The paper presents the results of an empirical study aimed at analysing the role of self-regulation in different approaches to learning that were established in the previous studies. We examined whether certain categories of metacognitive strategies were present in the deep, surface and achievement-oriented approach. The sample included 560 first- to fifth-year students of the Teacher Training Faculty, the Faculty of Philosophy and the Faculty of Philology of the University of Belgrade. A shorter version of the Instrument for measuring learning goals and strategies was applied. The previous research had established that learning goals and strategies comprised by this instrument were grouped into three second-order factors: the surface, deep and achievement-oriented approach to learning. The items from the Scale of students’ metacognitive strategies were included. Factor analysis confirmed the existence of the three approaches to learning that include learning goals and strategies. We analysed the frequency of individual approaches to learning on the total sample, the frequency of individual approaches in the respondents of different gender and the correlations of the approach to learning with the age, year of studies and academic achievement. Different metacognitive strategies contribute to the defining of the deep and achievement-oriented approach to learning, but they do not occur in the surface approach to learning. According to the obtained findings, self-regulation can play different roles in accordance with the goals set by students and the strategies used in learning. The results of this study point to possible directions of encouraging the deep approach to learning and self-regulation at the university level, as well as in primary and secondary school. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 179034: Od podsticanja inicijative, saradnje, stvaralaštva u obrazovanju do novih uloga i identiteta u društvu i br. 47008: Unapređivanje kvaliteta i dostupnosti obrazovanja u procesima modernizacije Srbije
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