Real World research alignment

Enhancing the quality of student learning is at the forefront of what we do and is embedded in the QUT Real World Learning 2020 Vision that the learner experience will be "enhanced through online and blended learning technologies and tools". AIRS has been offered in blended mode since 2012 with the aim of providing flexibility for how students engage with course materials.

Students enter a HDR program from a diverse range of backgrounds with one third being international students, while many others are returning to study. Understanding the varied nature of our student cohort is paramount to providing appropriate learning resources, in face to face and blended modes. In doing so we are utilising technology to enhance the student learning experience whilst developing student's research best practice encompassing the three spheres outlined in the QUT Digital Roadmap and Blueprint 5 (PDF, 258KB).

Research active universities are increasing student intake into PhD programs and Australian demand for PhD students is predicted to grow by 50% by 2020 [1], however a report on university destinations in 2007-2009 show that 53% of employed PhD students entered non-academic positions. The emphasis of the coursework which HDR students undertake should be on developing transferable skills for a diverse, quickly changing and complicated employment terrain. In fact, industry demands graduates who possess broad based transferable skills that can be utilised across a range of positions and sectors. The recent Review of Australia's Research Training System, 2016 [2] identified skills in data collection, design of research questions, information seeking and ethical conduct, as just some of the transferable skills required by graduates engaged in diverse career paths.

[1] Edwards, D., A. Radloff, and H. Coates. Supply, demand and characteristics of the higher degree by research population in Australia. 2009 Available from:

[2] McGagh, J, Marsh, H, Western, M, Thomas, P, Hastings, A, Mihailova, M, Wenham, M (2016) Review of Australia's Research Training System. Report for the Australian Council of Learned Academies,