For Course Coordinators
How does the Core fit into a student’s course?
Information on how and when the Core Curriculum fits into individual programs is available in Course Enrolment Guides. The Core Curriculum is not configured in the same way for all courses (for example, some courses have the Core Curriculum Community Engagement unit embedded across several units, whereas others undertake it as a distinct unit). Students are advised to consult their Course Enrolment Guide for specific details about how the Core fits into their degree, but if they get out of sequence or have an issue (such as managing a placement) they should contact their Course Coordinator.
What is the difference between the Catholic social thought (UNCC) stream and the Philosophy (PHIL) stream?
Both streams introduce students to key themes within the Catholic intellectual tradition, with a particular focus on its conception of the human being, and matters of social justice. Both streams look to enhance students’ skills in critical thinking.
The main difference is that the PHIL units allow students to engage in a ‘deeper dive’ into key debates in the field of study of philosophy, particularly in terms of the complexities of being human, and the nature of ethical reflection. It provides them with the opportunity to engage in higher-level reflection about major contemporary issues, and training in broad-based critical thinking skills, applicable to a range of professions.
How many hours are required to complete the Core units?
The time commitment for students varies between the Catholic social thought stream and the philosophy stream.
- The two University Core Curriculum units (UNCC100 and UNCC300) normally require students to attend 10 hours of face-to-face classes. In addition, they work on an extensive suite of online resources and activities, designed to support their discussion and work in tutorials and completion of the assessment tasks.
- The three Philosophy Core Curriculum units (PHIL102, PHIL104 and PHIL320) are standard ACU units requiring 150 hours of engagement. They generally require students to attend 3 hours of classes per week over 12 weeks or the equivalent in intensive mode. However, specific arrangements are put in place for students who have practicum commitments during semester that make it difficult for them to attend on all weeks.
Does the Core Curriculum extend the length of a course?
No. For most courses, three of the units contributing to meeting Core Curriculum requirements have come from existing components of the degree. Courses have been revised to fit in the two University Core units (UNCC100 and UNCC300).
Can students get credit for previous study to cover the Core units?
Students can apply for credit for both UNCC100 and UNCC300.
How do students find out more about studying the Core overseas?
They should visit the Study Abroad website or contact ACU International and watch for announcements about information sessions.
What happens if a student fails a UNCC unit?
As the Core units are requirements of most degree programs, students will need to successfully repeat the unit in order to graduate. Should a fail grade be awarded, students are notified of options for repeating the unit.
My students have a placement in a hospital/school in the middle of semester. They will not be on campus during that time. How do they meet the attendance requirements?
Arrangements for the Catholic social thought and Philosophy units differ:
- The UNCC units are generally offered in different ‘streams’ to accommodate student placement requirements. This means that tutorials only run for the weeks that such students are on campus. Some tutorials run across the normal weeks 1–10 of semester and others run in a different pattern so that classes on campus are suspended for a few weeks while students are out on placement. Therefore, students need to check carefully the week pattern of the tutorial they select in Tutorial Direct.
- The PHIL units are not offered in discrete cohorts in the same way. However, LICs for PHIL units make arrangements with students who have placement requirements to ensure that their attendance possibilities are taken into account, and adjustments are made, as needed, to assessment timeframes.
I have students who are out of sequence with their Program Map. When should they do the University Core units?
University Core Units are also offered as an intensive in summer and winter or on-line, primarily to cater for students who are out of sequence or whose placement requirements make it difficult for them to fit into a normal pattern of offering. Specific advice about individual students should be sought from firstname.lastname@example.org.
For staff considering teaching Core Curriculum
Who teaches the Core Curriculum?
As noted above, teaching eligibility differs for the Catholic social thought (UNCC) units and the Philosophy (PHIL) units. In the case of the UNCC units, staff members from across all ACU faculties, from a range of different programs, are eligible. For example, a law academic might be teaching a group of nurses and teachers together with students from media studies and physiotherapy. PHIL units, on the other hand, are only taught by those with postgraduate qualifications in the field of philosophy (minimum of a Master’s degree). In the case of both UNCC and PHIL units, classes are made up of students from a range of different programs.
Is the Core Curriculum only for Catholic students or staff?
No. The Core Curriculum is an important experience for all ACU undergraduate students. The Core Curriculum units emphasise critical judgement, clear expression, ethical decision-making and concern for others, as individuals and as a community. They are academic units and do not presume or require any particular religious belief. Staff members from many different backgrounds teach in the Core Curriculum.