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NUR8550 Professional Studies 1

Semester 2, 2021 Online
Short Description: Professional Studies 1
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Nursing and Midwifery
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 060399 - Nursing not classified
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 7 March 2021


Examiner: Sharon Rees

Other requisites

It is recommended that this course only be undertaken following completion of four courses or one year of study as per recommended enrolment pattern in the Handbook.


This Masters level course is designed to facilitate synthesis of knowledge from previous studies as the basis for addressing the learning needs of the student, through a learning contract based on an identified area of professional interest to the student.


This course is based on a negotiated learning contract between students and their supervisor. The learning contract requires that students draw on their previous learning and identify their current learning needs. To undertake the learning project students will develop learning objectives and a project plan. The students, in consultation with their supervisor will agree upon learning objectives, available resources, learning processes and methods of evaluation.


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

  1. Design objectives for an individual learning contract relevant to their chosen specialty;
  2. Plan and undertake a learning project including a timeline, strategies, and resources to meet their objectives;
  3. Develop a report or education session through critiquing of current literature and evaluation of practice within their workplace.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Developing learning objectives. 10.00
2. Planning and undertaking a project. 10.00
3. Produce a report or education session for assessment. 80.00

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. (

As the learning needs of each student are unique and addressed through individual contracts, there is no set text for the 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.
Reference materials will be provided within the course.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 60.00
Online Tutorials 4.00
Private Study 100.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Learning Contract Proposal 10 20 26 Jul 2021 1,2
Project Report 60 80 11 Oct 2021 1,2,3

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    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.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete an assessment item satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for that assessment item.

  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:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course. Where a student has failed to achieve a passing grade by 5% or less of the aggregated weighted marks, the examiner in agreement with the moderator will consider recommending to the Board of Examiners the undertaking of supplementary assessment by the student, if the student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  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

Assessment notes

  1. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. If electronic submission is specified for a course assessment, students will be notified of this on the Course Study Desk. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment irrespective of holidays. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  3. Note that assignments may have to be accompanied by a 'Turnitin' Originality Report which the student has to download from the Turnitin website at after submitting their assignment to the Turnitin database online. Details will be provided with the assignment requirements. Failure to attach the Originality Report may result in loss of marks.

  4. American Psychological Association (APA) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

  5. The student is not expected to formally conduct the research as a one-unit course, but will plan and develop a research project including a completed ethics application form to USQ Human Ethics guidelines to demonstrate the capacity for successful planning of a research project. The research proposal shall include: (a) An overview of the theoretical and practical literature guiding the research. (b) A statement of the aims of the investigation and of specific hypotheses/research question. (c) A detailed description of the Method to be used in the project including the participants to be selected, method of selection/recruitment, measures/assessments/testing/interview protocols to be used and procedures for administering these. (d) A description of the model guiding the statistical analyses to be used. In the case of qualitative data, a description of the proposed coding method and content analyses should be outlined. (e) A list of all references made in the proposal. (f) An Appendix with letters, measures etc. (g) In most cases the literature review, method and analyses sections will not exceed a total of 20 pages. (h) An ethics applications using USQ Human Ethics guidelines. (i) The Research Proposal and Ethics Application should be submitted to the Examiner by the specified dates.

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:

  1. Conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
  2. Is benchmarked against the internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.

Student evaluations will be compiled to evaluate the student experience, relevance of the course content and the effectiveness of course delivery. It is expected that students will complete the Student Evaluation, MyOpinion, when they have completed the course.

Other requirements

  1. APA (6th Edition) is the referencing system which is now used in the Master of Nursing. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The USQ library provides advice on how to format information sources using this system.

  2. Students will require access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect for this course

Date printed 7 March 2021