Professional Practice - MA, MSc
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MA/MSc Professional Practice programme is a part-time, work-related learning programme designed for participants from private, public and third sector settings such as education, local government, public services, health and social care, human resources, administrative services, cultural industries, arts etc. It offers opportunity for Accreditation of Prior Experiential and/or Certificated Learning or Credit Transfer.
Who is the programme for?
This Master's programme offers you the opportunity to attain academic recognition for the skills, knowledge and experience that you have developed in the workplace. Focusing on a specific area of practice relevant to your work, it builds on your work experience and qualifications to enhance your career progression.
You explore your profession further and consider the professional challenges associated within your specific area of practice, with modules that have been designed to help you review and analyse the current debates relevant to the professional context in which you are working.
Request for APECL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential and/or Certificated Learning) or Credit Transfer
You are encouraged to convert prior learning achievements into University of Kent academic credit via Accreditation of Prior Experiential and/or Certificated Learning. To be eligible for accreditation, prior learning must be at the appropriate and relevant to the programme's learning outcomes. For further information, visit our APECL webpage
Taught by expert academics, you broaden your expertise, deepen your knowledge and hone your research skills while gaining a recognised qualification to help progress your career. The programme is delivered through a variety of teaching methods, including taught sessions and work-based learning, self-study, case-study analysis, individual and group tutorials, projects and presentations. Online learning recourses are available on our virtual learning environment Moodle.
Teaching is delivered at our Medway campus on average four long weekends a year, Monday - Friday, 09.00-17.00.
Alternative exit awards
The programme has the following alternative exit awards, subject to credit numbers:
- Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice (60 credits)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice (60 credits - 120 credits in total).
Digital and Lifelong Learning (DaLL)
The Professional Practice programme is suitable for professionals from a variety of private, public and third sector settings such as health and social care, education, local government and public services.
Applicants are normally required to have a minimum of two years’ professional experience and hold an undergraduate degree or equivalent professional qualification.
If you do not hold the required entry qualification(s) but believe that you would be able to participate in this programme and have the potential to work at Master's level please contact us.
Requests for APECL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential and/or Certificated Learning) or Credit Transfer
You are encouraged to convert prior learning achievements into University of Kent academic credit via Accreditation of Prior Experiential and/or Certificated Learning. To be eligible for accreditation, prior learning must be at the appropriate and relevant to the programme's learning outcomes. For further information, visit: https://www.kent.ac.uk/cpp/programmes/apecl.html
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
English language entry requirements
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Need help with English?
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
What's it like to study Professional Practice?
Find out more about what it's like to study Professional Practice from the people who know.
Duration: 3 years part-time
This part-time, work-based programme has been designed to encourage you to think more deeply about the challenges associated with your professional practice while enabling you to tailor your degree to your particular interests and career aspirations.
Core modules and optional modules are taught on campus via a series of extended weekend sessions (on average four weekends a year, Friday-Sunday, 9.00-17.00 at our Medway campus.)
Requests for Credit Transfer or APECL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential and/or Certificated Learning) ar welcome.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. You study a combination of core and optional modules. You have the option to take modules of personal and professional interest from the Centre for Professional Practice and/or the University of Kent Module Catalogue, enabling you to review and analyse the current debates relating to key issues relevant to the professional context in which you are working.
Stage 1 (Year 1)
You take the following core modules:
WL883 – Evidence-Based Practice (30 credits)
WL815 – Learning and Development (30 credits)
Stage 2 (Year 2)
You take the compulsory module plus a module equalling 30 credits from across the Centre or University catalogue (subject to availability and student numbers).
Optional modules may include:
WL814 - Inter-professional Working (30 credits)
WL825 - Special Area of Study (30 credits)
Stage 3 (Year 3)
WL816 - Work-related Project and Dissertation (60 credits)
Taught sessions are delivered in a welcoming, supportive and flexible academic environment, by an academic team with extensive professional practitioner experience. They are experienced in delivering work-related programmes and understand the constraints of balancing a career with the demands of higher education.
The programme is designed to be studied on a part-time basis over three academic years (on average four weekends a year at Medway campus). In some cases modules that include practical skills may require practical demonstration of skills and knowledge.
Teaching and assessment
As the prime objective is to enhance professional practice applied within your workplace or the context of your practice, you will be expected to demonstrate an appropriate level of conceptual and analytical skills.
All assessment and preparatory tasks are designed to allow you to develop expertise in the application of professional practice within the specific context of your working profession.
Assessments can be through:
- Oral presentations
- Written assignments
- Work-based projects
- Portfolio assessments
- Reflecting learning submissions
- Action Learning Sets
In Stage 3 you complete a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words.
This programme aims to:
- foster the intellectual and professional development of experienced practitioners to extend and deepen their analytical and critical reasoning capabilities underpinning practice-based learning
- develop experienced practitioners' competence in applying theoretical and practice skills to advance change and leadership in organisations
- equip experienced practitioners with the knowledge and understanding to enhance and extend their professional practice experience through work-based learning.
