UOW Curriculum Model

Curriculum themes, principles and practices

Curriculum Transformation @UOW is a comprehensive approach that optimises the curriculum as a structure for student learning and experience rather than as simply an organising framework for disciplinary knowledge. It focuses on what we teach, how we teach, how we assess learning and how we support students to maximise success. It transforms student learning and graduate outcomes, teaching practices and educational leadership.

These themes are underpinned by a set of design principles:

  • Transition - enabling a smooth, supported shift into higher education and a successful transition to the world of work and lifelong learning;
  • Synthesis - providing multiple, connected and sequenced opportunities for students to share, synthesise and integrate their learning;
  • Broadening - encouraging a breadth of focus for learning beyond the student's primary area of study and recognising the interconnected nature of today’s global challenges and the value multi-disciplinary teams bring to the modern workplace.

These themes and design principles are enacted in the curriculum through the transformative practices:

UOW courses are carefully designed to provide a discipline-specific, curriculum-integrated first year experience that enables students to learn how to learn and provides a critical foundation for future academic success.

How do we do it?

Law: All first year Law students do a set of subjects that are sequenced to ensure learning activities in each subject lead into or support activities in other subjects. Students are sent "connection alerts" throughout the academic session to make these links explicit. To increase cohesion and peer support, from day one students are also allocated to PODS – a group with whom they study all subjects.

What do students think?

"It was nice to make friends with others in the same situation on my very first day. It really eased my transition into uni. We all helped each other out when we struggled and certainly celebrated when we succeeded."

Bethany Doust
Sixth year, Bachelor of International Studies Bachelor of Laws (Honours)

UOW courses incorporate a variety of learning experiences, which combine diverse approaches, strategies and delivery methods, providing students with a rich range of learning opportunities and the capacity to manage their own learning.

How do we do it?

Medicine: After successfully developing a free public online course on “Understanding Common Diseases”, that attracted thousands of participants from around the world, the Graduate School of Medicine used this expertise to develop a set of video learning resources for their widely dispersed students on regional placements.

What do students think?

"My course content is delivered very personally, face-to-face by lecturers and tutors, but I can also review the content again online. It allows me to view lectures and access class notes and discussion forums. I learn by doing and I learn by repetition, so being able to listen back to lectures on the shuttle bus to uni gives me more confidence."

Harrison Hall
Third year, Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)
Bachelor of Commerce (International Business & Marketing)

UOW courses incorporate digital processes and practices that allow students to reflect on, document, evidence and share their achievements and their evolving understanding of, and progress toward, key disciplinary and professional concepts and practices.

How do we do it?

UOW Careers Service: uses a range of different ePortfolio solutions in the programs they run for both domestic and international students. Each solution allows students to reflect on and articulate their employability skills for a broad audience.

What do students think?

"Every subject I have done has had some practical digital component. Whether it is blogging, photography, video making, or sound production. I'm very much a hands-on type of learner, and so the digital aspects are very rewarding. It gives me hands-on experience and I'm building a digital portfolio that I can show to possible employers."

Ashleigh Field
First year, Bachelor of Communication & Media Studies (Dean's Scholar)

Courses at UOW introduce students to a broad understanding of diverse cultures as well as cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary ideas.

How do we do it?

Engineering: a suite of subjects in the Sustainable Engineering Integrated Learning Lab combines project-based, professional skills development with a reflective focus on sustainability and humanitarian issues. This combination provides both a broadening perspective and a specific focus that spurs students to produce innovative and creative professional work. This has been supported with activities like the Solar Decathlon in China where student teams compete to build a liveable house that uses mostly solar power, drawing together people from many areas—engineers, marketers, scientists, designers and artists. In 2013 the UOW team took out the international first prize.

What do students think?

"I had an interest in sustainability and the environment but no way to be involved. All the opportunities I’ve had, all the connections I’ve made have really helped change my ideas about what I want to do in the future."

Daniel Jones
Bachelor of Science (Exercise Science)
Bachelor of Commerce (Supply Chain Management)

UOW courses provide students with a capstone experience: a major project, workplace or other authentic opportunity that integrates and applies the knowledge and skills gained throughout their course to real world problems.

How do we do it?

Business: a selection of final year subjects, including an independent research project, a group work simulated business development project and internships provide Commerce and Business students with options for different styles of capstone experience. Each of the subjects is designed to integrate and apply the degree’s focus on socially responsible practice.

What do students think?

"It's a very fast-paced environment. Basically you’re given a task and expected to run with it."

Sam Dunster
Bachelor of Computer Science (Mobile Computing) 2014
12-week internship at Facebook's Menlo Park campus in California, USA

The internship not only gave Sam some incredible real-world experience in his final year: he made such an impression Facebook offered him a full-time role at one of the biggest IT companies in the world.