students studying in a learning space


Professional Development

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Part-time, full-time by arrangement
Programme leader:
Clive Warn
Key fact:
This framework is really flexible and allows you to use the credit for courses you have already completed towards a recognised qualification.

Page last updated 3 November 2017


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 University Award Framework allows you to negotiate your own programme of study and to gain a University of the West of England qualification under 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. 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 course 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) courses. 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.

To see the number of credits needed for named qualifications, for example a BA(Hons) or BSc(Hons), please see the RBI website.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The course is taught through a blend of learning activities which include tutor led and face-to-face learning, student led and independent study, online study, group projects and students supporting each others' learning. This will vary depending on the modules you choose to study.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.


Assessment for the work-based learning elements of the course 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 course. 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.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Study facilities

Find out about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

Case studies

Stewart, a senior teaching assistant at the Mulberry Bush School in Oxford, was awarded a BA Integrated Professional Development in 2011. He clearly demonstrated a personal journey of development which took him out of his comfort zone to learn how to access a wide range of literature to deepen his higher level skills of reflection and evaluation. This has given him the confidence to critically reflect on own beliefs and attitudes regarding the integration of music and drama therapy workshops for children with special needs and to engage further in the workplace evaluation of such interventions.

Maureen was the first of the cohort of British Heart Foundation supported nurses to qualify with a BSc Integrated Professional Development in 2011. Marks and credits from the Cardiac modules taken at Glasgow Caledonian University, Cardiff University, University of Wales College of Medicine and UWE have contributed to her upper second degree. Maureen's final work-based learning module with UWE has demonstrated important transitions in her personal development as well as high level skills of inquiry. An in depth situational analysis and literature review of the models of rehabilitation programmes for patients diagnosed with heart failure have been presented in a report for her employers as the first stage of preparing change and support for such patients living in a very rural community.


Careers / Further study

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.


Supplementary fee information

For information about fees and funding for courses please see our fees and funding pages.


Typical offers

Entry requirements

In order to be eligible to study through the scheme, individuals should normally have been employed in the last 18 months, be self-employed or engaged in voluntary activity and have been working to an appropriate level. Learners will be considered for entry to the scheme to pursue the most appropriate level of study based on qualifications and/or their personal, professional or educational experience following guidance provided in line with UWE's entry requirements and admissions policy.

For further information

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