Professional Practice

Professional Practice (Top-Up) - BSc (Hons)


Do you already have a Foundation Degree, Undergraduate Diploma or similar equivalent? Then you could advance your career with the BA/BSc Top-up award in Professional Practice.



The BA/BSc Top-up in Professional Practice is a flexible, work-related undergraduate programme that provides a route to a degree for those who have previously achieved an undergraduate qualification, such as a Foundation Degree, HND or similar. It is the third stage of a BA/BSc, delivered part-time over two academic years.

This work-related learning programme is suitable for professionals from a wide range of areas in the public and private sectors. This includes health and social care, education, local government, public services, human resources, professional trades people, business and administrative services, cultural industries, retail, hospitality, financial and legal services.

The Centre for Professional Practice (CPP)

The Centre for Professional Practice offers flexible, work-related academic programmes for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students. The Centre is founded on the belief that employers can benefit from the University of Kent’s academic and research excellence, quality teaching, design and development activities to create positive change and to forge new knowledge within their organisation.

We work with a wide range of external partners and employers to create distinct and original work-based and work-related developmental and educational solutions, which respond to the unique workforce challenges experienced by employees and organisations across the region and beyond.

The Centre’s programmes are designed to enhance career progression and foster intellectual and professional development and practice.

Independent rankings

Kent is ranked 21st in the Times Higher Education (THE) ‘Table of Tables’ 2017.

Teaching Excellence Framework

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

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Course structure

The programme offers an opportunity to attain academic recognition for the skills, knowledge and experience you have developed in the workplace. It focuses on a specific area of practice relevant to your work and enhances your career progression. You can explore your profession further and consider the professional challenges associated within your specific area of practice. The modules have been designed to help you review and analyse the current debates relevant to the professional context in which you are working.

The programme is structured over three modules delivered over two years:

Year 1 (30+30 credits):

  • Learning and Development
  • Critical Appraisal and Research Skills

Year 2 (60 credits):

  • Enquiring into Professional Practice: Project (BA/BSc Hons)

Taught sessions are delivered over a series of long weekends, with the exception of the induction weekend, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 October 2017 (subject to student numbers).

Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

Learning and Development in Professional Practice explore the principles and application of experiential learning within a workplace context. It will focus on the relevance of the individual within the workplace context and how professional practice and organisational effectiveness can be developed through individual developing strategies for continuous professional development and participation in learning opportunities within their workplace settings and professional context. The module will provide a strong grounding in the principles of continuous professional development. Topics to be covered are: Organisational learning, personal development within a professional context, experiential learning and reflective practice.

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This module will focus on developing the skills to ensure that students become effective users of research findings, within the context to enhancing the quality of their own practice and workplace setting. This module will provide an opportunity to discuss the principles of research, the mechanisms and barriers to integrating practice competence with the best available external evidence from research, and how this can be applied to achieve the ultimate goal of improving competence within the students own area of practice. Sessions will cover the process of forming a practice focused question, designing a search strategy using relevant databases and gaining experience in the use of the tools and techniques available to undertake a project through the efficient search and retrieval of the literature. Topics covered in the session include: the process of retrieving and critically appraising the literature related to practice, exploring recognised appraisal tools available to aid the assessment of validity and relevance of literature, understanding broader research methodology and methods, the principles of completing a project proposal (based on a literature review methodology).

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During this module the student will explore and apply the knowledge and skills to systematically explore professionally related literature to respond to a question, based on an area of enquiry related to the student's own practice. Module 'Critical Appraisal and Research Skills in Professional Practice' provided the basis for this area of enquiry.

For the award of BSc the student should draw upon authoritative and pertinent literature base that has been scientifically or empirically derived from, for example, experimental or exploratory designed research.

The submission resulting from this module should have validity and applicability to advancing professional standards within a workplace context. Therefore, throughout the module students are encouraged to critically evaluate the worth and applicability of professionally relevant literature within their preferred subject area. Students will clearly state the case for their chosen subject, how it contributes to the raising of current standards of practice, and supports any case for change, and follow the framework required for the submission. Students will be assigned an academic member of staff for the duration of their project dissertation who will provide support, guidance and advise students on the management of their study.

