Tailored study options

Units developed just for you

At PTC, as well as there being the flexibility of online (off-campus) units, we are very happy to tailor units to suit your individual requirements. If you want to study something that you can’t see on the timetable or that is not regularly offered, speak to the Academic Dean to see if we can work something out for you.

Directed study

One option is what is called a ‘directed study’. For a directed study, you can pick any unit in the ACT list of units and in discussion with you, we can develop a programme of reading and assessment items. You can even choose when the assessment items are due. If there are lecture recordings available on the topic, you can choose to use those, but directed reading can take the place of lectures, too.

For a directed study, regular on-campus attendance is not required. As part of the individualised experience of a directed study, your lecturer will personally discuss your work and progress with you over the duration of the unit.

Some examples of recent directed studies:

H. wanted to enrol in a theology unit, but was going for an overseas holiday in the middle of semester and so would not meet attendance requirements. She enrolled in the unit as a directed study. The lectures were video recorded and she watched them when she was able. She chose to undertake the same assessment items as on-campus students (2 essays), but a straightforward assignment was added in which she had to draw up a summary of the lecture recordings, to help her to engage fully with the overall unit material. We allowed H. to attend on-campus lectures, too, when she could and if she wanted.

F. had time constraints and could not enrol in Continental Reformation when it was offered. Instead of attending lectures, the unit was arranged so that he would read through the lecturer’s notes and draw up a summary. He was also very pleased that he did not have to sit the exam that is usually required for this unit – he completed two essays rather than one essay and an exam. He performed well in the unit and won a Church History prize that year.

You may undertake up to 4 directed studies in any one course of study (and no more than 2 in any one field). Speak to the relevant lecturer and the Academic Dean to make arrangements.

Capstone experiences and projects

Rather than undertaking the usual assessment items for a unit (multiple essays, exams, etc), you can complete a capstone experience or a project. You will design the project topic or research question in interaction with the lecturer. The coursework Masters degrees require at least one capstone experience or project.

  • A project is an extended piece of writing, ranging from 6,000-16,000 words (12-36cps) and can be completed at various levels (7-9). Go to ACT list of units and search on ‘project’ to see the full range of options (or consult the ACT handbook PDF).

  • A capstone experience integrates research and learning in various fields of study and can involve a range of learning activities (set readings, essays, etc). Go to ACT list of units and search on ‘capstone’ to see the requirements.

Speak to the relevant lecturer and the Academic Dean to make arrangements.


As part of the flexible study options for you at PTC, online study is available.


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