- enable you to develop your skills in higher-level reflection in relation to work-based practice
- provide experienced practitioners with opportunities to gain interdisciplinary perspectives on professional practice through collaborative inter/multidisciplinary exchange
- develop the critical and analytical capabilities of experienced practitioners in relation to project management, data analysis and interpretation of data
- provide supervision for advanced practitioner-centred research that builds a culture of critical evaluation and enquiry in the practice environment
- equip experienced practitioners for their role in challenging, questioning and realigning strategies for work-based practice
- develop practitioners who will actively participate in shaping strategic organisational interests
- develop opportunities for self-directed learning and reflection
- enable experienced practitioners from a diverse range of educational backgrounds to access and participate in learning that seeks to capture reflection on experience gained in everyday organisational practice
- enhance the experienced practitioner’s programme of personal development.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- experiential learning, such as theory, concepts and how they apply to practice
- reflection on learning, leadership styles and approaches gained through practice
- principles of strategic decision making in organisations
- principles and practice involved in inter-professional working
- reflective evaluation in relation to theoretical methodological frameworks
- practice-based research and enquiry
- principles of theory testing in practice in relation to enhancing and developing practice
- project management skills
- professional knowledge in your special area of practice
- your professional profile in relation to current practice that informs into personal career plans.
You develop intellectual skills in the following:
- presenting critical, analytical reasoning and experiential learning in organised, written and oral formats
- the critical analysis of case studies
- engaging in experiential learning that demonstrably enhances practice
- the ability to develop a reflective professional portfolio
- the design and implementation of a programme of practice-based enquiry
- collecting and analysing qualitative or quantitative data from experiential learning to inform evidence-based enquiry
- designing, implementing, analysing and presenting a substantial research project (the dissertation).
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- engaging with members of multidisciplinary teams
- strategic operational planning for organisations
- being able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of change management
- being able to enagage with evidence-based practice
- methodologies for evaluating analysing and appraising organisational practice.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- report writing
- reflection on experiential learning
- effective use of skills related to experiential learning in a practice setting, to establish a future personal plan within the context of professional development
- independent learning skills required for continuing professional development.
The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:
Professional Practice (General) - MA at Medway
- Home part-time £3200
- EU part-time TBC
- International part-time TBC
Professional Practice (General) - MSc at Medway
- Home part-time £3200
- EU part-time TBC
- International part-time TBC
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact email@example.com.
Your fee status
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
General additional costs
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:
- University and external funds
- Scholarships specific to the academic school delivering this programme.
We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.Search scholarships
Staff research interests
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we offer many opportunities for you to develop the specific skills and aptitudes that employers will value.
A postgraduate degree in professional practice is a particularly valuable and flexible qualification that can open the door to exciting careers in many professions. Our graduates have gone on to work as head teachers, head of human resources and organisation development, college and university administration managers. Most recent graduates have gone on to work for companies in the UK such as Medway NHS Foundation Trust, The Thinking Schools Alliance, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company (KSS CRC), Rochester Grammar School, Chatham Grammar School for Boys and the University of Kent.
Career profile quotes
The team were absolutely fantastic. They were so understanding.
This degree allows for greater insight, personal reflection and the time to challenge yourself.
At the Centre for Professional Practice we recognise and understand the individual needs of working professionals, who participate as non-traditional part-time learners, and the balance required between study and the specific areas within which they operate. Our flexible programmes of study provide inclusive and coherent educational and work-related opportunities. The Professional Practice programme provides you with the opportunity to study either individual modules or to work towards a postgraduate certificate, diploma or Master’s degree. Taught sessions are delivered in a welcoming, supportive and flexible academic environment, by an academic team with extensive professional practitioner experience.
Our staff have a wealth of experience and knowledge in designing and delivering work related programmes, providing valuable contributions to the design, development and delivery of current professional practice programmes. With strong links to local and national employers, the Centre is able to ensure that our programmes are contemporary.
The Centre is also responsible for developing and accrediting postgraduate programmes delivered by NHS Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex (Postgraduate Dental Deanery), Kent Community Health NHS Trust and the New Horizons Teaching School Alliance, Rochester Grammar School and Brompton Academy with whom the University of Kent has close working relationships.
Continuing professional development (CPD) courses
We offer a number of CPD courses in evidence-based practice, research skills, collaborative and inter-professional working. You can obtain further information about these programmes from the Centre.
Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books, both nationally and internationally.
Global Skills Award
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.
Learn more about the application process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.
You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.
Apply for entry to:
United Kingdom/EU enquiries
MA at Medway
MSc at Medway
T: +44 (0)1227 768896
T: +44 (0)1634 888929
International student enquiries
T: +44 (0)1227 823254