Professional Studies (Learning at Work) BA (Hons)

Do you want to boost your career prospects and improve your performance at work by studying for a degree alongside your current job?

On this Professional Studies Learning at Work course you'll develop transferable skills in your choice of subject. You can tailor the course to match your professional and personal aspirations and your employer's objectives.

A professional studies course is a great option if there isn't a degree course available in the subject you want to study. If what you study is related to art or business, you'll graduate with a BA (Hons) degree. If the subject is science related, you'll graduate with a BSc (Hons) degree.

The course is work based, so you'll need to be in a full-time, part-time or voluntary role to do it. The way you learn is flexible, so you can study wherever is most convenient for you and schedule your studies around your existing commitments.

You'll get to put the skills you learn to work instantly in your job, contributing to the success of your company. When you complete the course, you'll improve your career prospects and have the skills and knowledge to perform more effectively in your job.

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, you'll have the skills and knowledge to advance your career with your current employer and boost your long-term career prospects.

Previous students have gone on to work in areas such as:

  • education
  • health
  • the military

You can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Professional Studies (Learning at Work) degree

At the start of the course, you'll put together a Learning Contract with the University and your employer that outlines what you'll study.

To get a degree, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits. You can get these credits in 3 ways:

1. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

You can get credit for the qualifications you already have, such as a business-based Foundation degree, HNC, HND or international equivalent. You may also be able to get credit for relevant business-based work experience.

This is called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). You can use RPL for up to 240 (two thirds) of the 360 credits you need to get your degree.

Contact us to find out if you can receive RPL credit for your current qualifications or work experience.

2. Work-based learning (WBL) projects

Most of your learning will come from work-based learning (WBL) projects. These are projects that are valuable to your employer, which you complete at work. For example, developing an IT solution for your organisation. You'll research, analyse and present a well-reasoned recommendation to your employer as a professional report.

These projects won't involve activities you do in your day-to-day job as they need to involve new learning for you. You'll do most of the work for these projects in your normal working hours.

3. Taught modules

You can study campus-based or distance learning modules to expand your knowledge and understanding or to develop new skills in a more structured way.

We'll also encourage you to take modules that develop your longer-term transferable skills. Previous students have studied modules such as Strategic Organisational Excellence and Business Transformation through Quality Management.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Academic skills support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Extra support

To help you juggle this course alongside your work and home life, you'll get extra support from:

  • a Workplace Partner chosen by you - someone at work who can offer advice, guidance, and moral support
  • an Academic Tutor specialising in your area of study
  • a Learning Manager who oversees your programme

Teaching

How you're taught will depend on which modules you take and the work-based learning projects you do.

Most of the course is delivered via our interactive virtual learning environment. With access to all the study material you'll need, discussion forums and the chance to connect with peers and lecturers via chat sessions, you'll have plenty of academic support and heaps of resources.

Depending on the modules you study and your location, you may also be able to study on campus, experiencing face-to-face teaching methods.

How you're assessed

The way you're assessed will depend on which modules you take and the work-based learning projects you do.

Course costs

Tuition fees (January 2021 start)

Your tuition fee depends on if you have been awarded any Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and how many credits you need to study. To achieve an undergraduate Bachelor's degree you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits. Tuition fees may be subject to annual increase.

Tuition fees terms and conditions

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren't included in the tuition fees. So you'll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Contact us if you want to do this course. Before you apply, we'll work with you to develop a programme of study that's tailored to your aspirations and work objectives.  Read our information about the application process to find out more. 

When you're ready to begin your application, follow the link below:

Not quite ready to apply? Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities and tour the campus.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

Recognition of work-based and distance learning courses

Our Learning at Work degrees at levels 6 and 7 are fully approved by the University under its powers to award degrees and are compliant with the Office for Students (OFS) and Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) standards in the United Kingdom.

These qualifications are generally recognised internationally but as with distance learning type courses, each country will have its own regulations and rules on work based and distance learning education. You should check with the qualification recognition authority in the country you are resident in or intend to use the degrees to secure employment, that the Learning at Work degrees are recognised by them before you commit to studying with us.

We are currently unable to offer our courses to applicants who are nationals of, or who live in, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar.

BA (Hons), BSc (Hons) Award
January, September, January Start
Part-time Study Mode

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