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School of Education and Professional Studies

Masters Dissertation

(continuing students only)

2014

HANDBOOK

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Updated 19th August 2014

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Program convenors

School of Education and Professional Studies

5129 Master of Education

Dr Paula Jervis-Tracey (Mt Gravatt) Ph: 07 3735 5848

p.jervis-tracey@griffith.edu.au 5117 Master of Education Dr Sue Whatman (Gold Coast) Ph: 07 5552 9240

s.whatman@griffith.edu.au

5114 Master of Special Needs and Intervention Education Dr Michael Davies

Ph: 07 3735 5623

m.davies@griffith.edu.au

5115 Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics/TESOL Dr Indika Liyanage

Ph: 07 373 55950

i.liyanage@griffith.edu.au

5122 Master of Arts with Honours in Applied Linguistics/TESOL Associate Professor Rod Gardner

Ph: 07 3735

3472 r.gardner@griffith.edu.au

5411 Master of Training and Development Dr Mark Tyler

Ph: 07 3735 5991 m.tyler@griffith.edu.au

5403 Master of Applied Theatre and Drama Education with Honours Associate Professor Julie Dunn

Ph: 07 3735

5720 j.dunn@griffith.edu.au 5575 Master of Autism Studies Dr Amanda Webster

Ph: 07 373 55766

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To postgraduate students

Welcome to the School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University. It is a pleasure and a privilege to include you in a School with a growing reputation in education and research. Students completing the research component in the Masters programs offered by the School of Education and Professional Studies undertake a 40 Credit Point (CP) dissertation. These programs include:

• Master of Education

• Master of Special Needs and Intervention Education • Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics/TESOL

• Master of Arts with Honours in Applied Linguistics/TESOL • Master of Applied Theatre and Drama Education

• Master of Applied Theatre and Drama Education with Honours • Master of Training and Development

• Master of Autism Studies

A dissertation does three things. First, it is an important research training process. Second, it is a means of building and extending your professional knowledge. Finally, your research contributes to the ongoing development of education, applied linguistics, drama and training and development. Through your work you participate in a professional and research community of scholars. As your work will contribute to the body of knowledge in your chosen discipline, we encourage you to discuss publishing your work with your supervisors.

The purpose of this handbook is to provide you with a guide while you undertake your research and prepare your dissertation. It includes information that will help you select supervisors and maintain a working relationship with them. It provides information about conducting research, preparing your dissertation and submitting it for examination. In addition the handbook also outlines the material resources that are available through the School and the University, as well as detailing administrative procedures.

We hope that you will access the available services and participate in School activities, and that this handbook will assist the academic and administrative aspects of your research endeavour. Please feel free to ask questions if you are uncertain about anything. We value any suggestions or feedback that you may have. We look forward to your participation in, and contribution to, the School. We wish you well in your studies and research.

Best of luck with your future studies!

Dr Christopher Klopper, DMus MMus BMus(Hons) HDE Director (Postgraduate Studies & Higher Degree Research)

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Table of Contents

What is a dissertation?

...6

Entry

...7

Prerequisites

...7

Enrolment in the Dissertation

...7

Core Research Courses

...8

Managing Your Enrolment

...9

Approval of Dissertation; Approval of Changes

...9

Duration of Program

...9

Leave of Absence and Extension

...9

Termination

...9

Getting Started

...10

Choosing a Dissertation Topic

...10

Changing a Dissertation or Project Topic

...10

Supervision

...11

Selecting a Supervisor ………

...11

The Supervisory Relationship

...11

Supervisor’s Responsibilities

...11

Student's Responsibilities

...11

Dissertation Proposal …

...12

Gaining Ethical Clearance

...12

Ethical Considerations

...12

Academic Misconduct

...12

Examples of plagiarism include:

…...12

Penalties

...13

Ethical Clearance

...13

Seek Advice

...13

Prepare an Application

...13

Submit the Application

...13

Approval

...14

Progress reports

...14

Data storage and archiving

...14

Writing the Dissertation

...15

Criteria for Effective Writing

...15

Chapter Structure and Headings

...15

Introduction and Literature Review

...16

Methods and Results

...16

Final Chapter

...16

References

...16

Appendices

...16

Preparation and Format

...17

Referencing and bibliographic details

...18

Submitting the Dissertation

...18

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Submission

...19

Extensions to the submission date

...

.

19

The Examination

...19

Examiners

...19

The Examination Process

...20

Assessment Criteria

……...20

Award of Grade

...20

Award of Masters Classification

...21

Appeals

...21

Finalising the process

...22

Digital Submission of Dissertation and Related Materials

...22

Resources during enrolment

...23

Workshops and Training

...23

Endnote

...23

Library Catalogue and Library Databases

...23

Interlibrary Loans…

...23

Copying & Printing Services

...23

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What is a Dissertation?

A dissertation:

• should be a coherent exposition of a research study;

• should follow an ordered sequence in which the research objectives, relationship to other

scholarly work, methodology and strategies employed, and the results obtained are identified, analysed and evaluated;

• should include a discussion of the conclusions or results;

• may take any of a number of forms, depending on the field, e.g., a report, an argument, or a

critique; and

• is intended, among other things, to demonstrate the student's capacity to report on the research

in a clear and succinct manner.

The dissertation is completed during enrolment in the four 10CP dissertation courses.

