Course Title: The Ethics of Being Professional

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: The Ethics of Being Professional

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

This course is a pre-requisite for Youth Work 4: Field Education 2 (Working with Industry) and Casework and Advocacy.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2019

Course Coordinator: Dr Sharlene Nipperess

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2944

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Melbourne City Campus

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course focuses on the preparation of individuals to enter a human services oriented profession, equipped with an ethical framework. The content of this course explores questions associated with what it means to be professional or to professionalise an industry. It will challenge you to consider frames of reference for ethical relationships and decision making, in consideration of the field and clients with which you might work.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Apply interdisciplinary bodies of theoretical knowledge and practical wisdom and skills to the scholarship of Youth Studies, praxis of Youth Work and orientation to professional human services.
  • Engage responsibly and ethically in professional relationships, whilst attending to the wide range of complex issues regarding young people and other key stakeholders, in the execution of your duty of care.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally using a range of appropriate modalities and genres suitable to broad stakeholders across the Youth Sector, including young people, statutory agencies, families, government and other professionals.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse key theories and arguments relating to professionalism and professionalisation, and situate these in a human services context
  2. Describe, identify and critically assess the tenets of contemporary codes of ethical practice related to youth work and other human services.
  3. Clarify and articulate your own values as a human services professional with respect to examples from the contemporary codes of ethical practice related to human services and working with diverse groups of people.
  4. Critically evaluate the treatment of young people, minority groups and vulnerable people, in policy and practice, from an ethical standpoint


Overview of Learning Activities

This course is facilitated through a series of face-to–face workshops. It begins through an exploration of concepts of ethics and professionalism, and evolves into a problem based learning approach. Through collaborative analysis of authentic scenarios, you will apply theoretical knowledge to practical contexts. Through reflexivity, you will articulate your ethical disposition and considerations of working with diverse people across settings.

Overview of Learning Resources

There may be a required text for this course, that will be available for purchase or loan in the library. Details of this text are available in the Part B Course Guide attached to this course.

RMIT will provide you with other resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. This includes resources such as weekly readings, assessment supports, requirements for workshop and seminar participation and notes from classes.

The University Library has extensive resources for [discipline] students. The Library has produced a number of subject guides that includes quality online and print resources for your studies.

The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarians.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.

Assessment may include:

Task 1: Short essay, 1000 words, 20%, CLO 1, 2

Task 2: Case study analysis, 1500 words, 40%, CLO 1, 2, 4

Task 3: Reflective essay, 1500 Words, 40%, CLO 1, 2, 3, 4


Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: