Postgraduate work-based learning: a qualitative study

Victoria Stewart (School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University, Meadowbrook, Australia) (Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)
Matthew Campbell (Learning and Teaching Unit, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Sara S. McMillan (Griffith University, Southport, Australia) (Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)
Amanda J. Wheeler (Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia) (Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Publication date: 12 March 2019



The purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of students and teachers who had participated in a postgraduate work-based praxis course within a Master of mental health practice qualification.


This qualitative study used an interpretative phenomenological approach to understand the lived experience of students and course convenors participating in a work-based praxis course. Seven students and two convenors were recruited. Interview and reflective portfolio data were analysed thematically.


The main themes identified were the importance of planning, the value of partnerships, the significance of learning in the workplace and how the facilitation of work-based learning differs from coursework.


Work-based learning within postgraduate coursework qualifications can support higher-level learning, knowledge and skills has received limited attention in the literature. This study supported the value of providing postgraduate students with work-based learning opportunities, resulting in the application of new or advanced skills, within their existing work roles. This study is important, because it provides insights into the student experience of postgraduate work-based learning and the impact of this learning on professional practice.



Stewart, V., Campbell, M., McMillan, S. and Wheeler, A. (2019), "Postgraduate work-based learning: a qualitative study", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.