What does practical and applied learning actually mean?

While researching courses and universities, you will more than likely come across terms such as ‘hands-on learning’, ‘applied learning’, ‘real-world learning’ and ‘practical learning’. However you phrase it, it’s this type of learning that plays a key role in enhancing your employability.

At Deakin Open Day, make sure you find out about the hands-on skills you’ll learn in your course of interest and which facilities you’ll be able to use.

Why learning by doing is always better

Deakin builds in extensive practical and applied learning experiences throughout its courses, giving graduates the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. Instead of just reading about a topic and sitting in lectures, you'll roll up your sleeves and actually do the thing you want to do.

Deakin environment students, for example, learn skills in the field such as measuring the health of freshwater environments, surveying wildlife populations, conducting sustainability assessments and studying seals and penguins.

Early exposure to clinical environments lets Deakin nursing students develop and consolidate clinical skills. When students are not on a clinical placement, they are developing skills at purpose-built clinical facilities on campus, using our state-of-the-art equipment.

Talk to staff and students in the Career and Course Information Centre about practical and applied learning opportunities in the courses of interest to you. Ask about teaching methods and the way the lecturers operate. Many of our classes involve far more than just lectures!

Experience industry-leading facilities

Learning and developing your skills in state-of-the-art facilities means that you graduate job-ready. Deakin is continuously improving and updating its facilities to ensure they are at the forefront of each field, providing you with the latest industry-standard equipment.

For example, our 3D GAIT laboratory features world-first equipment, including a treadmill hooked up to a 3D motion capture system, which feeds into the world’s largest database of scientific 3D biomechanical walking and running data. Deakin Motion.Lab is the first motion capture and interactive performance research development lab in an Australian university. It works with the Institute for Intelligent Systems and Research to develop new approaches to movement, art and technology.

Find out which facilities are relevant to you and make sure you check them out. If there are any events or demonstrations on, make sure you don’t miss them. Visit the online Open Day Planner for Melbourne Burwood, Geelong Waurn Ponds or Geelong Waterfront, it provides details on all of the information session, tours and experiences running at Open Day, so you can get started planning your day.

Start building up your professional resume while you study

Being able to show your future employers what you’ve ‘experienced’ during your studies gives you a competitive edge in the job market.

For example, Deakin law students gains extensive hands-on experience in the Law Clinics, where they work under the supervision of qualified solicitors to conduct research on legal issues, interview real clients and provide them with legal advice. Communication and creative arts students graduate with a portfolio of work, ready to show future employers. Engineering students spend half of every trimester learning via team-based projects, in which they take real-world industry problems, and design, research, test and evaluate solutions, with the support of an academic.

These types of hands-on learning experiences are excellent additions to your resume, proof of the hands-on skills that you’ve developed throughout your course and help to differentiate you from other job applicants.

Talk to employers in the Employability Precinct about what they’re looking for in graduates. What aspects of a university degree are important to them? How can a Deakin course help you gain the skills to meet an employer’s needs?