This study investigated the mediating effect of learner selfconcept between conceptions of learning and students' approaches to learning using structural equation modelling. Data were collected using a modified version of Biggs' Learning Process Questionnaire, together with the recently developed 'What is Learning Survey' and 'Learner Self-Concept Scale'. A sample of 355 high school students participated in the study. Results indicate that learner self-concept does mediate between conceptions of meaning and approaches to learning. Students who adopted a deep approach liked learning new things and indirectly viewed learning as experiential, involving social interaction and directly viewed learning as personal development. Implications for teachers are discussed, with consideration given to appropriate classroom practice.