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WRP8000 Fundamentals of Professional Studies

Semester 1, 2015 External Toowoomba
Units : 2
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts

Contents on this page


Examiner: Luke Van Der Laan
Moderator: Rhod McNeill

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have reliable internet access for this course.

Computer literacy is now expected as part of professional life, and is an integral element in the studying and learning process associated with this course. The course makes significant use of the internet and online environment, and students are required to participate in the online environment throughout the course. As such students are required to have substantial and reliable access to a computer and the internet.


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 appropriate Masters academic level. Students are given an insight as to the Professional Studies program approach adopted by USQ. 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 Master of Professional Studies program understand its fundamental theoretical underpinnings and the principles adopted in the USQ approach to enhancing professional practice based on work-based learning. 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.
By completing the course, students will:
i) be introduced to the theoretical body of knowledge that supports professional development within the context of work-based learning,
ii) develop their critical thinking and reflective practice skills,
iii) develop their understanding and application of research philosophy and related research methodologies applicable to work-based research projects,
iv) develop their understanding of relevant ethical considerations associated with work-based research and ensuring that appropriate ethical guidelines are applied in their research,
v) develop their communication and collaboration skills especially within the workplace, online and academic contexts amongst their colleagues and peers,
vi) develop a clearly articulated learning program outlining learning objectives and the associated activities required to achieve these, and
vii) develop their work-based research projects based on sound project management principles and applications.
By completing the course students will understand the theoretical, professional and academic standards associated with the Master of Professional Studies program and the levels of support/guidance that they can expect.
Students will also have completed work associated with enhancing their reflective practice. The course outcomes will also include the agreed professional, academic and organisational development outcomes associated with their learning and research project plans.


On successful completion of this course students will 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 principle of self-directed learning
  3. knowledge of research philosophies, principles and relevant methodologies appropriate in the application of work-based research projects and the skills and techniques of conducting research using appropriate technological tools
  4. cand critical thinking skills that demonstrate appropriate levels of application of knowledge and skills requisite with meeting the outcomes of the Masters of Professional Studies program
  5. research philosophy knowledge and methodological understanding to design and implement appropriate research within a workplace context
  6. knowledge and understanding of pertinent ethical considerations in their professional practice and conducting research
  7. knowledge and understanding of fundamental project management principles supporting the design, implementation and evaluation of work-based projects
  8. the capacity to communicate and demonstrate the planned linkage between personal learning objectives and planned research projects that will facilitate individual/organisational capacity building and learning.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to professional studies at USQ 5.00
2. Theoretical foundations of professional studies and work-based learning 10.00
3. Reflective practice (learning portfolio development or similar) 20.00
4. Learning program: evaluating and demonstrating pathway to learning objectives 10.00
5. Research: philosophies and methodologies for work-based research 10.00
6. Ethics: conducting research in the workplace and professions 5.00
7. Work-based research project proposal: detailed work-based research project plan 40.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • All necessary resources required for this course are available on the USQ course study desk, and within the USQ Library.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • All reference materials that may further enhance student knowledge and understanding will either be made available as optional readings or can be discovered autonomously and/or collaboratively online with appropriate guidance provided.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 180.00
Directed Study 100.00
Private Study 50.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
LEARNING PROGRAM 100 20 23 Apr 2015 (see note 1)
WORK-BASED RESEARCH PROPOSAL 100 80 25 Jun 2015 (see note 2)

  1. The Learning Program is the product of reflective analysis as articulated in the student's Learning Portfolio (or similar artefact as agreed with the course examiner) and the learning objectives developed by the student and articulated in the program. Students are strongly advised to engage in online activities throughout the course. These are designed to build and share relevant knowledge foundations and achieve knowledge construction in collaboration with peers.
  2. The Work-based research proposal is assessed as representing the student's readiness to implement their work-based projects in accordance with the standards and requirements as illustrated in the course specifications. Students are strongly advised to engage in online activities throughout the course. These are designed to build and share relevant knowledge foundations and achieve knowledge construction in collaboration with peers.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students? responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    It is the students? responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Two bodies of work are required for assessment. These are required to be submitted on time as advised by the course examiner and are assessed together by an independent panel upon completion of the course.

    In keeping with the flexibility of the course, students may submit requests for extensions based on reasonable requests related to changes in their work circumstances.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Satisfactory completion of the course is dependent on an independent internal assessment by a panel of the assessment items (Learning Program and Work-based research proposal) and is assessed against the following criteria:
    a) The student demonstrating that the learning objectives have been met as incorporated in the two bodies of work, and
    b) The student has demonstrated the capacity to implement the research project as incorporated in the Work-based research proposal.

    NOTE: It is acknowledged that work conditions may change and materially affect the implementation of the student?s work-based projects. Reasonable flexibility is assured to allow the student to amend the Work-based research proposal according to their change in context.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    As P is the only passing grade available for this course, all students who are qualified for a
    passing grade will be given a grade of P. Other students will be given either a Failing grade or an Incomplete grade.

  6. Examination information:
    Not applicable

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at