Transforming our systems and resources to implement 21C Curriculum

Teams across the University are working to transform systems and work practices to efficiently deliver our new curriculum.  There are Implementation Advisory Group (IAG) (opens in a new window) teams working on:

  • Curriculum and Student Management Systems (SMS/LMS).
  • Policy and Governance Development.
  • Marketing and Communications to staff and students.
  • Human and Financial Resources.

We have developed our key resources to support the next expanded ‘at-scale’ work of the 21C Project strategy:

Partnership Pedagogy

Partnership Pedagogy is the co-creation of curriculum by our staff with our students and our external partners. It is a signature concept in the shaping of curriculum transformation at Western, enabling the university and its students to remain critically engaged with emerging social challenges and complex future work environments. Western’s pedagogy involves any (or all) of these overlapping aspects of curriculum co-creation done via a genuine partnership between staff and students and external partners:
  • Co-designing curriculum – where to the overall conception of the curriculum is thought through and consolidated between all partners. The course goals, purpose or curriculum elements are formulated via ongoing dialogue between partners. This includes but is not limited to selecting pedagogy, considering outcomes, devising content, conceptualising learning activities or assessment strategies.
  • Co-developing curriculum resources – collaboration between all partners in the production of any of a range of tasks, resources or artefacts to be used in the teaching and learning activities specified by the curriculum. This includes but is not limited to developing classroom activities, audio, video resources, apps or computer simulations, text or image-based resources. It may include re-purposing professional materials so as to provide students with access to contemporary tools and authentic resources during their studies.
  • Co-delivering curriculum – delivering curriculum as a collaboration with all partners either on or off campus. This includes but is not limited to workplace placements, guest lectures, mentoring students, participating in simulations, acting as clients for student consulting teams, participating in student conferences, or collaborating in cooperative research projects.
  • Co-credentialing and co-assessing curriculum– a collaboration between all partners to design assessment tasks and standards both on and off campus. This includes but is not limited to setting questions, determining criteria, marking or supervising assessment activities. The co-credentialing aspect may also embed certification or accredited activities within the curriculum to enable students to attain external certification within a unit or course.
Read more about our approach and our guiding principles for curriculum partnerships (PDF, 299.54 KB) (opens in a new window) For further information, contact the team at

Student Curriculum Partners

This initiative takes its rationale from the growing interest in the Students as Partners (PDF, 340.86 KB) (opens in a new window) movement that is revolutionising higher education curriculum across the world.

At Western, the 21C project is committed to working in active and genuine partnership with students to renew and transform our curriculum and students’ education experiences. Since 2017, a handful of undergraduate students have collaborated with us to learn about the future of work, engage with staff and external partners in Curriculum MakerSpaces, to offer feedback on the design of 21C Pods and units, to make videos, artefacts and curriculum resources, and to carry out research. In fact, in 2018, we have been busy making our very own unit. In 2019, we plan to grow.

Visit our website (opens in a new window) to learn more about:

  • who our current 21C Student Curriculum Partners are
  • what we have been doing and how we work together
  • how our student partners feel about working with a partnership mindset
  • the resources and videos we have made
  • the research we want to do, and
  • our plans to grow student partnership across the University.

For further information, contact Dr Tai Peseta.

Curriculum Makerspaces

The Curriculum Makerspaces (opens in a new window) provide challenge teams with access to collective educational expertise in the design, development and evaluation of their curriculum projects. The Makerspaces offer intensive development opportunities to foster collaboration across the institution and with external and student partners, to ensure that the aims in co-creating curriculum are achieved.

For further information, contact Gina Saliba.

Course Design Principles

The Course Design Principles(PDF, 63.79 KB) (opens in a new window) that will inform the development of the University’s new integrated Curriculum Design and Approvals Policy have been finalised, and endorsed at the 2nd April 2019 meeting of the Academic Planning and Courses Approvals Committee.

For further information, contact David Roach.

We launched our 21C curriculum prototypes in Autumn 2019. The 21C Project Storyboard (opens in a new window) lets staff and students preview the prototypes developed as 21C Flagship projects. The schedule for rollout of all the Flagship projects is available on the IAG site (opens in a new window). You can read about the design features of:

21C Curiosity Pods

Curiosity Pods are a uniquely Western Sydney University opportunity to follow your curiosity while you study for your degree. You will learn about things that will make a difference; to your future employment success and to the future of our society.


  • Curiosity Pods are open to all Western Sydney University Students regardless of what program they are studying. You just have to sign-up and participate.
  • They offer engaging and accessible, bite-sized university-level learning experiences which equip students for success in today’s rapidly changing workplaces and societies.
  • They focus on developing students’ capabilities as; Future Thinkers, Innovative Entrepreneurs, Global Citizens and Sustainability Advocates.
  • Curiosity Pods taken as co-curriculum don’t have assessment requirements beyond the learning activities that generate a record of successful participation.
  • The record of successful completion provides an artefact that can be converted to a micro-credential.
  • Read more about the design features ( PDF, 63.2 KB) (opens in a new window) of Curiosity Pods.

We are building more Curiosity Pods with students and our industry and community partners. Watch out for announcements on Career Hub.

You can browse the prototype Curiosity Pods on the 21C Project Storyboard (opens in a new window). Find out what students said about our latest Curiosity Pod on Global Leadership for Smart Inclusive Cities (opens in a new window).

21C Sub-Majors (Minors)

21C Sub-majors (Minors) add more substantive interdisciplinary capabilities and multidisciplinary breadth to our programs.  Like the 21C Curiosity Pods, they develop outcomes that equip students for success in the future of work and society. They take advantage of the new degree structures developed by Schools which allow students to take a forty-credit point minor which develops hybrid capabilities to complement their degree studies. They offer students new study opportunities to make a positive difference to the critical challenges facing humanity, by exploring challenges such as the ethics and social impacts of digital disruption, or initiatives to progress the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 2030.


  • 21C Sub-majors are available to any undergraduate student at the University with elective space in their program. They are also recommended to students enrolled in targeted participating programs.
  • New 21C Sub-majors will be developed by the 21C Challenge Teams (PDF, 159.11 KB) (opens in a new window).
  • All 21C Sub-majors embody the co-creation features of Partnership Pedagogy (PDF, 299.54 KB) (opens in a new window).
  • They offer a genuinely multidisciplinary and flexible study path.
  • They include a number of Curiosity Pods reflecting different disciplinary perspectives on the challenges addressed by the Sub-major.
  • They include a choice of three electives drawn from a selection of five units developed and offered by at least four different Schools.
  • They include a transdisciplinary integrative unit where students complete either an authentic social change project, research project, placement or internship.
  • They offer all students an international mobility option and a guaranteed and distinctive internship or placement.
  • They deepen students’ capabilities as Future Thinkers, Innovative Entrepreneurs, Global Citizens and Sustainability Advocates.
  • Read more about the design features (PDF, 49.32 KB) (opens in a new window) of Sub-majors.
The Global Sustainability Sub-major developed in 2018 is a prototype of the new 21C Sub-major (Minor).  It tested the architecture and pedagogical design, developed recommendations to streamline the University’s development and approval processes, and trialled student engagement and participation. It was co-created by Learning Futures, Sustainable Futures, Digital Futures, the University’s Research Themes, the School of Business, School of Education, School of Science and Health, School of Social Sciences and Psychology, and School of Humanities and Communication Arts, and The Academy, 21C Student Curriculum Partners, as well as our external partners, United Nations University – IAS, Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development.

There will be opportunities to contribute to creating new 21C Sub-majors (Minors) later in 2019.