The dissertation may be completed in one semester of full-time study or up to four semesters of part-time study. That is, students may enrol in one course, or in all four courses, in any one semester.

It is recognised that the extent of a dissertation or project may vary according to the topic and the discipline. Students are advised to consult with their supervisor regarding appropriate word limits or expectations concerning the amount of work to be produced. A 40CP dissertation would normally be expected to be approximately 20,000 – 25,000 words and take 520 hours work (1CP = 13 hours). The dissertation builds on previously studied research course/s that have developed student’s understandings of methodology and design. The main objective of the dissertation is to provide students with the opportunity to engage in a major piece of research in education. By doing this they will come to understand better the nature and dynamics of education, and gain practice in a formal research method, as well as investigating a significant area of knowledge, question or problem in the field that is relevant to the student’s specific program.

The dissertation will be assessed by experts in the field who will have an expectation that the dissertation meets the commonly accepted standards for a piece of academic research in their field. It is expected that any written component will be in English.

The due date for submission of the dissertation is normally the end of week 13 of the final semester of the candidature.

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Entry

Prerequisites

1. Students must complete the research option courses listed in their program structure. 2. Students will seek advice from the relevant program convenor to identify a potential research

topic and an appropriate supervisor.

3. Students must complete the compulsory courses offered in the program’s research options e.g.

7267EDN Research Methods in Education and/or 7015EDN Educational Research Design.

4. Progression to the dissertation is subject to the discretion of the relevant program convenor. Before acceptance into the dissertation component, students would normally have completed all the core courses and electives and achieved at least a grade of 5 in the research core courses and a cumulative GPA of 5 in the relevant program.

Enrolment in the Dissertation

Students enrol in the dissertation by enrolling in one, or more, of the dissertation offered in the relevant program. Enrolment in part 1 of the dissertation course is restricted. Students will complete the following steps:

1. Nominate topic and supervisor.

2. Complete the Nomination of Dissertation Topic & Supervisor and Request to Undertake a

Restricted Course which both can be downloaded from the Education website under resources http://www.griffith.edu.au/education/postgraduate/

3. Obtain the supervisors’ agreement both to supervise the dissertation and to sign both forms.

4. Meet with the program convenor who will approve/disapprove the enrolment and sign the forms. The following material should be brought to the meeting:

• evidence of GPA;

Signed Nomination of Dissertation Topic and Supervisor for Masters Dissertation form; and Signed Request to Undertake a Restricted Course

5. Return signed Request to Undertake a Restricted Course form to the Student Administration for processing.

6. Finalise, and submit the Nomination of Dissertation Topic and Supervisor for Masters

Dissertation form and a dissertation proposal to edn-rhdr@griffith.edu.au by week 3 of the semester of enrolment in part 1 of the dissertation course.

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Core Research Courses

One or two of the following research course/s must be completed before enrolling in the dissertation with at least a grade of 5.

Master of Education, Master of Special Needs and Intervention Education, Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics TESOL/Master of Arts with Honours in Applied Linguistics TESOL, Master of Training and Development and Master of Autism Studies:

7015EDN Educational Research Design

This course is directed towards professionals who have either a background or interest in educational research and who are intending to undertake the 40 credit point Dissertation. The course engages students and the lecturer in group discussions focused on the development of a research proposal. Topics include problem definition, critical literature review, research paradigms, critical evaluation of research proposals, concept mapping, development of a research program and proposal.

7267EDN Research Methods in Education

Research Methods in Education will support you in gaining a basic understanding of the nature of social science research within education including the variety of approaches used in research and the assumptions and underlying paradigms inherent in each of these. This course is designed to introduce you to educational research so that you will be able to read such research critically, to interpret its findings and consider applications in your own area of work. It will provide you with basic skills in a range of data analysis tools as a way to facilitate your understanding of educational research and to support the development of your own research projects. The legitimacy and value of educational research is explored firstly through a consideration of what research is and how it has been applied in education and then through a consideration of quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches available. The course provides experiences in the application of both quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches, aiding in gaining an appreciation of their appropriate use.

Master of Applied Theatre and Drama Education with Honours: 7269EDN Drama Research Methods

Drama Research Methods forms a core component of the Master of Drama Education and Applied Theatre (Honours) Program. It introduces students to the key dimensions of qualitative research, whilst also providing an overview of a range of research methodologies that have been applied to studies in and about drama education and applied theatre. This course precedes the Thesis Proposal course and is aimed at providing students with some insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the key methodologies they might apply in their dissertations.

7270EDN Thesis Proposal

Students undertaking this course must have completed an approved research methods course, preferably one that introduced them to a range of research methodologies that have been applied to studies in and about drama education and applied theatre. The objective of this course is to utilise these paradigms, methodologies and methods to develop a research proposal that will form the basis for the research work to be carried out within the 40 Credit point masters with honours dissertation. Involving one on one supervision sessions with an academic from the Applied Theatre/Drama

Education team, students will identify an area of interest and a specific research focus. A period of independent study will then follow, with the student conducting a literature review to support their understanding of this focus area. In consultation with the supervisor, the student will then make methodological decisions including selection of an appropriate research context. Ethical issues relevant to this context and/or approach will also be examined. The course also offers opportunities for the development of enhanced oral and written communication skills, problem solving skills and analysis and critical evaluation skills.

