Learning and teaching at USC - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Learning and teaching at USC

At USC, our goal is to provide quality learning experiences that challenge and engage our students and prepare them to live and work in a changing world.

To do this, the curriculum is designed to be:

  • Learning-centred 
  • Standards based 
  • Constructively aligned and 
  • Career and future focussed 

These principles are evidenced in innovative and authentic learning experiences that meet sector standards and industry expectations. In addition, USC has Graduate Attributes which are embedded and frame all learning outcomes in courses and programs at USC.

USC Graduate Attributes 

The USC Graduate Attributes are the qualities and skills that our students develop to set them up for future career and life success. They have been carefully identified and nurtured in all our programs of study to meet and surpass the demands of the evolving job market.

USC Graduate Attributes set our students apart and prepares them for the unpredictable and changing employment opportunities.

Research has shown that employers are looking for staff with more than just content knowledge. They want graduates that are:  

Creative and critical thinkers - these are people that that can independently problem solve and think critically; they generate original ideas and concepts and appreciate innovation and entrepreneurship.

Empowered - being able to apply skills and knowledge to real work issues and contexts. It means you know how to use the tools, practices, and methods to be employable.

Engaged - employers want people that are passionate, who want to make a difference and have a track record of contributing positively to diverse communities through research, service and leadership.

Ethical - the future needs ethical people who understand ethical dilemmas, can make ethical and professional choices and can lead with integrity in intellectual, professional and community pursuits.

Knowledgeable - knowledge is the foundation of how we understand the world around us. At USC we see building disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge through a scholarly approach is essential.

Sustainability focused - sustainability-focussed as a quality of thinking is developed through considering, exploring and testing the interrelated nature of all systems - ecological, social and economic and how we can support a socially just and environmentally healthy future.

Your employability Generic Skills: 

  • communication 
  • collaboration (teamwork) 
  • problem solving 
  • organisation 
  • applying technologies 
  • information literacy 

We encourage all staff and students to take note of these attributes and model them in your learning and teaching and share evidence of them in your practice, resume and your interviews.

Summary - What are the Graduate attributes? 

The USC Graduate attributes are 12 key qualities and skills that make you an attractive employee and a well-rounded citizen. All USC programs develop these attributes – so look for them and become them! 

Where to find Graduate attributes? 

You will find these key attributes tied to the learning outcomes of your courses and the assessment you do. Find them on the course outline – ask your tutors and lecturers.

Curriculum design principles

Your learning experience at USC is enhanced through quality curriculum design and evidence-based practice, all guided by four curriculum design principles:


We are focussed on helping all students learn by supporting academic engagement; accommodating the needs of individual students without compromising academic standards; taking advantage of blended learning approaches and technology; and encouraging active and collaborative learning.

Standards based

Studying at USC means your curriculum will be designed to meet higher education qualification standards. Curriculum is regularly benchmarked internally and externally with other universities and where appropriate through relevant professional bodies.

Constructively aligned

Your learning and teaching activities are designed to achieve the learning outcomes for your degree. As you progress through your degree, your knowledge, skills and application of skills will have an increasing level of challenge, complexity and independence.

Career and future focussed

To enhance your employability, studying at USC allows you to participate in experiential learning activities that contain either workplace practice, or a simulation, or a combination of both.

USC Learning and Teaching priorities

Our focus is on four key priority areas:

Blended learning

Students at USC participate in a blended-learning approach, where they use technology where appropriate to create a high quality learning experience in both physical and virtual learning spaces.

Students can participate in quality face-to-face teaching, along with opportunities for immersive, collaborative and simulated learning in USC’s innovative physical spaces. A range of learning activities and materials are available online, allowing flexible anytime, anywhere access.

Academic staff at USC worked together with students in line with USC’s Blended Learning Strategy 2017-2020. More resources and support information for USC staff can be found on MyUSC.

First Year experience

Your first year at university is really important. It’s a time when you build foundational knowledge and develop the academic and study skills you’ll need to successfully complete your degree.

At USC, we help first-year students transition to university and engage with their studies through a range of activities. New students attend Orientation and can take advantage of academic skills sessions, drop-in study support and more.

We carefully plan our first-year courses to ensure students get the right balance of foundational knowledge, practical skills and group learning. Then, we monitor and review courses to ensure we’re delivering quality learning for all students to equip them for their future careers.

Academic staff are supported in this approach through the First Year Experience project. USC staff can access resources and support information for FYE on MyUSC.

Work integrated learning and employability

Applying the knowledge you learn at university is an important step to gaining a job in your chosen field. At USC, students will have opportunities to apply their knowledge through work integrated learning in most degrees.

Embedding Aboriginal Knowledges and Perspectives and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges and Perspectives in curriculum

USC respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, land, cultures and histories and their rights to participate in a tolerant and inclusive society. USC is working to provide all students with the opportunity to encounter and engage with Aboriginal knowledge and perspectives and Torres Strait Islander knowledges and perspectives as an integral part of their program of study.

More information for academic staff can be found on MyUSC.

Student evaluations

Students at USC can have their say and provide feedback to their teaching staff each semester or session. By contributing to these evaluations, students help maintain the high standards of learning and teaching at USC. The process is guided by the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Courses Academic Policy and Procedures.

You can participate by responding to the evalu8 surveys each semester or session.

More information for academic staff can be found on MyUSC.


Assessment is an essential component of teaching and learning in higher education, and it has a major impact on your experience at university.

As a student at USC you will be expected to complete your assessment with academic integrity – you can learn more about what this means and what will be expected of you by reading the Academic Integrity Information.

USC’s Assessment: Course and Coursework Programs - Academic Policy informs assessment of students’ learning within courses and coursework programs.

Depending on circumstances, students at USC may need to be familiar with the set of procedures regarding assessment: