Informing practice through honours in allied health

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


This doctoral research illuminates the experience of honours for allied health students at two Australian universities, one regional and one metropolitan. Through a series of interviews, undergraduate students in occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry and speech pathology explore honours and the nexus between clinical and occupational practice is an emerging theme. Honours students in allied health choose to research an area of practice which has relevance to them, either directly or indirectly. Informing clinical practice and making a contribution to professional knowledge are important factors in honours decision making. Whilst a fundamental motivating factor for honours is exploring clinical practice, the students' choice of research area may be guided more by occupational experience. Occupational practice signifies work that the students are involved in outside of university and although it links closely with their profession and clinical interests, it is separate to their academic work. A dichotomy exists whereby students researching a self-generated topic will clearly see the personal and clinical relevance, but may not conceive the value of honours research to the wider professional community. Students working as part of a research team on a pre-determined topic are more likely to appreciate their contribution to professional knowledge, but may lack the clinical and occupational motivation for honours research. If students are enabled to develop honours research projects informed by both clinical and occupational areas of interest this may encourage more students to engage with honours, enhance the viability of honours programmes and increase the pool of novice practitioner-researchers in allied health.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducating Researchers for the 21st Century
EditorsMargaret Kiley
Place of PublicationAustralian National University
PublisherCentre for Educational Development and Academic Methods
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9780646535104
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventQuality in Postgraduate Research - Adelaide, SA, Australia
Duration: 13 Apr 201015 Apr 2010


ConferenceQuality in Postgraduate Research


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