Enquiry-based learning

Enquiry based learning describes approaches to learning that are based on a process of enquiry, study, and research in which the student takes considerable responsibility for their own learning.

  • Effective learning occurs when your students’ learning experiences are engaging, that is, when your students are doing rather than just listening.
  • In enquiry-based learning, students take on more responsibility for identifying precisely what they need to learn and finding resources which will allow them to fill their knowledge gaps.
  • Enquiry-based learning can begin in first year and progressively help students to develop their research skills as self-directed learners.
  • Students learn to identify and find answers to the questions that they need to ask and the resources that they need to draw upon in solving any given complex (often real world business problem).


Increasing student engagement is likely to improve the quality of learning and reduce challenges in the learning environment. When the context of learning is both relevant and requiring active engagement, student learning is maximised.


  • Research-enriched learning and teaching (RELT)
    Enquiry-based learning involves students developing research skills relevant to their discipline(s) and may require students to draw upon the latest research in the field. As such it can embody research enriched Learning and Teaching (RELT)
  • Community-engaged learning and teaching (CELT)
    Where students are expected to relate theory to real work-related experiences, community engaged learning and teaching (CELT) is involved.  In these contexts students are expected to produce ideas, integrate knowledge, and complete tasks that have real-world applications. This often involves working in groups to simulate project teams in the workplace, such as consultancy projects, presentations of innovative business ideas to potential investors or students working with a local community to set up a cooperative.


Engaged learning