Program structures can be located via the Griffith University homepage “Current Students” under “Programs & Courses” https://www148.griffith.edu.au/programs-courses/

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Managing Your Enrolment

Approval of Dissertation; Approval of Changes

A student who wishes to make significant changes to the proposed topic should first discuss them with the supervisor and then apply in writing to the relevant program convenor for the Masters degree for permission. The relevant program convenor will advise the student in writing that the request for the proposed change to the dissertation topic has been approved or not.

Duration of Program

Students may be required to complete the non-AQF compliant program by December 2016 or will be required to transfer to the new AQF compliant programs. To check the requirements for the relevant program check details under Progressing, transferring or exiting in the program structure.

Leave of Absence and Extension

The maximum time allocated for completion of Masters programs is inclusive of any periods of leave. A student may request Leave of Absence however approval will be subject to the maximum time given to complete a non-compliant AQF Masters program.

The program convenor for the Masters degree may approve an extension of time to submit the dissertation no greater than 20 working days on the grounds of illness, accident, disability, bereavement or other compassionate circumstances. In granting the extension, the program convenor is to ensure the length of the extension is commensurate with the time the student was unable to work on their dissertation. Due sponsorships and visa requirements, international students are required to gain approval from the International Centre prior to the extension request.

Termination

Your enrolment in the Masters dissertation shall be terminated, if:

• You advise that you wish to withdraw from the Masters dissertation; or

• You withdraw from the dissertation without having obtained leave of absence; or • You fail to lodge your dissertation by the prescribed due date, including any approved

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Getting Started

Choosing a Dissertation Topic

In choosing a dissertation or practical topic, the following questions should be considered:

• Is there a recognised need for research in the area? • Is the research achievable within the allocated time?

• Does the topic match the student's capabilities and interests? • Is the research area open to further professional development?

• Are research facilities and/or data available to the student to undertake all necessary research

in the topic area?

Supervisors can be helpful to the student by assuring that the topic:

• Is appropriate and will lead to a dissertation at Honours and Masters level; and

• Is within the capacity of the student to handle successfully while promising to extend the

student’s research skill and discipline knowledge.

Changing a Dissertation or Project Topic

Usually, the application of the above criteria in the definition of a dissertation topic will ensure the suitability of the topic. Nevertheless, it is recognised that in exceptional circumstances, the research area agreed to by the supervisors and the student, and approved by the program convenor and the Dean, Learning and Teaching may prove to be inappropriate because it does not fulfill one or more of the above criteria. In such circumstances, it is the supervisors’ responsibility to help the student define a more promising research area. A proposal to change a dissertation topic must be made jointly by the supervisor and the student. A change of topic may necessitate a change of supervisors. A student who wishes to make significant changes to the proposed topic should first discuss them with the supervisor and then apply by email to the relevant program convenor for permission using the Supervisor/Topic Nomination form.

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Supervision

Selecting a Supervisor

In selecting a supervisor, the following questions should be considered:

• this person well acquainted with the topic of the research?

• Does the person have an active interest in the proposed area of research?

• Is this person's working style compatible with completion of an independent piece of research in

a short timeframe?

• Is this person's theoretical framework compatible with the focus of the research? • Is the person available for the entire supervisory period?

• Is the person appropriately qualified in the relevant discipline for the purpose of supervising the

dissertation?

The Griffith Education staff research profiles and the Griffith Education research projects will help you to identify Griffith Education staff who research in your area of interest and who may be willing to supervise your dissertation.

http://research-hub.griffith.edu.au/researchers#fq={!tag=classgroup}classgroup%3AvitroClassGroupresearchers

It would also be helpful to read a potential supervisor’s publications. You can find published work by Griffith academics in Griffith Research Online, Griffith University's institutional repository for

published research material. It is available at http://www98.griffith.edu.au/dspace/.

The Supervisory Relationship

A supervisory relationship is a qualitatively different form of teaching and learning. At the Masters degree level it is assumed that:

• the student will generate much of the direction for the dissertation; • the student will be able to work independently for most of the time.

The relationship between the student and supervisor by its very nature is relatively unstructured. It is meant to meet the diverse needs of students and to be able to deal with the range of individual issues which arise at any time during the production of the research work.

The dissertation is normally undertaken at the University. Students will have one supervisor, however an additional supervisor may be appointed where appropriate. For research-based projects within the Masters degree, the supervision context is individually based.

The supervisor of dissertations and research-based projects within the Masters degree is to be appropriately qualified in the relevant discipline for the purpose of supervising the dissertation, normally involved in research, and a member of the Group and/or School that hosts the degree program in which the student is enrolled.

Supervisor’s Responsibilities

• recognising that the supervisor has a responsibility to ensure the research training is conducted

in an effective manner;

• establishing regular meeting times, identifying a timetable for completion of the various

elements of the research proposal, and specifying when written work is to be completed so that progress can be monitored;

• establishing a clear relationship between all parties if there are two supervisors; • providing adequate feedback, both in terms of the timing and comments;

• providing guidance as to the delineation of a clear topic, methods to use for the research, the

relevant body of literature to consult and the timing of the research and writing aspects of the project; and

• keeping notes of advice given at meetings.

Student's Responsibilities

• submitting draft work in a readable form, and indicating briefly where the piece of work fits

into the plan of the dissertation as a whole;

• attending meetings with a set of clear questions to be answered; and • keeping notes of advice given at meetings.

