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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. For example, a professional who focuses their learning around managing a business and people within it may negotiate their title to be a BA Hons in Management and Leadership (WBIS). A nurse developing their clinical and operational management skills in a hospital might negotiate their title to be a BSc Hons in Nursing Studies (WBIS).

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
  • 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 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 a BA Hons or BSc Hons, and a unique title for your studies, such as Nursing Studies or Business Administration.

Degree level award

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

BA/BSc Hons degree

18 modules (360 credits, across levels 4, 5 and 6), e.g.

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

Diploma of Higher Education/Foundation Degree

12 modules (240 credits, across levels 4 and 5), e.g.

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

Certificate of Higher Education

6 modules (120 credits), e.g.

  • Self Review and Negotiation of Learning, plus
  • 5 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 degree might include courses with higher education credit, that you have already achieved. For example, if you have a Higher National Diploma, you may be able to claim up to 12 modules (or 240 credits) as part of your BA/BSc Hons degree. You discuss this in your first module when you start the programme.

Accreditation of prior experiential learning
(APEL)

Part of your degree might include accrediting 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 up to 12 modules (or 240 credits) can be counted towards your BA/BSc Hons degree.

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.

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. Many will progress on to a WBIS Master’s degree programme.