Professions and Professionalism

Why ‘Professions and Professionalism’?

Medicine, the law, education, accountancy – what does it mean to be professional in these contexts?

What are the key issues and debates, problems and solutions? Each profession has its own approach to key societal groups and challenges: children and families, disease and inequality. What does professionalism mean in the business context, and how does it compare with non-profit oriented professions? Think about regulation, safe-guards and control. And consider the responsibilities and ethical questions that all professions must inevitably confront.

Make the most of your discovery modules

Remember, you should be aiming to to put together a good, coherent set of discovery modules, based on what you're most interested in. Here is a reminder of our two suggested approaches:

  1. Choose a range of modules that build up your knowledge around a particular theme. These might be all from one academic discipline, or they might offer different disciplinary perspectives on the same topics.
  2. Choose an academic discipline (eg law, ethics, sociology, theology, history) and choose a set of modules which will enable you progressively to deepen your skills in that discipline.

Once you have identified some possible modules to take, look at which school or subject-area is providing them. This will help you understand what perspective on the subject they will take, and what methods they will be using. This is important in helping you to understand what you should (and should not) expect from particular modules. For example:

  • If you want the tools and skills to answer ethical questions about the professions (“What duties come with being a professional?”), the disciplines most likely to provide this are ethics, philosophy and business.
  • If you are interested in particular issues related to a particular profession – look around for modules provided by schools with a particular expertise in the area you’re interested in (eg law, business, healthcare, education)
  • If you are interested in legal issues related to the professions, try the School of Law.
  • If what you are interested in is how these questions have in fact been approached in the past (history), in literature (English, various modern languages, classics), in art (fine art), or if you are interested in how different attitudes to professional issues shape people’s interactions and behaviour (sociology, psychology, criminology), there are different disciplines devoted to each of these approaches.
  • The first 4 characters of the module code tell you which subject area provides the module. 

If you’re attracted to this sub-theme, you might also like to explore the discovery modules in ‘Personal and Professional Development'.

Professions and Professionalism modules

modules available, use the filters to narrow the selection further

This information is for the 2019/20 academic year. You can you use the filters to show only results that match your requirements.


When you find discovery modules you are interested in, you can add them to a shortlist by clicking ‘ADD TO MY DISCOVERY MODULES’.

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