• Strategy: The ACU postgraduate (coursework) strategy aims to diversify ACU’s student profile and enhancing the postgraduate student experience.
  • Student data: The understanding postgraduates data gives you a brief overview of relevant data about postgraduate students at ACU.

ACU postgraduate course case studies

The ACU postgraduate strategy objectives focus on themes, such as 'global connectedness', 'real world capability', 'leading with integrity' and 'learning, teaching and service excellence'. Explore what strategies other ACU academics have been applying in their postgraduate units and courses.

Postgraduate case studies

Designing for postgraduates

As ACU's postgraduate strategy particularly focuses on postgraduate coursework students, this page aims to support those involved in designing and delivering courses and units for postgraduate coursework students.

Crane et al. (2016) investigated the postgraduate student experience as part of an Australian government office for learning and teaching project. Some of the following themes and needs surfaced within the research.


1 Engagement

Student engagement is defined as students’ involvement in activities and conditions that are linked with high-quality learning. When higher education institutions understand the nature of student engagement and work towards influencing it for the better, the impact on outcomes for students and learning processes is significant.

Strategies for engaging postgraduates


2 Feedback

Providing the right feedback at the right time can lead not only to increased student satisfaction, but also improved learning outcomes for students. Additional opportunities for feedback can boost overall engagement amongst postgraduate students.

Key elements of good feedback

Student perspectives on feedback

Strategies for providing feedback


3 Diversity

The postgraduate population is diverse. They can have varying: academic and work experience, non-study commitments, locations, cultures and digital literacy, amongst other differences. As such, the approach taken to support the learning of a cohort needs to be appreciative of their unique requirements and characteristics.

Postgraduate students demographics

Strategies for addressing diversity


4 Scaffolding and transition

It is easy to assume that because a student has completed an undergraduate degree that they will have the necessary academic skills for postgraduate study. Since many of our students may not have been at university for 10-30 years, this makes it essential to scaffold students' academic skills and transition them back into the conventions and expectations of higher education.

Strategies for supporting the postgraduate transition


5 Flexibility

Many postgraduate students need to fit their studies around full-time work and family commitments, this means that courses need to be designed with this in mind.

Strategies for embedding flexibility


6 Authentic and real-world learning

Many postgraduates bring with them a varied and rich work history, drawing on this can support peer-to-peer learning and engagement.

Strategies for embedding authentic and real-world learning in your postgraduate curriculum


7 Employability

There is a common myth in higher education that postgraduates don’t need employment support; that they can take care of their own employment needs. This is not the case, with many postgraduate students choosing to return to study to change career or disciplines, there is the need to support these students with their employability.

Postgraduate employability needs and strategies


Crane, L., Kinash, S., Bannatyne, A., Judd, M-M., Eckersley, B., Hamlin, G., Partridge, H., Richardson, S., Rolf, H., Udas, K., & Stark, A. (2016). Engaging postgraduate students and supporting higher education to enhance the 21st century student experience. Final report prepared for the Learning and Teaching Support Unit, Australian Department of Education and Training.

Page last updated on 12/11/2020

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