Faculty Research Themes

The Faculty’s research programme focuses on relevant and strategically important themes in education.


Educational Leadership

This theme seeks to engage both academic staff and students as individuals or as groups who would like to investigate social, economic, political and cultural opportunities, concerns, gaps and challenges that this interdisciplinary research theme could address within current theoretical frameworks such as transformative adult education, community development, social justice, radical pedagogies and humanizing consciousness.


Language in Education

Language is the means through which we mediate learning so it underpins all aspects of education.  Through language we position learners, communities, and knowledge and are also ourselves positioned.  We all use language in our teaching and so language in education is a core component in all the themes and can range from research focus areas such as:  discipline-specific language as in science or biology;  literacy practices, such as writing reports or developing reading;  multilingual and translanguaging approaches to teaching;  or literary appreciation, such as children’s literature. 

We look forward to sharing and supporting research and reflection on language uses across the education spectrum.


Science, Mathematics & Technology Education

This theme focuses on Language and SMT education; improving teaching, learning and assessment in SMT.  SMT literacy;  Indigenous Knowledge systems and SMT education,  Environmental education and Education for Sustainable Development:  diffusion of and challenges pertaining to implementation of ICTs for teaching, learning and assessment in SMT Technology and Integrated Computer Technologies (ICTS-Computers) in education;  Blended and Online learning;  and Curriculum and Teacher Development in SMT education.


Social Justice

This theme focuses on research that aims to address the role of education in contributing to a transformed and socially just South African Society, including a focus on barriers to learning, special education needs and inclusive education as well as HIV and AIDS education.


Teaching and Learning

At the core of quality, teacher education is active and critical engagement with the concept of quality teaching and learning.  Scholarship in this area has thus been identified as one of the core research themes directing research in the faculty, with most research activities directly or indirectly related to this theme. 

Academic staff in the faculty often work collaboratively on research projects, focussing for example on school—based learning, assessment, teaching/learning/assessment strategies for various contexts and school subjects, curriculum development as well as philosophies underpinning these. 

Significant expertise is available to supervise postgraduate students interested in related topics.


The Research Masters

The programme is offered on a part-time or full-time basis that includes independent work with a supervisor.  When available, opportunities will be provided for you to interact with other postgraduate students during weekend seminars to help you navigate the research process.

Admission requirements

· A B Ed Honours degree; or

· Any other appropriate Honours degree

· An average of at least 60% for the Honours degree

· Submission of a 1000 word preliminary proposal as per faculty guidelines contained in the information booklet

· Admission will be based on a formal selection process and availability of supervision capacity in the chosen research field


The D Ed / PhD

The programme is offered on a part-time or full- time basis, conducting research independently with a promoter.  When available, opportunities will be provided for you to interact with other doctoral candidates, for example during the doctoral weekend seminars.  Targeted support to help you navigate the research process will also be provided.

Admission requirements

· The M Ed degree; or

· An appropriate Masters degree

· An average of at least 60% for the M Ed degree

· Admission will be based on a formal selection process

· Submission of a 2000 word preliminary proposal as per faculty guidelines contained in the information booklet


NB:   Students will be required to successfully defend their proposal to a panel within a specific period after registration – 6 months for Masters and 12 months for Doctoral candidates – to ensure continued participation on the programme.



Application forms are available from: The Registrar (Admissions)

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

P O Box 77000


Port Elizabeth

Tel: 041 504 2593


You will also find valuable information at www.mandela.ac.za

Contact information
Prof Shervani Pillay
Associate Professor
Tel: 27 41 504 4208

Mrs Carol Poisat
M & D Programme Administrator
Tel: 27 41 504 4310