UTS site search
UTS:Education students working on a teaching device

Postgraduate research degree


As an HDR student, you’ll become part of a vibrant research culture within the School of Education. You’ll attend campus-based block courses in the first year, seminars, and structured activities provided throughout your candidature. You’ll also be challenged to think about your research in the context of industry, professional and community settings. This external focus and our emphasis on pursuing research with impact is a hallmark of research at UTS.

Indigenous research students

The School of Education strongly encourages applications from Indigenous students wishing to explore issues relating to education. We work closely with colleagues from the Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges (CAIK) and remain committed to widening participation and meeting the ambitious aims of the UTS Indigenous Education Strategy 2015–2018. Please contact Dr Christopher Lawrence from the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning for more information.


The following courses are available:

Choose from full-time and part-time study modes.

Research areas

Research in the School of Education is divided into three key streams:

Your research project should be aligned with existing research activity and supervision expertise within the School.

Teacher learning, STEM education, innovative futures

Researchers in this stream have strong international reputations in the areas of mathematics, science and technology education. We currently lead or contribute to major national and international research projects. Some of these include:

  • Maths Inside — concerned with promoting engagement in mathematics,
  • an ARC Discovery Grant investigating hand held technologies in science and mathematics
  • projects with industry leaders such as Microsoft on learning with handheld technologies.

We work extensively with NSWDEC and other NSW schools. Teacher learning, school partnerships and teacher induction and mentoring are also areas in which our researchers have expertise.

Suggested contacts: Professor Sandy Schuck, Associate Professor John Buchanan, Dr Anne Prescott.

Practice, learning, change and innovation in professional and workplace settings

Research in this stream is focused on applying and developing new theoretical approaches to education including sociomaterial and practice-based perspectives. Our agenda focuses on how professional practices are changing, and what this means for learning at work and higher education. Key changes include new relationships between professions and service users (partnership, coproduction), interprofessional and interagency practice, and new technology. This program of work contributes to UTS’s international reputation as a leader in research on adult and vocational education and workplace learning.

Our current and recent projects include studies of:

  • Collective learning in a multicultural health service
  • Simulation-based teaching and learning in undergraduate nursing education
  • Professional expertise and reciprocal learning in services for parents with young children.

We welcome applications from students who are interested in applying contemporary theoretical lenses to studies of learning and change in their own professional fields, or whose research interests align with the ongoing projects listed above.

Suggested contacts: Dr Ann Reich, Dr Donna Rooney, Dr Nick Hopwood

TESOL, applied linguistics, language literacy and numeracy

Research in this stream addresses the way languages are used, understood and taught in the contemporary world. We are interested in bilingual ways of teaching and learning, and in the role of digital technologies in language pedagogy. Our research is focused on multimodal communication and multi-literacies and numeracies.

Key research areas include:

  • academic writing
  • technological mediation of language and multimodal communication
  • meaning making potential in body language
  • early literacy development in disadvantaged communities
  • language and development in international contexts
  • community language maintenance
  • gender and language education
  • multilingual practices in urban spaces.

Current projects and publications include studies of urban multilingualism (metrolingualism), gender, masculinity and English language teaching, literacy and numeracy policies, academic writing, and English pedagogies in Southeast Asia.

Suggested contacts: Professor Alastair Pennycook, Associate Professor Sue Hood, Dr Jacquie Widin

Other research topics and areas

The School supports diverse educational research, and there may be opportunities to pursue topics not listed above. In this case, you should contact particular supervisors with relevant expertise. Please bear in mind not all supervisors have capacity to take on new students every year. All applications must be supported by two ‘Category 1’ supervisors with spare capacity — read more in our How to Apply section.

Postgraduate research degree area

What the students say

Raviro Chineka, UTS:Education Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) studentRaviro Chineka
Doctor of Philosophy, Education

“I tried a number of universities in Australia and elsewhere but UTS stood out as the university of choice.”

Tracey-Ann Palmer, UTS:Education Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) studentTracey-Ann Palmer
Doctor of Philosophy, Education

“Being allowed to be creative and work in a way that suited my style was very important. UTS had the perfect people … they were sensational!“

Anne Nguyen, UTS Master of Education studentAnne Nguyen
Master of Education (Research)

“Access to new and exciting research has offered me a unique advantage in my career as a practitioner and a researcher.”

Sirinut Sawatdeenarunat, UTS Doctor of Philosophy, Education studentSirinut Sawatdeenarunat
Doctor of Philosophy, Education

“As a research student, you are no longer told what to do and when to do it, instead, you take initiative to your studies”

Further information

Please direct administrative and procedural questions to Margaret McGrath.

If you have other questions, relating to your topic, developing a proposal, finding a supervisor, please use the suggested contacts listed above, or contact Nick Hopwood, the HDR Coordinator for the School of Education.

See more on key research areas within the School of Education.

How to apply

All applications for postgraduate research degrees must be submitted to the Graduate Research School. Please visit the Graduate Research School website for application information.