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CWRS’s highly acclaimed negotiated, work-based learning programme is called Work Based and Integrative Studies (WBIS for short), but because you negotiate your learning, you also have the unique opportunity to tailor your award title to reflect your area of expertise (excludes MBA). For example, a professional who focuses their learning around developing leaders may negotiate their title to be an MA in Leadership Development (WBIS). Or a healthcare professional developing organisational structures in a hospital might negotiate their title to be an MSc in Clinical Organisational Development (WBIS). Or you can select the prestigious MBA award (Master of Business Administration)

When you register on WBIS:

  • Your learning is tailored to meet your specific needs, interests and aspirations
  • You design your award title with university specialists (excludes MBA)
  • You can gain academic credit for your prior experiential and certificated learning
  • You can learn at a distance using the online WBIS Portal and learning technology
  • You can choose from online, workplace project or workshop modules

WBIS is ideal for those who recognise the potential of learning through work and who are prepared to assume a high level of responsibility for their own learning.

The structure of your Master’s degree

Our professional learners typically start their learning with the Self Review and Negotiation of Learning module. Here, you will build a strong relationship with your highly experienced Personal Academic Tutor, who is a specialist academic that is dedicated to you and your progress throughout your studies. In Self Review and Negotiation of Learning, your Personal Academic Tutor will help you select what to study, when, and through which mode (see below). This also involves agreeing an award aim, such as an MA or MSc, and a unique title for your studies, such as Nursing Studies or Business Administration.

Master’s level award

Credit requirements and example pathways
(*=see the ‘your options’ section next)

Master's degree (MA/MSc)

9 modules (180 postgraduate credits), e.g.

  • Self Review and Negotiation of Learning, plus
  • 4 module choices*
  • Designing Practitioner Research
  • Work-based investigation/project (triple module)

MBA degree

9 modules (180 postgraduate credits), e.g.

  • Skills & Approaches for Work-Based Learning, plus
  • 4 module choices*
  • Designing Practitioner Research
  • Work-based investigation/project (triple module)
  • The above must cover all of the MBA topic areas, for example: customers and markets; finance; management of operations, communication and information technology; and business policy and strategy.

Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip)

6 modules (120 postgraduate credits), e.g.

  • Self Review and Negotiation of Learning, plus
  • 5 module choices*

Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert)

3 modules (60 postgraduate credits), e.g.

  • Self Review and Negotiation of Learning, plus
  • 2 module choices*

Your options

With guidance, you will design a pathway which can be a blend of the following. More information about each option is given below. Our faculty specialists are available during UK working hours (typically Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm UK time).

Accreditation of prior certificated learning
(APCL)

Part of your Master’s pathway might include courses which you have already successfully achieved, which carry Higher Education credits. For example, someone who has done a Postgraduate Certificate with another UK recognised university can count as 3 modules (60 credits) of a full Master’s degree. Up to 6 modules (120 credits) of APCL can count towards your Master’s with us. Please be aware a successful claim for APCL could reduce the time available to complete your award.

Accreditation of prior experiential learning
(APEL)

Part of your Master’s pathway might include the learning you have gained from undertaking substantial tasks or projects at work. You are guided by a faculty speciliast as to how much credit you might be able to claim, and will facilitate you in creating a portfolio to evidence that learning. Up to 6 modules (120 credits) of APEL can count towards your Master’s with us.

Workshop modules
(in the City of Chester)

You can choose modules which start with a 1 or 2 day workshop in the beautiful City of Chester - see our workshops page. After the workshop, you are guided by your tutor, and engage in additional learning materials.

Modules facilitated at a distance (online)

We also offer a range of modules which are facilitated at a distance, where no physical attendance at the University is required. See our workshops page.

Work-based projects

You may also choose to integrate a variety of work-based projects into your degree. This is about learning experientially, ‘on the job', as opposed to in a lecture theatre or seminar room.

Designing Practitioner Research

This module is compulsory for full MA/MSc/MBA learners. This module is about designing research projects that will make a strategic difference in your workplace. In it, you will create and justify a persuasive proposal design, which is then carried out as the final work-based project of your Master’s.

Other courses may have set pathways, for example the PGCert in Work Based Learning Facilitation (WBIS).

How your learning will be assessed

You will negotiate the assessment method with your specialist module tutor at the start of each module. This can typically involve a portfolio of learning, an assignment, a presentation, a dialogue assessment, a storyboard or a combination of these. There are no written examinations.

Your career prospects

All of our learners are professionals already in work, and so their motivation is often to boost their career progression, or change their career path to something more fulfilling. By choosing a negotiated, work-based learning degree, our students choose a pathway which is relevant to their specific needs. Through our innovative approach, many of our professional learners report significant increases in professional confidence after completing their studies. Ultimately, you are in the driving seat of your learning during your course, so your prospects afterwards are largely driven by what you want to achieve.