University of Technology Sydney

96093 Transition to Practice

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 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health (GEM)
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject integrates academic, clinical and research knowledge learned previously in the program with the aim to provide activities that prepare the student for life as a newly-qualified practitioner. Practice contexts, practice development and medico-legal issues are explored in addition to advanced concepts of quality improvement and business and leadership within a changing healthcare context. Excellent verbal and written professional communication is expected. The student is empowered to successfully enter the workforce with the development of skills in CV and job application writing with time being spent on the development of effective interview and self-marketing strategies. Reflection on performance and the assessment of own performance against professional benchmarks is essential. The three assessment tasks offer key evidence of entry-level competence and capability in the seven practice thresholds of the PPTAANZ; in addition, the setting of SMART goals illustrates strategies for improving performance during the graduate transition period.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

39. Maintain professionalism in verbal and written communication
46. Apply ethical and legal decision-making principles in professional practice
47. Engage in safe, effective and collaborative inter-professional practice in order to enhance clients' health care
54. Reflect on, evaluate and document own performance and set SMART goals for further development as a graduate practitioner
55. Develop a professional portfolio to plan and document development
57. Lead others effectively and efficiently within relevant professional, ethical and legal frameworks
68. Evaluate research findings in the context of the literature

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

The learning outcomes for this subject are as follows:

  • Knowledge and skills: Integrate core biomedical and social health science knowledge across the breadth of physiotherapy practice to inform assessment and safe, competent and skilled practical care of individuals across the lifespan as an autonomous practitioner and as a member of an interprofessional team. (01.01)
  • Clinical reasoning: Identify impairment, activity and participation deficits in individuals in accordance with the International Classification of Function, Disability and Health framework and develop evidence-based care plans in accordance with best practice physiotherapy. (01.02)
  • Critical thinker: Critically analyse the evidence underpinning practice and effectively apply new knowledge to practice; conduct and disseminate high-quality research to improve professional knowledge and influence direction of future practice. (02.05)
  • Research-enabled: Apply scientific research skills to advance the evidence base supporting physiotherapy practice. (02.09)
  • Professional and ethical practitioner: Embody the physiotherapy profession, demonstrating globally relevant ethical and professional behaviour and social accountability, while utilising deliberate critical analysis, self-reflection and self-awareness to constantly improve practice. (03.04)
  • Communication: Communicate effectively using high-level interpersonal skills in both traditional modes of communication and when integrating advances in technology and methods of intervention delivery into patient care. (03.06)
  • Teamwork and leadership: Engage in leadership and collaboration, representing the profession in interprofessional teams and seeking advanced practitioner roles to ensure the future vitality of the profession. (03.07)
  • Client focus: Provide empathetic, compassionate and respectful patient-focused care, facilitating client self-management, advocating for best practice care and empowering clients by education. (04.03)
  • Indigenous awareness and cultural competence: Demonstrate respect and value for diverse ways of knowing, being and doing, in particular recognising the diversity of Indigenous Australians and their health and wellbeing and integrating this knowledge into practice. (05.08)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

Practice ready

Graduates of the Master of Physiotherapy are knowledgeable, practice-ready clinicians, skilled in providing safe and effective evidence-based care to clients across the lifespan, using a wide range of therapeutic approaches including skilled hands on practice, and in a variety of clinical settings as both independent and collaborative practitioners.


Graduates of the Master of Physiotherapy effectively integrate research evidence

into practice, are proactive in identifying gaps in knowledge and are competent to undertake research to advance the evidence base and inform future physiotherapy practice.

Professionally Competent

Graduates of the Master of Physiotherapy embody professional and ethical practice, maintaining knowledge and competence at local and global standards. Graduates embrace opportunities for leadership and advanced roles, utilise deliberate practice to optimise physiotherapy care and advocate for the profession in interdisciplinary contexts.


Graduates of the Master of Physiotherapy are empathetic, person-centred practitioners who empower client self-management and endorse preventative care by forming and valuing partnerships with individuals, families and communities.

Culturally Competent

Graduates of the Master of Physiotherapy are culturally competent professionals, able to reflect on and explain their own cultural perspectives, accommodate cultural differences and achieve optimal outcomes through the adoption of a consultative approach to physiotherapy practice with indigenous Australians and other cultural groups.

