At Victoria University (VU) we have we have revolutionised tertiary education in Australia with our multi award-winning VU Block Model.

Unlike the standard university model where you juggle multiple subjects at once over a semester, at VU, you get to focus on one unit (subject) at a time. You complete each unit over a four-week ‘block’. You typically finish your block on a Friday and receive your results on the following Monday, taking away uncertainty and a long wait for results.

We’re the first university in Australia to introduce the Block Model, building on the proven successes of block programs at universities in Sweden, Canada and the US.

Since we introduced the award-winning VU Block Model to our undergraduate students in 2018, our students are performing better than ever before. In 2019, first-year pass rates were at 87% (up 13% on standard model) while for second year students, pass rates were at 90%. Beyond academic results, the immersive Block class environment develops your confidence and independence as a learner and problem-solver, preparing you for success in your future career.

The VU Block Model is offered to students in all years of our undergraduate higher education degrees.

Following the overwhelming success of the revolutionary VU Block Model with undergraduate students, from 2021 we will start rolling out the Block Model for our postgraduate courses.

Benefits of the VU Block Model

Focus on one subject at a time

At other universities, you need to complete multiple subjects at once.

At VU, you’ll be fully focused on each subject. This allows you to focus, reinforce concepts through practical learning, and quickly implement feedback. It means that if you are fascinated by a subject, you can delve deeply and immerse yourself in it. And if you don’t enjoy it, you will be pleased to have it finished in only four weeks – rather than studying it across an entire semester.

Achieve better grades

With the VU Block Model, you have a better chance of achieving academic success.

Since its introduction to undergraduate courses in 2018, VU’s Block Model has seen our pass rate increase. In 2019, first-year pass rates were at 87% (up 13% on standard model) while for second year students, pass rates were at 90%.

Not only are you more likely to pass, you’re more likely to get better grades. Over 40% of students received distinctions and high distinctions, without a change to the assessments given.

Build confidence from day one

Block classes are interactive sessions where you are empowered to share ideas, debate concepts and explore learning opportunities. Learning in small, collaborative working groups with classmates and your teacher, you will feel more confident to speak up than in the standard lecture environment.

The progression of subjects in the Block Model will give you early feedback and success, which means you can build confidence in your studies from day one.

While we are temporarily teaching remotely, our Zoom classrooms allow for breakout rooms just like a campus classroom, where you work in small groups before coming back to the class to share your ideas.

Focused timetables = more free time

Block classes are available in multiple combinations of days and times (morning, mid-morning, afternoon and evening), allowing you to choose the combination that best suits you.

Each unit typically has three, three hour, face-to-face teaching sessions per week, scheduled over three days. In 2020, classes are running via Zoom and Webex.

This consistent and focused timetabling of three Block classes per week means that you have more time for work, social life, caring responsibilities, sport, and everything else that’s important to you.

Teachers get to know you

At VU, your teachers will know you by name. Because the Block class sizes are small, you get to know your classmates and teacher, and become a working team. It means that if you are having difficulty with a concept or a task, the teacher is there to provide 1:1 support and help you when you need it. It’s a true partnership.

Flexibility to start later in the year or fast-track your studies

Undergraduate students – you can choose to finish your studies faster with optional winter and summer blocks of study, or take time off for work or travel and still finish your year on schedule. Summer Block 1 is an early four-week study block for first year undergraduate students who want the option to start – and finish – their course earlier or substitute another block later in the year. You can also begin your course in Block 3 (around May) instead of waiting for mid-year, and catch up to your classmates by second year.

More time & support to adjust to study in Australia

International students perform particularly well under the Block Model. Two years after implementing the Block Model, our international students were achieving a pass rate of 93%, with 53% of those results a distinction or above.

Students can focus on a single unit at a time, in a small class with a high level of teacher support. Prompt assessments ensure students have the opportunity to address any issues, or seek support, before commencing the next unit.

Access to resources that prepare you for life after uni

In addition to the resources provided by your teachers, you’ll have access to all services and resources available in the Learning Hub, from writing and numeracy through to literature reviews and video skills. You can access workshops, drop-ins and resources by logging on to Learning Hub Online.

In first year (undergraduate students only), alongside coursework, you’ll complete Study Essentials – a program designed to help you gain skills, such as research and writing, required for success. In second, third and fourth year you’ll complete Course Essentials and Future Essentials, which offer customised support through practical learning activities, and assist you to find employment in your chosen field.

