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WRP9012 Fundamentals of Professional Studies

Semester 1, 2019 Online
Short Description: Fundamentals of Profes Studies
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
ASCED code : 079999 - Education not elsewhere classi
Grading basis : Pass/Not Pass


Examiner: Lee Fergusson


The Fundamentals of Professional Studies course introduces students to the theory and principles underpinning professional studies learning through research 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 to learning through research of professional practice adopted by USQ. This includes clearly illustrating the student learning journey through the program taking into account its expected research outputs, student participation, illustrative timeframes and assessment criteria.


This course ensures that students enrolled in the Master of Professional Studies (Research) program understand its fundamental theoretical underpinnings and the principles adopted in the USQ approach to enhancing professional practice based on research of professional practice. 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 understand the theoretical, professional and academic standards associated with the Master of Professional Studies (Research) program and the levels of support/guidance that they can expect while conducting their research from their supervisory team.

Students will also have completed work associated with enhancing their reflective practice as a necessary component of conducting professional practice research. The course outcomes will also include the agreed professional, academic and organisational / community development outcomes associated with their learning and research project plan.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. apply relevant knowledge and theory, including research that explores recent developments in professional studies aimed at enhancing professional practice
  2. engage in reflective, self-directed, developmental practice that enhances self-awareness by integrating prior learning with applied research
  3. apply knowledge of research philosophies, principles and methodologies
  4. design and implementation of a professional studies research project in a work context
  5. identify and critically assess pertinent ethical considerations in their professional practice when conducting research in a work context
  6. communicate and articulate the purposeful integration of personal learning objectives with a planned research projects to facilitate individual/organisational capacity building and learning
  7. design a research project proposal.


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 Practices (development of learning objectives) 10.00
4. Learning Program: Evaluating and demonstrating research pathway to learning objectives 5.00
5. Research: Philosophies and methodologies for professional studies research 5.00
6. Developing the research topic and research questions 10.00
7. Research Methodological Design: Quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods 15.00
8. Application of methodology: Analysis Techniques 5.00
9. Ethics: conducting research in the workplace and professions 5.00
10. Professional Studies Research Project Proposal: Detailed professional studies research project plan. 30.00

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. (

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

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.

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
LEARNING PROGRAM 100 20 21 Jun 2019
PROF STUDIES RESEARCH PROPOSAL 100 80 21 Jun 2019 (see note 1)

  1. As a part of this course, students are required to develop a a) learning program for assessment by the course examiner and b) research proposal for assessment by the program coordinator. The research proposal may be further refined after the conclusion of this course and in agreement with the supervisor, submitted for the Confirmation of Candidature process. Confirmation of Candidature is not part of the assessment of this course but builds on the proposal requirement.

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.

    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 theobjectives 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 a ctivities (such as lectures and tutorials) 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:
    1. The student demonstrating that the learning objectives have been met as incorporated in the two bodies of work, and
    2. 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:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  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