Journalism capstone units based on agreed principles and standards

  • Trevor Cullen
Keywords: Australia, Australian Learning and Teaching, capstone units, curriculum development, employability, graduate capabilities, journalism education


The concept of capstone units is gaining currency within the Australian Higher Education system, with a growing focus on enhancing graduate employability and assuring graduate outcomes. The aim of this paper is to report on an 18-month study of undergraduate journalism capstone units in Australian universities. Just over half of the universities in Australia that teach journalism (16 out of 30), embed capstone units in their programmes, and the study, which began in September 2015, is part of part of an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellowship. It is divided into three stages. The first stage involved face-to-face interviews with journalism academics at 16 universities in five States, to discover what type of capstone unit they use, the principles they employ and the skills students need to demonstrate and apply. This data then underwent a validation process. Stage three of the study will develop resources to support journalism educators in the design or redesign of capstone units, especially in the area of agreed principles, standards and best practice.  


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Author Biography

Trevor Cullen
Associate Professor Trevor Cullen is Head of Journalism and Director of CREATEC Research Centre at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia.
How to Cite
Cullen, T. (2016). Journalism capstone units based on agreed principles and standards. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 22(2), 172-184.