Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

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

This is an archived page and for reference purposes only


Do you already have a Foundation Degree, Higher Education (HE) Diploma, or similar equivalent? Why not find out if you could advance your career with the BA or BSc Top-up award in Professional Practice.


The BA/BSc Top-up in Professional Practice is a flexible, part-time programme of study that provides a route to a degree for those who have previously achieved an undergraduate qualification, such as a Foundation Degree, HE Diploma 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, administrative services, cultural industries, retail, hospitality, financial and legal services.

The Centre for Professional Practice (CPP)

The Centre for Professional Practice offers part-time academic work-related 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.

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

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 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.

Flexible programmes

The Centre recognises and understands 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. 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 working in public, private, health and third sectors, 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 its programmes are contemporary.

The Centre is also responsible for developing and accrediting postgraduate training courses delivered by NHS Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex (Postgraduate Dental Deanery), Kent Community Health NHS Trust and the New Horizons Teaching School Alliance, 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 interprofessional working. You can obtain further information about these programmes from the Centre.

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Students’ progress will be monitored and supported throughout their studies by a Personal Academic Tutor.

The programme will be delivered part-time over a series of long weekends (Friday – Sunday).


Formal summative assessment will be based on a combination of the following: oral presentations, poster presentations, written assignments which includes work-related case study evidence, and reflective commentary. Formative assessment will be based on presentations, peer review and case study material;

Additional information

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Students’ progress will be monitored and supported throughout their studies by a Personal Academic Tutor.

The programme begins with a compulsory preparatory Induction Week, which includes Study Skills, in order to prepare students for the transition to degree level work. The course will then comprise a set of modules delivered by Centre for Professional Practice.

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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • To analyse qualitative and/or quantitative data to inform evidence-based enquiry.
  • To recognise, value and use appropriately the theories, concepts, evidence and principles relating to discipline area.
  • 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 head teachers, heads of human resources and organisation development,  administration managers and various other professionals.

Entry requirements

Credits transfer

If you have already studied at university level, this may count towards your Top-up qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study. It is not only study completed at a university that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional qualifications. You should apply for credit transfer before you register. We need to know what you studied, where and when and you should provide original evidence of your previous study. We will compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen qualification and inform you of any award.

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. 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 achieved a Level 5 qualification (undergraduate diploma or equivalent). Please contact the CPP co-ordinator for further information.

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 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Part-time £4500 N/A

UK/EU fee paying students

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

In accordance with changes announced by the UK Government, we are increasing our 2017/18 regulated full-time tuition fees for new and returning UK/EU fee paying undergraduates from £9,000 to £9,250. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise from £4,500 to £4,625. This was subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. This fee will ensure the continued provision of high-quality education.

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.* 

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.

The Government has confirmed that EU students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support for the duration of their course.


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.