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A degree or equivalent. Other qualifications such as HNDs and Foundation degrees, supported by several years of relevant post-qualification experience in responsible posts, may also be acceptable. Applicants are usually working at a professional level. Applicants to the MSc Occupational Health and Safety Management and the MSc Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management should have appropriate experience and proven aptitude in health and safety, a certificated professional/vocational qualification or an undergraduate degree or equivalent. If you do not hold a level 6 qualification you may be required to present evidence of your ability to study at level 6.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Months of entry
Do you want to boost your career prospects by studying for a Master's degree alongside your current job?
Whether you're currently in a career which covers a breadth of subjects or you want to develop a range of transferable skills for your future career aspirations, our Professional Studies Learning at Work Master's course can help you fulfil your professional and personal development ambitions.
We currently offer both an MA or MSc Professional Studies. If the majority of your learning is science-based, the MSc is for you. If your learning is predominantly in art-based subjects, we recommend the MA.
Because the course is work-based, you need to already be in a full-time, part-time or voluntary role. If you don't have an undergraduate degree, you could still do this postgraduate course if you have several years experience in a responsible position (such as a military role) or you have high-level skills through experience that isn't reflected in your qualifications.
You can tailor the course to match your professional and personal aspirations and your employer's objectives. 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.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Choose modules and study topics that match your personal and professional goals, as well as your employer's objectives
- Develop your ability to analyse problems, research and propose solutions, and make sound professional judgements when faced with the organisational, financial and management aspects of a business
- Take part in work-based learning (WBL) projects that form part of your daily workload, which ensure that the knowledge you develop is relevant to your employer's business
- Get an optional 1-day induction in Portsmouth at the start of the course and have the opportunity to study on campus, if it suits you
- Develop your learning plan with the University and your employer, so you can make an effective contribution to your workplace as you learn
- Have full access to our student support services and community including study support, sports and recreation facilities, and the Students' Union
- Tap in to our Library's electronic resources, which you can access from anywhere with a Web connection
- Choose a Workplace Partner to support your learning – someone at work who can offer advice, guidance, and moral support
- Have support from an academic tutor specialising in your area of study and a University learning manager who oversees your programme
- Use online tutorials and lectures to help you with study skills, including your analytical and writing skills
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.
After the course, 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 MA/MSc Professional Studies (Learning at Work) degree course
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 Master's degree, you need to accumulate a total of 180 credits. If you leave the course before you accumulate 180 credits, you can get a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) if you've accumulated 60 credits or a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) if you've accumulated 120 credits. You can get these credits in 3 ways:
1. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
You can get credit for the qualifications and experience you already have such as a PgCert or PgDip in a relevant subject. This can also include in-service training courses and qualifications as well as learning from on-the-job experience.
This is called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). You can use RPL for up to 120 (two thirds) of the 180 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.
Past project titles include Critical Analysis of the Provision of eLearning, and Design of a Local Exhaust Ventilation System.
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.
Modules that previous students have studied include Quantitative and Research Methods, Ergonomics, and Fluid Dynamics.
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.
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
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
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
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.
This course isn't tied to the University's timetables or academic calendar. So you can work at your own pace, in your own time and in your own location. You must complete the course within 5 years.
You can complete the course more quickly if you have relevant work experience, training or qualifications that you can put towards your degree. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). You can use RPL for up to 120 of the 180 credits you need to accumulate to get your Master's degree.
We recommend you study units worth 60 credits a year. Typically, a student who enters with the maximum RPL of 120 credits and has only 60 credits to study would take 12-18 months to complete the course.
How you're assessed
The way you're assessed will depend on which modules you take and the work-based learning projects you do.
Fees and funding
Qualification, course duration and attendance options
- part time24 months
- Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
- part time24 months
- Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
Course contact details
- Learning at Work
- 023 9284 6260