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Successful Higher Degree by Research
Tools, Techniques and Skills

Carolyn Dickie & Laurie Dickie
ISBN: 9780734611048 / 978-0-7346-1104-8
Price: A$59.95 NZ$71.95 US$49.95
Binding: Softcover
Trim: 200 x 250 mm   300 pp 
Published Date: March 2012

Successful Higher Degree by Research: Tools, Techniques and Skills has been developed to assist potential and beginning Higher Degree by Research (masters’ and doctoral) students.
It is a timely response to feedback from students who seek initial material to introduce the concepts, practices and terminology of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) studies. Uniquely, it is a self-instructional guide for HRD students – whether or not they have access to the onsite facilities of a university.
Successful Higher Degree by Research: Tools, Techniques and Skills directs the reader through twelve learning modules. Modules 1 to 3 describe some of the rules of the HDR process, assist the reader in developing a number of sensible questions to ask potential supervisors, and give the reader an opportunity to develop their understanding of the process and help clarify ideas for a suitable research topic. Modules 4 to 9 provide handy hints on how to turn the research process into a written dissertation to submit for doctoral examination. Modules 10 to 12 then address preparing for conference presentations and for publication, and developing a personal research profile.

Pedagogical Features 

The modules and learning ancillaries that accompany Successful Higher Degree by Research: Tools, Techniques and Skills comprise a learning package with a balance of concepts, examples and practical applications. It aims to hold the reader’s interest, and to encourage the bridging of concepts and theories with skill-building capabilities and applications.

  • An Opening Vignette introduces the reader to the issues and practical questions addressed in this chapter 
  • The Exhibits outline the issues, in some detail, from a research perspective, using PowerPoint slides and commentary
  • ‘Stop and Reflect’ exercises encourage the reader to apply the lessons in the chapter to their own personal situation
  • ‘Questions for Study and Discussion’ encourage the applica¬≠tion of new knowledge
  • ‘Experiential Exercises’ engage students in challenging activi¬≠ties to help them explore concepts, master skills and progress the writing of their dissertation
  • ‘Terms and Concepts Review’ questions then review student understanding

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Part A - Winning Candidacy

Chapter 1 - Critical understanding of the research process
Chapter 2 - Planning and organising higher degree research
Chapter 3 - Formal candidacy procedures

Part B - Writing the Dissertation
Chapter 4 - Thesis introduction: Chapter 1 - 'The problem'
Chapter 5 - Chapter 2 - 'The problem'
Chapter 6 - Chapter 3 - 'Research methodology'
Chapter 7 - Chapter 4 - 'Research findings and analysis'
Chapter 8 - Conclusion and recommendations
Chapter 9 - The examination process

Part C - Personal Research Profile

Chapter 10 - Developing a research profile
Chapter 11 - Conference presentations
Chapter 12 - Publishing in academic journals

Dr Carolyn Dickie is Associate Professor in the School of Management at Curtin University Carolyn’s research focuses on management and management systems, international management, management ethics, and education.

With post-graduate business and teaching degrees and a strong business background, Carolyn is currently the Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Management at Curtin Business School. With experience in cross-cultural communication, Carolyn has undertaken a wide variety of higher degree by research activities with local students and overseas academics. In 2010, Carolyn won a Curtin University prize in recognition of her significant research output. She has successfully supervised several students to completion of their PhD research, and she is currently supervising students in a wide variety of disciplines.

Associate Professor Laurie Dickie has extensive teaching experience at primary, secondary and tertiary levels in areas covering business, management, communications, HRM and training and development. Currently he is a Higher Education consultant to universities, primarily providing support in curriculum development and specialist training programmes for individual staff members and overseas programme managers.
He was previously a senior academic working as Academic Co-ordinator of Higher Degrees by Research at Curtin Business School, where he worked closely with students through the PhD and MPhil research process, as well as mentoring research supervisors. Laurie was a highly productive researcher in the Curtin Business School Divisional Office, and personally supervised many local and overseas students in their doctoral studies.