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Teaching and assessment

The programme teaching methods are designed to support suitable modes of learning with emphasis on the application of theory to professional practice. Methods include: tutor-led seminars, student presentations, peer review, case studies and work-related, experiential learning. Students’ progress will be monitored and supported throughout their studies by a Personal Academic Tutor.

Students will be assessed through a combination of formal presentations, portfolio-style submissions, written essay or report style assignments, work-related, case study evidence and brief reflective commentary.

The programme will be delivered part-time over a series of long weekends (Friday – Sunday), on average 6 weekends per academic year.

Additional information

The programme begins with a compulsory preparatory Induction Week on 17-18 October 2018, which includes Study Skills, in order to prepare students for the degree-level work.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • foster the intellectual and professional development of experienced practitioners
  • extend analytical and critical reasoning capabilities underpinning practice-based learning
  • develop experienced practitioners’ competence in applying theoretical and practice skills to employing organisations
  • contribute to the development and dissemination of evidence-based practice within professional contexts
  • facilitate an ethos of academic understanding, demonstrating the capacity for critical reflection, lifelong learning and continuing professional development
  • provide a challenging, high-quality focused learning environment, with teaching informed by research and scholarship that meets the lifelong and continuous professional development needs of students and their employing organisations or professional working areas
  • offer students the opportunity to develop multidisciplinary approaches within an ethical framework that supports contemporary practice within an applied professional practice setting
  • encourage students to develop links and work collaboratively to support their professional practice and employing organisation
  • provide students with the opportunity to develop and enhance their knowledge and skills of their working practices, including non-health, health and social care settings in order to support regional and national economic success

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain a knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • experiential learning, theory, concepts and how they apply to practice.
  • evidence informed practice and associated professional practice based enquiry techniques.
  • the principles and practice involved in collaborative working, to build and sustain professional relationships both as an independent practitioner and as a member of a team.
  • the need to recognise ethical and/or legal issues in their (and others') practice and manage any implications.
  • the importance of rigour in collecting, analysing and interpreting data from literature relevant to their practice discipline.
  • the value of analysing relevant data in relation to in their practice area and evaluating this data in relation to informing and/or benefitting practice.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual skills:

  • the ability to contribute to the development of discipline through reflection, evidence-informed practice and innovation
  • the ability to present critical, analytical reasoning and experiential learning in organised written and oral formats
  • the ability to work independently, efficiently and professionally within organisational frameworks and professional codes of practice and conduct, with recognition of legal, moral and ethical issues whilst managing any conflicting priorities
  • the ability to analyse qualitative and/or quantitative data to inform evidence-based enquiry
  • the ability to recognise, value and use appropriately the theories, concepts, evidence and principles relating to discipline area
  • the ability to recognise the value of research and other scholarly activity to the methodical evaluation and development of professional practice

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • to demonstrate and apply knowledge of own discipline area informed by current scholarship and research, including a critical awareness of current issues and developments in the subject and their profession
  • the ability to use methods of enquiry to collect and interpret data in order to provide information that would inform or benefit practice
  • to be able to apply specialist knowledge derived from practice

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • the capacity for autonomous learning and ability to evaluate arguments, assumptions, concepts and data to make informed judgments
  • to communicate with clarity in academic and professional/work settings demonstrating regard to interpersonal skills to both specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • to apply reflection and self-understanding when working with others, in order to evaluate own strengths and weaknesses and commitment to lifelong learning and continuous professional and personal self-development
  • the ability to research, manage, appraise and present material, data and scientific literature through word-processing, computer-based presentation and use of the internet and other literature sources.


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 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 professionals in business management and administration, human resources and organisational development.

Entry requirements

This work-related learning programme is suitable for professionals from a wide range of areas in the public and private sectors: health and social care, education, local government, public services, human resources, professional trades people, business and administrative services, cultural industries, retail, hospitality, financial and legal services.

You must be working and have a Foundation Degree, Undergraduate Diploma or equivalent qualification.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and professional qualifications. Any additional work-related awards and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications. 

Home/EU students

You must be working and have a Foundation Degree, Undergraduate Diploma or equivalent qualification.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 5 HND

You must be working and have a Foundation Degree, Undergraduate Diploma or equivalent qualification.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

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. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Part-time £4625 TBC

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.* 

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 accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.


University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.


General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.