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Knowledge and Learning in Professions (EDUC30071)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5Not available in 2019

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Year of offerNot available in 2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeEDUC30071
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject provides insights into professional knowledge, learning and expertise that will enhance students’ development in their chosen professions. The subject explores meta-frameworks for learning in all professions by distinguishing between different forms of knowledge, the relationships these have to practice across a broad array of fields, and the implications this has for learning. The focus is on the structures of knowledge and the way knowledge is produced in professions generally, rather than the content of knowledge in specific professions. It asks students to consider whether learning in academic disciplines and professions is the same, or whether differences in the structures of knowledge and the nature of practice require different approaches to learning. It distinguishes between professions that have emerged in the last fifty years and those that have an older lineage and queries whether they are different, and if so, how they are different. The subject considers debates about the relationship between theory and practice in the development of expertise in work by comparing and contrasting those that emphasise process and experiential accounts of learning with those that emphasise the intrinsic role knowledge plays in the development of expertise. The implications for debates about professional education are considered and students are asked to contemplate the significance of these debates for their own future career development.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Debate theories about the structures of theoretical knowledge for professional practice and whether these can be distinguished from other forms of knowledge such as the academic disciplines on the one hand, and every day knowledge on the other
  • Theorise about and debate the relationship between the emergence of professions, the development of professional knowledge and the relationship between professions and education
  • Compare and contrast different theories about learning in the professions and the development of expertise and expert practice
  • Consider the implications of debates about the nature of knowledge and professional learning for their own future career development

Generic skills

This subject should enable students to:

  • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning
  • examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines
  • initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces
  • value different cultures
  • be well-informed citizens able to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work
  • accept social and civic responsibilities

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

None. However it will be helpful for students to be far enough advanced in a course or profession to be able to reflect upon their initial experiences of professional formation.

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



There are three assessment tasks:

  • An individual 5-minute presentation on the topic selected for the essay, based on work in progress, due at the beginning of the teaching week (15%) 600 word equivalent.
  • A contribution to a 15-minute group presentation on current challenges to a profession due at the end of the teaching week (15%) 600 word equivalent.
  • An essay of 2,800 words, focused on debates about knowledge, learning and expertise in the professions, due at the end of the assessment period (70%).

This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance at all tutorials, seminars and workshops.

Dates & times

Not available in 2019

Time commitment details

170 hours

Additional delivery details

During the two-week pre-teaching period students will be required to read a set of articles for discussion during the teaching period.

Further information

Last updated: 10 August 2019