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In the majority of cases, it is expected that students and their supervisor(s) will be able to

establish and maintain a close consultative relationship. It is recognised, however, that there may be occasions when differences of a personal or professional nature may militate against the development of a productive working relationship. Should problems of this nature arise, students should immediately bring this to the attention of the relevant Program convenor and ask him/her to consider appointing an alternative supervisor.

Dissertation Proposal

If an application for admission is approved, a student will be required to produce a written proposal of the research to be carried out. This process is undertaken in consultation with the proposed

supervisor. The proposal should indicate:

• the field of research;

• the research question(s) to be addressed; • the anticipated outcome(s);

• the research method(s); and • an indicative bibliography.

The purpose of the proposal is to protect the student from investing effort in an impractical research project. Since it takes several weeks to approve a proposal, it is absolutely critical that students begin to develop the proposal by the end of week 3.

The proposed supervisor's comments on the proposal will be submitted to the program convenor for the Masters degree and the candidature confirmed or the student asked to resubmit the proposal.

Gaining Ethical Clearance

Ethical Considerations

Students are expected to maintain high standards in the conduct of their research. Students must conduct their studies at the University honestly, ethically and in accordance with accepted standards of academic conduct. Their research must adhere to ethical principles and be approved by the Griffith University Human Research Ethics Committee.

Academic Misconduct

University Policy states that any form of academic conduct that is contrary to accepted standards is academic misconduct for which the University may penalise a student. Specifically it is academic misconduct for a student to:

• present copied, falsified or improperly obtained data as if it were the result of laboratory

work, field trips or other investigatory work;

• include in the student’s individual work material that is the result of significant assistance from

another person if the assistance was unacceptable according to the instructions or guidelines for that work;

• assist another student in the presentation of the student’s individual work in a way that is

unacceptable according to the instructions or guidelines for that work;

• cheat (Cheating is dishonest conduct in assessment); and

• plagiarise (Plagiarism is knowingly presenting the work or property of another person as if

it were your own).

Examples of plagiarism include:

• word for word copying of sentences or paragraphs from one or more sources which are the

work or data of other persons (including books, articles, thesis, unpublished works, working papers, seminar and conference papers, internal reports, lecture notes, or tapes) without clearly identifying their origin by appropriate referencing; and

• closely paraphrasing sentences or paragraphs from one or more sources without

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• using another person’s ideas, work or research data without appropriate

acknowledgment;

• submitting work which has been produced by someone else on the student’s behalf as if it

were the work of the student;

• copying computer files in whole or in part without indicating their origin;

• submitting work that has been wholly or partially derived from another student’s work by a

process of mechanical transformation. For example changing variable; and

• names in computer programs. Please be aware that the University has access to text matching

software, and supervisors may submit your work for text matching. As a developmental exercise, you may find that text matching reports can assist in improving your methods of using and citing sources.

Penalties

On determination that academic misconduct has taken place, the penalty that may be imposed on the student is one or more of the following:

• a reduced or nil result for the assessment item affected by the academic

misconduct;

• a fail grade for the program in which academic misconduct occurred; • exclusion from enrolment in the program for a specified period; • exclusion from the program; and

• readmission to the program is at the discretion of the School based on consideration of the

student’s case for readmission.

Where a student has been found guilty of academic misconduct on more than one occasion and has previously been penalised, the penalty shall normally be exclusion from the program, unless in the opinion of the relevant Assessment Board there are mitigating circumstances.

Ethical Clearance

Students need to discuss the ethical implications of their proposed methods and the approvals they will need to obtain from relevant ethics committees with their supervisors. All possible ethical issues that are raised by the research should be addressed including: doing participants /

programs no physical, psychological or social harm; confidentiality; consent; storage of data; etc. Students must apply for approval early, as proposals can take one or two months to be processed. Students cannot commence the data collection activities for which ethics approval is required until approval has been formally given.

Seek Advice

Students’ supervisors will provide guidance about the ethics approval application process. Advice must be in accordance with the guidelines set out by Griffith University. These can be accessed on-line at the following site: http://www.griffith.edu.au/research/research-services/research-ethics-integrity/human. The University has established Committees to review the ethical aspects of research involving human participants. Applicants are encouraged to read the Griffith University Human Research Manual before preparing an application. For further information please contact the Research Services on (07) 5552 9251 or email research-ethics@griffith.edu.au.

Prepare an Application

Any research that requires ethics clearance must be submitted for scrutiny. A standardised

application form must be used. This is accessed on-line via the Griffith Portal Research/Ethics/My Ethics. Note that the consent and information package detailed in the guide must be used as part of an application. Principal supervisors are responsible for the ethical conduct of students’ research therefore the supervisor must be ‘Chief Investigator’ and the student the ‘Student Investigator’ on any ethics applications. Make sure the completed application is reviewed and signed by the principal supervisor and the Head of School or Centre Director before submission to the Office of Research.

Submit the Application

Applications are submitted via the online application form. Booklets 01, 02 and 03 of the Human Research Ethics Manual will assist students and supervisors in understanding human research ethics at Griffith University.

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Approval

Notification of the Committee’s decision is made to the principal supervisor who will contact the student. Any requests for further information or modification to the proposal must be made before the student conducts any data collection.

Progress reports

Students are required to provide the Ethics Committee with ongoing and final reports as stipulated in the Human Research Ethics Manual.