With all this additional support, it’s no surprise that more than 90% of Australian employers ranked our graduates highly for leadership, management, flexibility and initiative (2020 Employer Satisfaction Survey).

Planning your study with the Block Model

The Block Model applies to all students at our Melbourne and Sydney campuses studying a bachelor degree or higher education diploma in 2020 and beyond.

From Semester 1, 2021, we start rolling out the Block Model for our postgraduate courses. The information provided in these accordions (below) is for undergraduate students only.

You'll study in short bursts, called blocks.

Each block focuses on one unit (subject) and is only four weeks long, with up to four days between blocks to recharge and prepare for the next.

We break the year up into 10 four-week blocks: two semesters of four blocks each, plus two optional blocks over winter and summer. If you miss a unit or need to repeat one, you may be able to catch up over the winter and summer blocks.

In our undergraduate courses, the first unit you study is set. It's a great introduction to your course that helps build the academic skills you'll need to succeed. If you start your course a bit late, the unit is also offered in block two. The other seven units you'll need to take in first year can then be studied in any order for most courses, to suit your work and life commitments.

In 2020, we’ve transitioned most Block units to an equivalent level, digitally-supported remote delivery model that students can access online.

Each unit will have around three 2-3 hour, face-to-face teaching sessions (via Zoom in 2020) per week. See more about how we've changed course delivery in 2020.

Teaching sessions will be scheduled over three days, in multiple combinations of days and times (morning, afternoon and evening) allowing you to choose the combination that best suits you.

Units with labs and professional experience (pracs) have additional teaching hours and where relevant, will be scheduled on the same days as teaching sessions.

Teaching sessions will not run on more than two consecutive days, so you'll have one gap day between teaching sessions and two gap days each week.

Part-time study

The VU Block Model provides a more predictable timetable that you can manage your life around.

As a part-time student, depending on how you schedule your units, you may have multiple blocks free, giving you more time to devote to the other important commitments in your life.

With the additional winter and summer blocks, you may even find that you can increase your study load and complete your degree sooner.

We’ve changed the way we assess you so that you can achieve your best through early and ongoing feedback.

Assessments have been redesigned for quicker completion within each four-week block, with most of your work completed in class.

The type of assessment will depend on the unit you are taking, and may include:

  • hands-on activities or smaller assessment tasks (conducted in the classroom or online)
  • group presentations
  • a final product or assessment task at the end of your unit.

You’ll have a great sense of how you’re progressing in your course, with final grades for units available soon after a block finishes – much more satisfying than waiting all semester!

All students will have access to a range of integrated learning Essential Activities that build on what you learn in teaching sessions.

Designed to enrich your learning experience, our program of activities focuses on:

  • enhancing career outcomes
  • building leadership skills
  • exploring entrepreneurship opportunities
  • strengthening bonds with your community
  • getting to know more like-minded individuals.

Activities are run through the Learning Hub and are typically held face-to-face or online where possible.

VU Block Model framework

From Semester 1, 2021, we start rolling out the award-winning Block Model for our postgraduate courses

The VU Block Model will soon be offered across all higher education courses, delivered in three different modes of study.

This provides you with high-impact, collaborative, deep and engaged learning – vital to success both in your studies and your career.

Learn more about the VU Block Model for postgraduate courses.

Postgraduate Block Model

Four-week mode

Undergraduate courses:

  • Full-time and part-time study
  • 1 unit at a time over 4 weeks
  • All undergraduate courses

Postgraduate courses:

  • Full-time and part-time study
  • 1 unit at a time over 4 weeks
  • Colleges (from 2021):
    • Arts & Education
    • Health & Biomedicine
    • Sport & Exercise Science

Seven-week mode

Postgraduate courses only.

  • VU Online courses only
  • Part-time study only
  • 1 unit at a time over 7 weeks
  • Courses:
    • business & finance
    • healthcare.

Eight-week mode

Postgraduate courses only.

  • Full-time & part-time study
  • 2 units at a time over 8 weeks (full time) or 1 unit at a time over 8 weeks (part time)
  • Colleges (from 2021):
    • VU Business School (all postgrad courses)
    • Engineering & Science (selected postgrad courses only)

Please note that all other VU postgraduate courses (not in the Colleges mentioned) will continue to be taught in the current course teaching periods (i.e. multiple units at the same time, as per the course structure), until the VU Block Model for postgraduate is rolled out to all courses.

Find a course & start studying

Contact us to find out more about the VU Block Model and choose the right course for you.

Phone+61 3 9919 6100

Find a course and get started.