But would-be doctoral candidate Campbell Simpson believes he’s that much more prepared for what’s coming, and it’s all thanks to his preparation under the Graduate Certificate in Education Research at Monash University.

“I hadn’t done research for quite a while, and certainly not in education,” Simpson says.

“But the [Graduate Certificate] was a really thorough grounding in how you can do good research and what is required of you.”

Consisting of two units, the course is designed to “orient [students] to educational research and provide “an understanding of educational research approaches and methodologies”.

Students go on to apply their newfound understanding to design and implement a research project, culminating in a 10,000 word report.

Campbell says the course allows for ample opportunity for discussion amongst peers, as well as one-on-one consultation with a supervisor when you need it.

For him, however, it’s been a largely independent exercise.

“I just needed to occasionally touch base and say, ‘I think it’s like this, am I correct?’ ‘Yes, you are keep going’.”

The teacher has been investigating the effective use of ICT in schools as part of his studies, and hopes to use his findings to form the basis of his doctorate.

“The PhD will expand on the research that I did ... And so the graduate certificate really streamlined that whole process because it gave me an idea of what to do, it gave me a clear understanding of where I was going to go, and it ought to make the process of actually doing the PhD one heck of a lot quicker.

Simpson says there’s plenty to recommend the course.

“I really enjoyed getting back to university; having a chance to dig into some really interesting research done by other people, [and] talk to people who are knowledgeable about their subject.”

Simpson is due to submit his formal application to undertake a PhD.