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Interventions in the Professions

Project Overview

The Interventions in Trainee and Student Teachers, Lawyers and Doctors project has developed and piloted interventions that prioritise the integration of virtue-based practice into teaching, law and medical professions. The research seeks to enable medical, law and teaching students in Higher Education to understand what it means to be a virtuous professional in their area of expertise.

Some 500 law, medical and teaching students have participated in a module integrated into subject courses geared to provide a better understanding and appreciation of virtue in professional life.

It is intended that those experiencing the course will develop an understanding of what it means to be a virtuous professional, which in turn will lead to them developing a better understanding of what it means to ‘serve’ others in the course of their professional lives.

Read our Virtue Insight blog 'Virtue Training' introducing the project. 

Literature Review & Findings

It is evident that there has been a change in educational emphasis from character to technical competency. In recent years, popular culture has been packed with unfortunate and highly exposed manifestations of the misadventures and harm caused by professionals not acting virtuously, or not displaying practical wisdom.

A comprehensive literature review has found that there is no course that encourages students of the professions to think about the role of phronesis in their areas of expertise.

An increasingly popular medium for delivering and assisting teaching material today is the internet; the intervention developed for this project has been piloted as an online course.

Feedback from experts has shown that the emergence of a ‘hidden curriculum’ (a focus on developing practical wisdom) needs to be considered and its content drawn out explicitly by helping professionals to discuss character development openly with colleagues and give clearer feedback to students. 

Project Milestones

The has developed and piloted an online intervention, which has been differentiated for the training of legal, medical, and teaching professionals. Universities participating in the pilot were encouraged to include the intervention within their teaching syllabus at undergraduate level. The NHS and regulators for medical and legal professionals have been consulted with during the development process.


  • Health Education West Midlands
  • University of East Anglia
  • Queen Mary, University of London
  • Dental School, Birmingham
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Leicester
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • University of Warwick
  • University of Law
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Kent
  • University of St Mark and St John
  • Manchester Metropolitan University