The ethos and transformational nature of professional studies
Published on May 3, 2019in Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning
· DOI :10.1108/HESWBL-01-2019-0006
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the work-based learning (WBL) ethos of a professional studies doctoral program, a higher degree by research program implemented in Australia. Design/methodology/approach This is a preliminary case study of one higher degree by research program and two doctoral candidates participating in the program to explore the ethos and outcomes of the program. Findings The program has sought to develop a different type of higher education ethos, one characterized by an open-door communications policy, a critical friend philosophy, an emphasis on teamwork, pro tem supervision and a new model for doctoral supervision, self-designed work-based projects, self-directed research programs and the development of professional identity. Originality/value The characteristics and contributions of WBL programs at the doctoral level have been well documented in the academic literature, but the unique ethos, if there is one, of such programs has yet to be fully examined. This study goes some of the way to answering the question of whether such programs have a unique ethos and if so what are its features and how might it contribute to student development.