Data storage and archiving

There are nationally recognised standards for the storage of all research data. Guidelines for these standards can be accessed via the Research Services. http://www.griffith.edu.au/research/research-services/research-ethics-integrity/research-integrity/data-management. Data must be securely stored for a period of five years following publication of research. While individuals may keep personal copies of data other storage is required. Secure storage is usually required in the School inwhich the research was conducted. Students need to identify and submit data for storage. Details can be discussed with the supervisor.

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Writing the Dissertation

A dissertation should be a coherent exposition of a research study and follow an ordered sequence in which the research objectives, relationship to other scholarly work, methodology and strategies employed, and the results obtained are identified, analysed and evaluated. The main text should include a discussion of the conclusions or results. The dissertation may take any of a number of forms, depending on the field, e.g., a report, an argument, or a critique. The dissertation or body of studio work or performance will be assessed by experts in the field who will have an expectation that the dissertation meet the commonly accepted standards for a piece of academic research in their field. It is expected that any written component will be in English.

The following strategies may be employed in the work leading to the submission of a dissertation or its equivalent:

• definition or location of a problem, topic or theme;

• identification of a theoretical framework and/or methodology;

• literature review, to establish the relationship of the problem, topic or theme to the scholarly

context;

• accumulation of relevant data or creative work; • analysis of information or material obtained;

• arrival at conclusions in light of material analysed; and

• writing of the dissertation or production of studio/performance work.

Students may benefit from giving early consideration, in consultation with their supervisor, to matters such as the development and presentation of their material. The task of writing the dissertation or producing the practical work is part of the research process and is often best undertaken progressively.

A dissertation or its equivalent is intended, among other things, to demonstrate the student's capacity to report on the research in a clear and succinct manner. It is recognised that the extent of a

dissertation or project may vary according to the topic and the discipline. Students are advised to consult their supervisor regarding appropriate word limits or expectations concerning the amount of work to be produced in their disciplines.

Criteria for Effective Writing

• clarity of expression: ensuring that the main ideas are clear to the reader and are rendered

in a convincing way through the evidence produced;

• logical sequencing of ideas;

• definition and mastery of abstract or specialist terms;

• an ability to engage in constructive criticism of the work to develop and refine ideas; • establishing and sustaining the reader’s interest;

• appropriate and accurate grammar, spelling and word usage; • accurate and consistent referencing; and

• accurate and consistent proof reading.

Chapter Structure and Headings

Developing the chapter headings of your dissertation helps establish the boundaries for the dissertation, provides it with a logical development, as well as conveying the framework of the investigation. You should discuss the dissertation structure with your supervisor/s as soon as the dissertation topic is refined and the research design is decided upon. The dissertation needs to provide information that is organised in discrete chapters. The following list is a guide. Note that although usually only one chapter is needed to fulfill each of these tasks; you may require more than one depending on the nature of your work:

• introduction to the dissertation and research question / problem; • literature review;

• identification of a theoretical framework and/or methodology and defence of it; • the research design used; method /description of the process used;

• accumulation of relevant data or creative work; • analysis of data;

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• discussion: a summary and discussion of the findings and their significance as new knowledge; • conclusion, significance of the dissertation and recommendations;

• references; • appendices; and

• chapter headings vary according to the nature of the project.

Introduction and Literature Review

• frame the problem that the dissertation is investigating; • make clear to the reader what question/s are addressed; • establish a rationale for the study;

• embed the research statement in an appropriate theoretical/conceptual framework; • provide dialogue between the theoretical framework and the direction of the study; • in the textual commentary indicate the student’s level of comprehension; and

• in the literature review, reflect the student’s mastery of the scholarly context of the study. It

should be comprehensive, demonstrate critical synthesis and include the most important and the most recent studies.

Methods and Results

• a clearly described theoretical framework for the methodology;

• a well-argued rationale for adopting a particular methodological approach with the

constraints acknowledged;

• a clear outline of the use of the methodology and methods in health research and articulation of

its use in relation to similar or relevant studies that have been conducted;

• a clearly directed methodological approach in terms of targets, controls, parallel studies,

representativeness, understanding of logistical problems, limitations and methods of validation (as appropriate);

• a clear understanding of the steps followed in data analysis, and why the strategies being

followed were adopted;

• a clearly explained approach to qualitative/ quantitative analyses;

• a commentary on findings with reference to the research question/s established earlier • a clear explanation of the major themes of the dissertation; and

• a clear articulation of the central argument of the thesis and its significance.

Final Chapter

• a summary of the topic and the major aspects of the project;

• the statement of sustainable and comprehensive claims in terms of the research study and

academic infrastructure which preceded it; and

• a statement of sustainable claims with respect to the place of the study in the discipline.

References

All references cited must be included in the reference list and must be documented in a consistent, accurate and conforming style. All third party materials mentioned in the body of the dissertation must appear in the bibliography/references. Griffith Education prefers students to use the American Psychological Association referencing style.

Appendices

The appendices may include copies of a variety of materials, eg. survey forms, interview

questionnaires, relevant transcriptions from ethnographic data and policy extracts, which are relevant to the dissertation. They must be clearly and consistently numbered and referred to within the text of the dissertation.

Use of Copyrightable Materials

Responsibility for seeking permission to use third party or copyrightable materials, such as images, diagrams, maps, is the responsibility of the student. Copyright is a set of legal rights that apply to any creative work. If the dissertation contains copyrightable material, the student must obtain written permission from the rights holder, which is usually the publisher, to allow the copyrightable material to be included in the digital copy of the dissertation, which will be publicly available.

