise in depth
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Education): choose this course if you want to make an original and substantial contribution to knowledge in your field.

You can complete your thesis in one of a number of formats, including thesis by monograph, thesis by publication and thesis by creative work.

Scholarships and funding

Each year we award a number of scholarships to outstanding applicants as part of the QUT Annual Scholarship Round. Expressions of Interest must be submitted by Friday 20 September 2020. Applicants who are then invited to submit a full application must do so by Friday 30 October 2020.

In particular, we seek applications from students who want to research in our areas of strength, as represented by our research groups. Whatever your academic history and background, check and see if there are scholarships you can apply for.

What can I research?

Our academics have extensive experience supervising across a range of topics and fields of study.

See if our research areas match up with your research interests. If you want to investigate one of these areas, find out how to apply for a PhD or research masters degree at QUT.

Childhoods in changing contexts

Our research in this area is conducted by our Childhood in Changing Contexts Research Group.

Children as active citizens

  • learning for active citizenship, sustainability, and social justice
  • the arts in children's learning and wellbeing
  • parenting and parent involvement in early childhood
  • early childhood social emotional development and learning.

Children in cultural and multilingual contexts

  • cultural and multilingual contexts and childhoods
  • communication / interaction in early childhood contexts
  • cultural and intercultural competence in early childhood education and care
  • children engaging with digital technologies in home/school/community contexts
  • digital technologies and play and learning
  • technology innovation in the early years
  • digital Gaming in the early years
  • digital technologies and curriculum and pedagogy in the early years
  • social interactions around digital technologies
  • racism, Whiteness, Reconciliation.

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce

  • teaching and learning in rural contexts
  • early childhood education and care workforce and the work of early childhood teachers
  • early childhood policy and teachers’ work.


  • transition to school
  • design and evaluation of early childhood, school-based or parenting interventions, programs, policies, practices, and initiatives
  • rhythm and movement for self-regulation.

Teacher education and professional learning

Our research in this area is conducted by our Teacher Education and Professional Learning Research Group.

Teacher education

  • ensuring classroom readiness in teacher education
  • professional learning for quality teaching
  • regional, rural and remote education
  • international comparative studies of teacher education: Policy and practice.

Responding to external agencies

  • standards and accreditation reform in initial teacher education
  • understanding evidence of impact: methodologies linking initial teacher education to teacher performance
  • professionalism, professional standards, policy, accreditation, impact.

Teaching for social justice and diversity

  • social justice in initial teacher education and/or professional learning: Classroom-ready teachers for diverse and disadvantaged communities
  • exploring graduate teachers'  preparedness to teach children from diverse learning groups: Understanding professional decision making through the lens of epistemic reflexivity.

Professional and practice-based learning

  • professional experience in initial teacher education
  • promoting preservice teachers’ preparedness to teach children from diverse learning groups: a focus on reflexivity in professional experience
  • evaluating professional learning partnerships designed to support early career teachers.

Literacies, language, texts and technologies

Our research in this area is conducted by our Literacies, Language, Texts and Technologies Research Group.

Literacy practices (early childhood, primary, secondary and higher education)

  • grammar, reading and writing pedagogies
  • content-area or curriculum literacies
  • literacy curriculum, policy and school reform
  • critical literacies
  • language and sociology of education
  • literacies and philosophy
  • literature and e-literature for children and adolescents.

Digital literacies, media and multimodality

  • visual culture and image theory
  • media and digital arts
  • mobile digital media
  • literacies and artificial intelligence
  • multi-literacies
  • arts education
  • socio-material approaches
  • blended learning
  • information literacy
  • connected learning
  • online learning.

Language and difference

  • literacy and poverty/economic disadvantage
  • minority or urban communities of practice
  • transnational literacies
  • intercultural capacity
  • private tutoring, supplementary education
  • critical language awareness and critical applied linguistics
  • representation of diverse sexualities
  • language and identities.

STEM education

Our research in this area is conducted by our STEM Education Research Group.

  • STEM integration in schools and classrooms
  • STEM integration of STEM and arts
  • indigenous education in STEM
  • STEM education in VET for future employment
  • emotions in STEM learning
  • STEM learning communities
  • STEM learning spaces and technology
  • STEM and student diversity
  • teaching and learning in higher education STEM courses
  • STEM and entrepreneurialism education
  • STEM learning spaces and technology
  • STEM and robotics education
  • science HDR project topics
    • emotion and science inquiry
    • emotion management/regulation and learning science
    • emotion management/regulation and science inquiry
    • science teachers’ emotions, social bonds and science learning
    • social relationships and science learning
    • social bonds and science learning
    • improving student engagement with science.
  • earth and environmental science education
    • pedagogical approaches
    • development of learning progressions for geological phenomena
    • predicting and explaining students pro-environmental behaviour.
  • mathematics HDR project topics
    • numeracy in special education
    • mathematics learning in the early years
    • mathematical modelling and problem solving
    • statistics and probability
    • mathematics curriculum design
    • mathematical thinking, reasoning, and learning across the school years.
  • technology HDR project topics
    • computational thinking including coding
    • robotics education
  • engineering education

Student engagement, learning and behaviour

Our research in this area is conducted by our Student Engagement, Learning and Behaviour Research Group.

  • investigating the prevalence of, reasons for and alternatives to informal suspension and restrictive practices in Australian schools.
  • how inclusive is the use of new technologies in education? Investigating BYOD, flipped learning and app use in schools.
  • what can we learn from parents of students with disability about parent-school partnerships?
  • improving senior secondary school achievement outcomes for students with ADHD and Developmental Language Disorder.
  • what impact, if any, is technological disruption, automation and AI having on young peoples’ future decision-making?
  • testing NAPLAN: investigating the generation and use of student achievement data in QLD schools.
  • what counts as a "supplementary" adjustment? Investigating teachers' understandings of 'reasonable adjustments' and knowledge of the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD).
  • what are the most common behaviour management practices used in Australian schools and to what extent do these respect the rights of the child?
  • how is student voice enabled in schools, whose voices are heard, and what level of input do students want in relation to decisions impacting their schooling experiences?
  • identifying evidence and testing effectiveness: How can schools best support junior secondary students with low literacy and numeracy skills?

Some supervisors are actively recruiting students in other topic areas.

See available topics

Find out how to apply

Support for research students

You will be supervised by the best researchers in the education field. Among our accredited supervisors, we have internationally recognised academics who've published books, journal articles and government reports, which are widely referenced. Many of our researchers edit national and international education journals.

Our research students are supported by a variety of services, including:

  • a comprehensive program of face-to-face and online training and development opportunities
  • opportunities to receive international exposure for your research findings through the QUT Digital Repository
  • research support funding
  • domestic and international conference financial support
  • desk and computer for full-time students
  • short-term laptop loan
  • photocopying, limited stationery items, telephone and fax for project-related activities.


Faculty of Education - Graduate Research Centre

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