Education and Arts


Research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes.

HERDC Guidelines

Our overarching research aim is to engage with Australian and international communities to serve the common good, with a particular emphasis on equity and diversity. Our staff and students advance human knowledge in ways that open up new lines of intellectual inquiry and have significant positive effects on society. Our mission is to create and share knowledge to inspire, enrich and transform humanity.

The Research Office within the Faculty of Education and Arts focuses on:

  • the production of high-impact publications
  • gaining a range of competitive research grants and awards
  • working with government and industry
  • supervising Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students

The Faculty is committed to research excellence and is currently undergoing a process of research intensification that has led to the establishment of a number of vibrant research institutes, including the Learning Sciences Institute Australia, the Institute for Social Justice and the Institute for Religion, Politics and Society.

This ambitious research intensification strategy has produced excellent outcomes, as demonstrated in the Faculty's excellent results in the Australian government's Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment exercise in 2015 and our success in securing Australian Research Council (ARC) funding to undertake a number of ground-breaking research projects. The results demonstrate the Faculty's growing research strength as ACU positions itself to become a leading research university.

The Faculty also produces the Journal of Religious Education (published by Springer Press). The journal explores religious education in modern society, presenting original writings and research in religious education and catechesis and related areas, and helping us disseminate our research outcomes within the broader Catholic education sector.

Faculty Success Stories

The Faculty achieved strong results in the 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment, with a number of disciplines receiving ‘at world standard’ (3) or ‘above world standard’ rankings.

In the National School of Education, Specialist Studies in Education was ranked ‘above world standard’ and both Education Systems and Curriculum and Pedagogy received ‘at world standard’ rankings.

In the National School of Arts, History, Political Science and Sociology were all ranked ‘at world standard'.

The results reflect the calibre of our researchers, the fruits of our dedicated research intensification program – a five-year strategy developed in response to changes in the Australia Higher Education Sector – and the significant investment in research that is occurring through the ACU Research Fund.

Dr Noah Riseman (Arts, Melbourne), as part of a three-person team, secured close to $200,000 in an ARC Discovery Grant to investigate Australian armed forces' responses to changing social attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

Professor Carmel Diezmann (FEA/LSIA) is part of a seven-person team awarded a $590,000 Discovery Grant for a project to design, test and share sustainable strategies to support teachers and students from low socioeconomic communities.

Associate Professor Phil Riley (Education, Melbourne) is part of a three-person team granted a Discovery Indigenous Award of $572,000 to identify the characteristics of schools that are helping Indigenous students to reach their potential.

Professor Len Unsworth (Education, NSW/LSIA) is the chief investigator within a seven-person team awarded a $424,174 Linkage Grant to broaden the range of resources for students to communicate emotions through speech, writing and images.