Teaching & Learning

Unit Outline


A Unit Outline communicates to students essential information about the purpose and learning design of your unit. The audience of your unit outline is the students enrolled in your unit.

The Code of Conduct for Teaching and Learning [PDF 33KB] and Rule 2 - Academic Assessment [Word 46KB] mandate that certain information about your unit is communicated to students in the Unit Outline within the first week of the academic timetable.

The unit outline should be provided to students through the unit's MyLO site, you may also be provide it to them in hard copy, but this is not required.

someone reading a printed Unit Outline document

Unit Outline Proforma

To assist you to meet your obligation to communicate this information to your students in writing, a Unit Outline Proforma [DOC 256KB] (updated October, 2016) has been developed. Throughout the proforma document comments are provided to explain what you should include in each section, and under each heading. If you use this Proforma, and follow the recommendations and instructions in each comment, you can be confident that your students have been provided with the mandated information about your unit. Information about editing this proforma can be found below.

When you have finished editing your unit outline, it is recommended that it should undergo peer review, as clause 6.3 of Rule 2 - Academic Assessment [Word 46KB] stipulates that:

Unit requirements... must not be changed except in exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the head of school, in which case students will receive adequate warning and consultation followed by written confirmation.

Therefore, it is important that the information in the unit outline, particularly as it relates to assessment is accurate. It should also be noted that assessment criteria must be present in the Unit Outline, and reference to their availability in the unit's MyLO site is not sufficient to meet expectations.

Unit Outline as Planning tool

The Unit Outline Proforma design implements core features of the constructive alignment framework, so in addition to being a tool for clear communication with students, it has been used by many staff as a planning document. It should be noted, however, that the primary function of a Unit Outline is to communicate essential information to students, and the information included and language used within it should reflect this core purpose.

There are many essential elements of unit planning that are not incorporated into the Unit Outline, and therefore it is recommended that when planning and (re)designing your unit, you use the planning resources on the Planning your Unit page.


The Unit Outline Proforma [DOC 256KB] (updated October, 2016) is a document that can be saved and edited in MS Word. To begin using it, download and save to your computer. Click below for further instructions.