University of Technology Sydney

54055 Professional Pathways Project

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Communication: Social and Political Sciences
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): (((54052 Economy, Society and Globalism OR 54053 Investigating for Change)) OR 40 credit points of completed study in spk(s): MAJ09395 Social Inquiry major BAComm )
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 50260 Parliamentary Placement AND 58314 Social Inquiry Placement


This final year subject provides students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have gained throughout their degree in a practical setting. Students may choose to undertake a placement with an external organisation, or work on a self-initiated project at university. Placements are arranged with a range of government departments, commercial organisations and international and local non-government organisations. There are also limited places at NSW Parliament. Students undertake a discrete and manageable social research project at the placement, and are supervised externally as well as by an academic supervisor. Students choosing to conduct self-initiated research (e.g. as a foundation for Honours) work with an academic supervisor. There may also be opportunities for off-site field trips coordinated by an academic supervisor.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Design and manage a research project
b. Explain how their degree has prepared them for working life
c. Critically reflect on their development of professional skills in an area of the social sciences and communication
d. Develop capacity to identify future work opportunities

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject engages with the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs), which are tailored to the Graduate Attributes set for all graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

  • Possess a well-developed awareness of professional practice in the context of the communication industries (1.1)
  • Apply theoretically informed understanding of the communication industries in independent and collaborative projects across a range of media (1.2)
  • Possess information literacy skills to locate, gather, organise and synthesise information across diverse platforms to inform the understanding of the communication industries (2.1)
  • Be reflexive critical thinkers and creative practitioners who are intellectually curious, imaginative and innovative, with an ability to evaluate their own and others' work (2.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

This is a practice-based subject where teaching and learning occurs primarily in a workplace or field site. Students negotiate the completion of a specific project in consultation with their academic and workplace supervisors. They produce a fully worked-up project proposal, modeling the standard required for the specific real-world context. Progress reviews, project presentations, and submission of the final outcome follow a clear project cycle.

Students are normally required to spend 80-100 hours formally working on their project. They may need to spend additional time researching background material and doing other desktop research, or preparing to carry out empirical research work, including the development of information and consent forms, and negotiating other practical fieldwork issues.

Students also engage in a series of structured seminars, incorporating supervised and group sessions.These are conducted through the semester to help establish the project, review progress, receive formative feedback,resolve problems, report on project findings, and jointly reflect on the research process. There are no set texts or required readings for this subject but students will be expected to draw on literature they have used in other subjects and identify and draw on relevant primary and secondary literature relevant to their project.

Content (topics)

While the content of each student’s project will vary according to the needs of the organization or research site the student is working for, classes and individual meetings with the academic supervisor will cover proposal writing, project management and critical reflection on the research process.


Assessment task 1: Project Proposal



Weight: 30%

1500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Clarity of overall project design 50 a 2.2
Appropriateness of methodology and timeframe for the completion of the project 40 a 1.1
Consideration of ethics requirements 10 a 1.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Progress report


a, b and c

Weight: 20%

5 minute presentation

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Clarity of explanation of the project aims 30 a 2.1
Depth of critical reflection on the project methodology 30 a 1.1
Depth of critical reflection on the project process and organisation setting 20 b 1.1
Depth of critical reflection on how you are developing your professional skills 20 c 1.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Final Project



Weight: 50%

5000 words or negotiated equivalent

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Suitability of the methodology and structure 30 a 2.1
Clarity and coherence of your final submission 20 a 2.2
Depth and/or breadth of content 30 a 1.2
Professionalism of presentation 20 a 1.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Classes are based on a collaborative approach that involves essential work-shopping and interchange of ideas with other students and the tutor.

In this subject assessment tasks are cumulative so that each task builds understanding and/or skills, informed by formative feedback. Consequently, all assessments must be submitted in order for you to receive feedback. Students who do not submit all assessments will not pass the subject.