Learning-to-be in two vocationally-oriented higher education degrees

Vikki Pollard (Lecturer in Learning Research and Evaluation, Deakin Learning Futures, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia)
Andrew Vincent (Lecturer, Curriculum Development, Higher Education Office, Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE, Melbourne, Australia)
Emily Wilson (Research Assistant, Higher Education Office, Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE, Melbourne, Australia)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Publication date: 9 February 2015



This paper aims to explore the pedagogical approach of two higher education programmes aiming to develop both discipline-specific and key employability skills in graduates.


This paper presents two case studies of degree programs in the broad field of the creative industries and focusses on the innovative pedagogy adopted based on a “learning to be” approach (McWilliam, 2008).


The two case studies describe a different type of pedagogy taken up at one mixed-sector institution over two degree programs. The degrees offered within this institution are recognised as being vocationally oriented yet productive of the higher-order skills expected of degree programs. The case studies illustrate this through a pedagogy designed to orientate the students towards the development of a sense of identity whilst also placing them within the broader professional context of the discipline.

Practical implications

The paper has practical implications for educators in the field and points towards the need to consider the broader professional context of the students in the course design and review phases of programmes in the creative industries.


It is hoped the findings will be useful to educators and curriculum developers in other creative industries’ higher education programs with a vocational orientation to inform future course design, review and planning.



Pollard, V., Vincent, A. and Wilson, E. (2015), "Learning-to-be in two vocationally-oriented higher education degrees", On the Horizon, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 7-15. https://doi.org/10.1108/OTH-06-2014-0021



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