Teaching and learning strategies

Prep work

Prep work is undertaken prior to masterclasses and workshops. Prep work can include watching a video, reading a blog entry/website/textbook chapter/journal article/magazine article and/or listening to a podcast/video/interview. Questions often accompany the prep work so students read with intent which encourage deep reading. Content covered in prep work is strongly linked to content covered in masterclasses and workshops. Please ensure prep work is carried out so that you have spent some time accessing and making sense of ideas. Attending the masterclasses and workshops will allow you to test these ideas and get feedback from your teachers and peers which will further consolidate your learning. Your knowledge and understanding of the prep work will be tested and applied using quizzes, group discussions and practical activities in masterclasses and workshops. (Prep work in this subject also includes attending anatomy wet lab classes. Activities in anatomy wet lab classes include guided group work where students are trained to observe, palpate and locate anatomical structures.)


Masterclasses are conducted in groups of 60 or more. There is usually a presentation of content by the teacher followed by activities which build on the prep work and the content presented. These activities are varied and require students to work alone, work in pairs or work in groups of 3 or more.

Examples of these activities include short quizzes, group discussions and reflections on what students have learnt in class being shared with the class. Group discussions often involve solving a problem or answering a question based on case studies or the content topic. All activities are facilitated by the teacher. Feedback is provided by the teacher where there is discrepancy in the knowledge and understanding of the content or disagreement in opinions between groups. Feedback can also be provided by peers


Workshops are conducted in groups of 15-35. Content in classes often include the practice of practical skills and further consolidation of information gained in masterclasses. These activities are varied and often require students to work in pairs or work in groups of 3 or more. Examples of these activities include the practice of practical skills, simulated role play of patients in case studies, group discussions, debates, and brainstorming sessions. In the classes where practical skills are taught, the teacher demonstrates these practical skills and provide guidance on how feedback should be provided. After the demonstration, students work in small groups of 3 or more to practise. Feedback on their techniques are provided by the teacher or their peers. The content of feedback will cover professionalism, communication, equipment set-up, environment set-up, positioning of patient, positioning of therapist and manual handling/manual guidance. Feedback on common errors and suggestions for improvement will also be included. In the classes where theoretical content are consolidated and applied, feedback is provided by the teacher where there is discrepancy in the knowledge and understanding of the content or disagreement in opinions between groups. Feedback can also be provided by peers.

Content (topics)

Learning will emphasise skills for the transition process of becoming a new graduate; professional and personal development will also include how to successfully enter the workforce.


Assessment task 1: Simulated Elevator Pitch and Job Interview


This task will assess the ability of students to pitch themselves to a prospective employer and conduct a successful job interview. Students will draw on their theoretical knowledge and clinical experience to clearly and concisely demonstrate they possess the necessary graduate attributes to succeed as a new graduate physiotherapist.


This task is aligned with the following subject learning objectives:

39 and 54

This task is aligned with the following course learning outcomes:

02.05, 03.04 and 03.06

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%

6 minutes


Available in Canvas

Assessment task 2: Professional Portfolio, Reflection and Goal Setting


The intent of this assessment task is for students to demonstrate their ability to document and reflect on their experiences during clinical placements and develop professional goals as new graduates. The assessment task requires students to reflect on their clinical placements and appreciate their development as students and plan for practice as independent practitioners. The ability to be a reflective practitioner is a skill highly valued by employers.


This task is aligned with the following subject learning objectives:

39, 46, 54, 55 and 57

This task is aligned with the following course learning outcomes:

01.01, 01.02, 02.05, 03.04, 03.06, 03.07, 04.03 and 05.08

Type: Portfolio
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

One file containing: 8 Portfolio entries + 1 A4 page Reflection + 1 A4 page Goal Setting


Available in Canvas

Assessment task 3: Formal Clinical Case Study and Presentation


Successful future practitioners are those who can identify experiences in their clinical practice that prompt further development of their own skills and attributes. This task requires students to find the learning in a real complex case, identify their own strengths and weaknesses, and build ongoing professional development goals. These goals are related to Physiotherapy Practice Thresholds, and the framework for future specialisation within the profession.


This task is aligned with the following subject learning objectives:

39, 47, 54 and 68

This task is aligned with the following course learning outcomes:

01.01, 01.02, 02.05, 02.09, 03.04, 03.06 and 04.03

Type: Case study
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

10 minutes


Available in Canvas

Minimum requirements

In order to pass the subject, you are required to:

  • complete all assessment items
  • attend a minimum of 85% of compulsory classes

Required texts

Coursework Assessments Policy

Coursework Assessments Procedures

Graduate School of Health Policy, Guidelines and Procedures (login required)

Recommended texts

Higgs J, Smith M, Webb G and Skinner M (2008) Contexts of physiotherapy practice. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier.

Higgs J, Ajjawii R, McAllister L, Trede F and Loftus S (2012) Communicating in the Health Sciences (3rd edition). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.