Common Units Philosophy

To be responsive to individual student backgrounds and needs as they make the transition into successful study at university and to help provide a level playing field for all beginning students.

We achieve this by providing a supportive environment and an approach to teaching that:

  • Recognises diversity
  • Develops key university skills and knowledge upfront
  • Responds to students' changing needs through continuous reflection and review of the program
  • Commits to best practice teaching and learning
  • Provides a comprehensive management strategy to achieve best practice

About the Program

The program aims to:

  • Develop students practical academic skills, including: critical thinking, reading, researching and writing.
  • Introduce all students to a multidisciplinary undertanding of sustainability.
  • Build students' cultural intelligence and capability for effective participation in the increasingly diverse communities we live and work in.
  • Develop students' teamwork skills, creativity and technical literacy.
  • Introduce and develop graduate attribute skills, including personal practical knowledge, citizenship and world view.

Students develop these skills and knowledge by completing two of the three available common units:

  • CUC107 Cultural Intelligence and Capability

and one of the academic skills units

  • CUC100 Academic Literacies for Exploring Sustainability (humanities & social science), or
  • CUC106 Design and Innovation: Communicating Technology (science, technology & business)

The uniqueness and achievements of the Common Unit Program are captured in this Innovative Research Universities case study.

The program philosopy and approach to learning and teaching is guided by current understandings of best practice in enhancing sstudents first year experience from:



21st March 2019

Mindfulness helps reduce stress with exams

Cambridge University research shows mindfulness techniques help to build resilience among university undergraduates even in periods of high stress.

7th March 2019

5 Tips for Online Study

Studying as an external student and online is convenient because it allows you flexibility in when and where you study. But it is demanding in other ways. You need to be especially disciplined and organised. Here are 5 tips for successful online learning.


17th November 2018

Study Tips for Exams

It's that time again. Say goodbye to fingernails, goodbye to your social life and goodbye to sleep. Exams are looming, but don't start stressing just yet. QS Top Universities has put together the top 10 study tips you'll need to get the results you want. Read their 10 study tips


27th September 2018
Students Push Their Facebook Use Further Into Course Work
College students are taking social media to a new level, using Web sites like Facebook to communicate with other students about their coursework, according to results of a new survey on student technology use. Read more...

20th August 2018
Tips for distance learning students

A useful collection of tips for students considering external study.  Read more...

See previous news bites


8th August 2011
CDU Common Unit Program wins national acclaim
The Common Unit Program received important national recognition at the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Award ceremony held in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House on August 16th. Read more...


Handy info


Contact us

Nicola Rolls – Program Coordinator
Tel: (08) 8946 6142

Raelke Grimmer - CUC100 Internal Students
Tel: (08) 8946 7277

Merin Neilsen - CUC100 External Students
Tel: (08) 8946 7733

Johanna Funk - CUC107 Internal Students
Tel: (08) 8946 6819

Susi Bertei - CUC106 Internal/External Students
Tel: (08) 8946 6009