The Use of Confidential Information

It is recognised that there will be instances when a dissertation will contain confidential information which cannot be made freely accessible. Wherever possible, confidential information should be used

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as supplementary material rather than as the principal basis for the dissertation. If practicable, confidential material should form a separate confidential appendix. Supervisors can advise on what is appropriate to include in a confidential appendix.

Preparation and Format

Responsibility for the format of the dissertation or project rests with the student after consultation with the supervisor. A major consideration in the presentation of the work is the ease with which an examiner can undertake the task of examination.

A dissertation or its equivalent is intended, among other things, to demonstrate the student's

capacity to report on the research in a clear and succinct manner. It is recognised that the extent of a dissertation or project may vary according to the topic and the discipline. Students are advised to consult their supervisor regarding appropriate word limits or expectations concerning the amount of work to be produced. A 40CP dissertation would normally be expected to be approximately 20,000 – 25,000 words.

It is recommended that a written dissertation be prepared as follows:

• printed on good quality International A4 (297mm x 210mm) bond paper on one side of the

page only;

• the font size should be at least 10 point;

• the lines of the text should be in 1.5 or 2 line spacing; • each page should have a left-hand margin of at least 4cm; • top, bottom and right-hand margins should be at least 2cm; • the pages should be numbered sequentially; and

• depending on the referencing system used, references/footnotes should be consistent and

appear either in the body of the text, at the bottom of each page, or at the end of each chapter.

The supervisor within a defined discipline will determine the format and preparation required for a visual or performing arts product.

The front page of the written dissertation should contain the following information:

• the full title of the dissertation;

• the full name and academic qualification of the student;

• the name of the Group in which the program was undertaken, and the name of the University; • the name of the degree for which the dissertation is submitted including the words:

“Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of”; and

• the date (month and year) of submission of the dissertation.

The contents of the written dissertation normally should take the following order:

• a short synopsis of approximately 700 words;

• a table of contents, a list of all diagrams and illustrations and a list of supplementary material

if any;

• a © copyright statement and optional open licence information;

• a statement acknowledging the extent and nature of any assistance received in the pursuit of

the research and preparation of the dissertation;

• a signed statement of originality including the words: “This work has not previously been

submitted for a degree or diploma in any university. To the best of my knowledge and belief, the dissertation contains no material previously published or written by another person except where due reference is made in the dissertation itself.”;

• the main text;

• appendices (including a confidential appendix where appropriate); • the bibliography/references; and

• supplementary material separate from the bound dissertation and submitted as part, or in

support, of the dissertation such as computer print-outs, DVDs, recordings, etc.

Small diagrams and tables should be incorporated into the text. For the purposes of preparing the hard copy (printed), which will be forwarded to the examiners, full page diagrams should be inserted on the page immediately facing the text that describes the diagrams.

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Referencing and Bibliographic Details

Other researchers upon whose work or publications the dissertation has drawn must be

acknowledged. Adequate documentation of sources is expected and relied upon by the dissertation examiners who may wish to consult sources quoted in a dissertation. Failure to adequately document sources could lead to a concern that a breach of academic integrity has occurred. Only recognised referencing styles should be employed. Students should consult with their supervisors on the most appropriate form of referencing for the field in which they are working.

All third party materials mentioned in the body of the dissertation must appear in the

bibliography/references. The form in which a bibliography is presented may vary depending on the field of research. Supervisors can advise on what is appropriate for the field of research.

Each student is required to sign an academic integrity declaration on every assessment item they submit, including dissertations in Honours and Masters (extended) programs. The University has a standard form of words for the declaration, and every school/department and program is required to use it.

The University supports the institutional use of ‘text matching’ software to deter students from academic misconduct by reducing the opportunities for misconduct. The software is available for use by students and supervisors as an educational tool in the production of the dissertation and to assist academic staff in the detection of breaches of academic integrity.

Submitting the Dissertation

The due date for submission of the dissertation is normally the end of week 13 of the final semester of the candidature.

The program convenor for the Masters degree may approve an extension of time to submit the dissertation no greater than 20 working days on the grounds of illness, accident, disability,

bereavement or other compassionate circumstances. In granting the extension, the honours program convenor is to ensure the length of the extension is commensurate with the time the student was unable to work on their dissertation and the extension does not unduly advantage the student over those who submitted in accordance with the University’s deadline.

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Planning for Submission

• student and supervisor/s need to plan the submission. Students should ensure that their

supervisor has sufficient time in which to provide feedback on final drafts of their dissertation prior to submission;

one month before submission of the dissertation, the Nomination of Examiners Masters

Coursework Dissertation form should be submitted to the School by the student’s supervisor/s,

nominating two potential examiners. Examiners will be approved by the Program convenor and the Dean, Learning and Teaching; and

students need to obtain approval from their supervisor/s to submit their dissertation prior to submission by completing the Approval from Supervisor to Submit Masters Thesis form.

Submission

• the dissertation should be prepared and formatted as described under “Dissertation Preparation

and Format”;

• the final draft, approved by your supervisor, is the version of the dissertation that must be

submitted to the School; and

• two single sided copies (both spiral bound) of the dissertation are to be submitted to the

School. Copying and binding of the dissertation are the student's responsibility. It is the student's responsibility to allow sufficient time before the submission deadline of week 13 for copying and binding to occur and to keep a copy in case of accidental loss. The bound copies are forwarded to examiners for marking by the School. Where possible, examination copies of the dissertation will be returned to the student.

Extensions to the submission date

The Program convenor for the Masters degree may approve an extension of time to submit the dissertation no greater than 20 working days on the grounds of illness, accident, disability,

bereavement or other compassionate circumstances. In granting the extension, the Program convenor is to ensure the length of the extension is commensurate with the time the student was unable to work on their dissertation and the extension does not unduly advantage the student over those who submitted in accordance with the University’s deadline. Subject to sponsorships and visa

requirements, international students are required to seek approval from the International Office.

The Examination

The assessment of 40CP Masters Dissertations in the School of Education and Professional Studies follows the following process.

Examiners

Prior to submission of the thesis, the supervisor will complete an Approval to Submit a Masters Thesis form and Nomination of Examiners Masters Coursework Dissertation form. Normally, the dissertation will be assessed by two examiners, who may be internal or external to the School, with at least one of each being preferable. The examiners will be approved by the program convenor and the Dean AEL (Learning and Teaching). Additional examiners may be appointed to conduct the initial examination of the dissertation. University policy requires that the examiners names be kept confidential from the student until the examination process is complete and the examiners have indicated their approval to be identified.

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The Examination Process

Upon submission, the dissertation will be sent to at least two examiners. Each examiner shall provide a percentage mark to indicate their assessment of the dissertation in terms of the following assessment criteria, together with a report.

Assessment criteria

The dissertation will be assessed on evidence of the:

• demonstrated ability to conduct independent research and evidence of the exercise of

scholarly judgment;

• conceptualisation of the study: scope and rationale;

• review and critique of relevant literature and other source materials;

• conduct of the study: selection, justification and implementation of appropriate research

method and techniques;

• quality of analysis and interpretation of data;

• appropriateness of conclusions and recommendations; and

• Structure and presentation of the report: including definition of research questions,

organisation of argument, clarity in terms of writing style and illustrative materials. The examination process may take some months. Once the process has commenced, there will be no contact between the examiners and the supervisor and the student.

Examiners will recommend marks with the following ranges:

Grade % Grade descriptor

7 85 - 100 High Distinction - Student demonstrated an exceptionally high quality of performance or

standard of learning achievement.

6 75 - 84 Distinction - Student demonstrated a high quality of performance or standard of learning

achievement.

5 65 - 74 Credit - Student demonstrated a good quality of performance or standard of learning

achievement.

4 50 - 64 Pass - Student demonstrated a satisfactory quality of performance or standard of learning

achievement.

3 45 - 49 Fail - Student demonstrated an unsatisfactory quality of performance or standard of learning

achievement. There was evidence of achievement of desired learning outcomes close to the passing standard but insufficient to pass.

2 25 - 44 Fail - Student demonstrated an unsatisfactory quality of performance or standard of learning

achievement.

There was evidence of achievement of desired learning outcomes below the passing standard.

1 0 - 24 Fail - Student demonstrated an unsatisfactory quality of performance or standard of learning

achievement.

There was evidence of achievement of desired learning outcomes significantly below the passing standard.

Award of Grade

The program convenor is responsible for:

• recommending the marks and grade for each student in research courses to the School

Assessment Board and to the Dean (Learning and Teaching) for approval. The program convenor shall provide the individual examiners marks to support the recommendation;

• where there is a discrepancy between the marks of examiners of at least 10 marks,

recommending to the Dean (Learning & Teaching) the process to resolve the discrepancy; and

• where relevant, recommending Honours classifications to the Dean (Learning & Teaching) for

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Award of Masters Classification

(Master of Arts with Honours in Applied Linguistics and Master of Applied Theatre and Drama Education with Honours only)

The dissertation may be awarded in classes – Class I, Class IIA, Class IIB, and Class III. Classifications are calculated as described below. The program convenor recommends the classification for each dissertation to the Dean of the School for approval. The program convenor may recommend an adjustment to the calculated classification to take account of

exceptional circumstances, and / or to represent a fair outcome for a particular student. Grades and classifications shall not be released to students, prior to their approval by the Dean.

Standard cut-offs for Dissertation Classifications

The dissertation will be awarded a classification based on the average percentage mark, which must be greater than or equal to the value shown in the table as the Minimum Dissertation average mark.

I IIA IIB III

Overall Classification Range Minimum Honours Weighted Average 80%- 100% 80 70%- 79.9% 70 60%- 69.9% 60% 50%- 59.9% 50%

Appeals

Under the Student Grievances and Appeals Policy, you may appeal against any academic decision which affects your candidature, including:

• Rejection of application for admission; • Refusal to grant leave of absence; • Grade awarded for dissertation; and • Masters Classification.

The processes set out in the Student Grievances and Appeals Policy apply. In the caseof an appeal against the grade awarded for the dissertation and/or the Masters classification, you should address your appeal in writing to the Dean, (Learning and Teaching).

On receipt of an appeal against the dissertation grade and/ or classification, the Dean, in consultation with the program convenor, may take the following actions:

• dismiss the appeal because the academic decision has been properly taken and the student has

not presented sufficient argument to justify further consideration of the appeal;

• uphold the appeal and change the dissertation grade and / or classification;

• request the program convenor to ask the examiners of the dissertation to review their

assessment in the light of each other examiner's comments and in the light of

• the appeal presented by the student;

• direct that an additional examiner be appointed by the program convenor, in

consultation with the supervisor.

