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Course content

This professional development programme is part of a framework of awards which enables you to address your individual learning requirements and to reflect your individual or your employer's needs, while offering you the opportunity to gain a recognisable academic award.

Based on the principles of credit accumulation and transfer, the Professional Development Award framework allows you to negotiate your own programme of study and to gain a University of the West of England (UWE) qualification with the title Professional Development. Uniquely, you can choose from learning opportunities from within and outside UWE (subject to availability) to maintain, improve and broaden your knowledge and skills and to develop the personal qualities required in your professional life.

In addition to a compulsory UWE work-based learning project module you can negotiate a study route to meet your requirements, which will be assessed and allow you to accumulate the credits you need for your target award. These can be made up of a combination of taught academic modules, work-based learning and different forms of enquiry.

Course detail

The Award Framework allows you to use a larger amount of blended learning than you can on more traditional courses as it will allow for the acceptance of credit from other awarding bodies and enable the integration of short courses, CPD and experiential learning into the qualification.

UWE work-based learning project modules provide a means of assessing experiential and other non-credit rated learning. Further study to extend your knowledge and skills can be negotiated from within and outside UWE in the context of your specific professional and personal development. The different learning opportunities can be consolidated within your personal programme.

From an employer's perspective this programme could be a way of addressing skill shortages by re-skilling existing employees and meeting overall objectives of staff development. One of its advantages is that it could be tailored to provide a bespoke qualification addressing the specific needs of an organisation, whilst also offering a University award as an outcome which would be valued by employers and employees alike. We can also work with you to accredit your in-house training programmes so contact us to discuss your workforce development needs.


There are no common pathways through the Professional Development (PD) programmes. Other than completion of the compulsory UWE work-based learning project module the content will reflect individual choice. You can choose taught modules from a wide range of UWE courses, as well as bringing credits obtained from other Higher Education Institutions, which UWE will assess and accredit to your award.

There is also the opportunity to achieve a bespoke award consisting of a number of focused work-based learning modules, based on your employment needs.


Assessment for the work-based learning elements of the programme is carried out through coursework, which typically comprises reflective essays and interviews, and work-based projects. Assessment methods are used which reflect both the practical and applied nature of the programme. Assessment should include formative assessment of learning in context.

Assessment of more formally taught modules and modules for the assessment of experiential learning will use a range of approaches, negotiated between the academic facilitator, learner and the workplace.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link:


- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –

The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here:

Visit the MA/MSc/PGDip/PGCert Professional Development page on the University of the West of England, Bristol website for more details!




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Recipient: University of the West of England, Bristol

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