Footscray Park Campus

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The unit gives supervisors of research students knowledge of relevant national and institutional regulations on supervision, and introduces them to effective supervisory practice.

This unit will not be available in 2020.

Please note: This course is for VU staff only.

Unit details

The Supervision of Student Research unit aims to give research supervisors knowledge of relevant national and insitutional regulations on supervision, and introduce them to effective supervisory practice. The unit gives supervisors the opportunity to monitor and evaluate their own supervision and enhance their practice in a collaborative, peer-supported environment.

This unit is designed primarily for staff involved in supervising Higher Degree by Research students, but is also relevant for staff teaching research components of coursework masters and Honours programs.

Many staff involved in supervision already engage in continuing professional development of their supervisory practice, and this unit consolidates and give credit for such development. The unit is delivered via a combination of face-to-face workshops and online engagement.


Students must be concurrently supervising student research in a tertiary environment.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students are expected to be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the national code and guidelines and institutional supervision-related policies
  • critically reflect on effective supervisory practice within their disciplinary context and monitor and evaluate their own practices against these
  • monitor and evaluate their own supervisory practices and their effectiveness in supporting quality and timely student outcomes
  • critically examine the work of a research student against institutional and national standards
  • research and plan an appropriate strategy for improving an aspect of student research within their disciplinary context
  • engage in continuous improvement of their supervisory practices and management of student research through continuing independent learning and professional development.


Assessment type Description Grade
Presentation Presentation defining problem 15%
Test Supervisor compliance test 15%
Portfolio Reflective portfolio 25%
Project Practice-enhancement project report 45%

Minimum effective word limit 5000 words.

Required reading

The good supervisor: supervising postgraduate and undergraduate research for doctoral theses and dissertations, 
Wisker, G 2005,
Houndsmill: Palgrave Macmillan.

Changing practices of doctoral education, 
Boud, D & Lee, A (eds) 2008,
London: Routledge.

Supervising doctorates from downunder: key to effective supervision in Australia and New Zealand, 
Denholm, C & Evans, T 2007,
Camberwell: ACER Press.

Helping doctoral students write: Pedagogies for supervision, 
Kalmer, B & Thomson, P 2006,
London: Routledge

How to apply

You can apply for this unit as part of the Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education, or enrol in the unit independent of the course.