• Where an additional examiner has been appointed, the recommended dissertation grade will be

arrived at by averaging the results from the two examiners which the Dean determines as representing the most appropriate academic judgment;

• take such other action as may seem appropriate to resolve the final dissertation grade and

classification;

• refer the appeal to the School Assessment Board for resolution. The School Assessment Board

may constitute a sub-committee of not fewer than three members to recommend to the Dean the outcome of the appeal. The School Assessment Board sub-committee may make its recommendation on the basis of the argument put before it or may take additional action, including having the examiners review their assessment or appointing an additional examiner; and

• take such other action as may result in the resolution of the appeal.

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If the student is dissatisfied with the decision of the Dean in response to their appeal, the student may lodge a further appeal with the University Appeals Committee.

Finalising the process

Following approval by the Dean, Learning and Teaching, you will be advised of your grade by the School, together with a request to lodge the dissertation in the University Library.

It is the University's expectation that most dissertations accepted for the award of a degree will be immediately available for consultation by staff, students and other bona fide inquirers. By lodging a digital copy of the dissertation in the University’s Information Services, a student consents to its free access by the public for private study and research.

It is the responsibility of the student to complete the Lodgement of Honours/Masters (Extended)

Dissertation after Examination Form and submit this form with the final digital copy of their Masters

dissertation to the School. It is the responsibility of the School to forward the final digital copy of the dissertation and the completed form to INS.

In completing the Lodgement of Honours/Masters (Extended) Dissertation after Examination Form a student may request approval to restrict access to and/or embargo the copies of the dissertation retained by the University after the degree is awarded, on the following grounds:

• where the dissertation contains confidential or sensitive material; • where the student intends to publish from the dissertation; • where the student is seeking to register a patent.

The embargo period normally granted will be twelve months.

Digital Submission of Dissertation and Related Materials

When the student has completed any changes to the dissertation as recommended by the examiners and the Dean (Learning and Teaching) is satisfied that the student has completed all academic requirements for the specific postgraduate award in the case of Masters degree (extended) or accepts the recommendation of the honours program convenor for the Honours classification, the student is to submit a digital copy of the dissertation and any supporting materials to the School. The School is responsible for forwarding the digital copies to Information Services.

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Resources during Enrolment

The University and School provide a range of resources to support you. The following resources are available for Masters dissertation students from Information Services:

Workshops and Training

The library provides a range of free workshops, consultations (one to one) and self-help resources to help students succeed, including library research skills, academic skills, and computing skills. Check the website at http://www.griffith.edu.au/library/workshops-training

Endnote

Endnote is a bibliographic database management package that allows you to search online bibliographic databases, organise references, create instant bibliographies.

http://www.griffith.edu.au/library/workshops-training/self-help-resources/endnote Current Griffith students can download a copy of Endnote to their personal computer via Griffith Portal: Griffith Portal > Computing > Software > Research software > Endnote

or alternatively, Endnote Home Use forms are available from the Lending Services Desk to borrow a copy of the software

Library Catalogue and Library Databases

http://www.griffith.edu.au/library

Information about accessing databases and obtaining full text: http://app.griffith.edu.au/erd/access.php

Borrowing Griffith library

materials http://www.griffith.edu.au/library/borrowing

Interlibrary Loans

The interlibrary loans team is able to obtain article-length copies from journals, books and other texts and loans of material which are not available at Griffith. They also supply copies of articles which are held in journals at other Griffith campus libraries.

http://www.griffith.edu.au/library/borrowing/interlibrary-loans

Interlibrary loans do not supply books or chapters from books held at other Griffith campus libraries. Please place a hold on these via the library catalogue.

Borrowing from other libraries

Many tertiary libraries in Australia extend borrowing privileges to students from other tertiary institutions. Griffith has reciprocal borrowing agreements with other Australian universities under University Library Australia, the National Borrowing Scheme. Please

note: borrowing from other Australian university libraries is a privilege. By requesting to use this service, you are indicating your willingness to abide by the rules and borrowing conditions of the library that is providing this service.

Eligibility varies from institution to institution. Some will accept all students while others will accept only postgraduate or external students. Please check with the individual libraries. To apply, you must apply directly to the host library and there maybe a registration fee.

http://www.griffith.edu.au/library/borrowing/interlibrary-loans/information-for-other-institutions

Copying & Printing Services

Printing, photocopying, laminating, faxing, transparency copying, sale of USB drives and binding coils http://www.griffith.edu.au/copying-printing

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Forms

The following forms can be found on the Griffith University Website:

http://www.griffith.edu.au/students/student-forms

• Request to undertake restricted course form • Request for Leave of Absence form

The following forms can be found on the Masters Dissertation Website: http://www.griffith.edu.au/education/postgraduate/resources

• Guidelines for Undertaking a Dissertation

• Nomination of Dissertation Topic and Supervisor for Dissertation form • Nomination of Examiners Masters Coursework Dissertation form • Application for Extension for Coursework Dissertation form • Approval from Supervisor to Submit Masters Thesis

• Lodgment of Masters Coursework Dissertation to Library after Examination Option Form • Masters Handbook

References

Related documents

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