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WRP9000 Fundamentals of Professional Studies A

Semester 1, 2021 Online
Short Description: Fundamentals of Prof Studies A
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: Luke van der Laan


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

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 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.


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

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. (

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

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 and relevant knowledge resources that may further enhance student knowledge, understanding and cognitive skills will either be made available as optional readings or can be discovered autonomously and /or collaboratively online.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 160.00
Independent Study 170.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
LEARNING PROGRAM 1 100 03 Jun 2021 (see note 1)

  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), a theoretical statement of their professional practice and the learning objectives developed by the student and articulated in the program. Students are strongly advised to engage in compulsory 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:
    Students are required to submit one body of work for assessment. This is required to be submitted on time as advised by the course examiner and are assessed by an independent panel upon completion of the course.

  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 (Online engagement, Learning Program) and is assessed against the following criteria:
    a) The student demonstrating that the learning objectivesof the course have been met as incorporated in the required work, and
    b) The student has demonstrated the capacity to progress to designing the original research project as incorporated in the work-based research project proposal (WRP9001).

  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

Date printed 18 June 2021