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WRP9000 Fundamentals of Professional Studies A

Semester 1, 2022 Online
Units : 2
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
Student contribution band : Band 1
Grading basis : Pass/Not Pass
Version produced : 30 June 2022


Examiner: Luke van der Laan


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in the Doctor of Professional Studies program (DPRS)


The Fundamentals of Professional Studies course introduces students to the theory and principles underpinning work-based learning as a basis for developing individual professionalism at the highest academic level. This requires gaining a systemic and critical understanding of the substantial and complex body of knowledge that develops the authoritive judgement and expertise typifying leading practitioners. Students are given an insight as to the Professional Studies program approach adopted by USQ and immersed in the theoretical underpinnings and reflective practice that supercedes research project design. This includes clearly illustrating the student learning journey through the program taking into account its expected outputs, student participation, illustrative timeframes and assessment criteria.

This course ensures that students enrolled in the Doctor of Professional Studies program gain a critical understanding of its theoretical underpinnings and those within their area of practice. It ensures that the principles adopted in the USQ approach to enhancing professional practice are systemically interpreted in order to ensure that the benefits of work-based learning are optimised in achieving practitioner expertise. It also prepares and equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure that their progression through the program is seamless and sufficiently self-directed so as to culminate in the level of autonomy and specialisation that is expected from completing the program.
By completing the course, students will:
i) be introduced to and critically evaluate the theoretical body of knowledge that supports professional development within the context of work-based learning,
ii) develop a high level of cognitive capability in optimising their reflective practice skills and cognitive skills demonstrating intellectual independence, self-awareness and providence,
iii) critically evaluate the location(s) of their practice in a theoretical body of knowledge relevant acknowledging the likely transdisciplinary nature thereof,
iv) develop a high level of communication and collaboration skills especially within the workplace, online and academic contexts amongst their colleagues and peers, and
v) develop a clearly articulated learning program outlining learning objectives and conceptualising original research pathways in achieving these.
By completing the course students will understand the theoretical, professional and academic standards associated with the Doctor of Professional Studies program and the levels of support/guidance that they can expect.
Students will also have completed rigorous work associated with enhancing their reflective practice. Students will also have located their practice in the broad theoretical disciplines underpinning their transdisciplinary professional work-based activities. The course outcomes will also include the agreed professional, academic and organisational development objectives (learning contract) associated with their learning and research project plans.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students should have:

  1. a body of knowledge, and theoretical understanding that includes the understanding of recent developments in the work-based learning approach to enhancing professional practice;
  2. reflective practice skills that illustrate relevant prior learning within a developmental process that enhances self-awareness supporting the principles of self-directed learning, self-directed career development and intellectual autonomy;
  3. cognitive and critical thinking skills that demonstrate doctoral levels in the application of knowledge and skills required to generate original knowledge and make a substantial contribution to their area of professional practice;
  4. a body of knowledge, and theoretical understanding that includes the systemic and critical understanding of recent developments in their (transdisciplinary) field of practice;
  5. developed their communication and collaborative skills to a level required to execute and report on their self-directed learning planning, implementation, reporting and dessimination.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to doctoral professional studies at USQ 5.00
2. Theoretical foundations of professional studies and work-based learning 15.00
3. Theoretical foundations: student’s professional practice 30.00
4. Reflective practice (learning portfolio development or similar) 30.00
5. Learning program: evaluating and demonstrating pathway to learning objectives 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Creswell, J.W. and Clark, V.L.P 2007, Designing and conducting mixed methods research, 2nd edn, Sage Publications, California.

Assessment details

Description Weighting (%)
Date printed 30 June 2022