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Professional Development, BA

Professional Development, BA

Course Overview



The BA in Professional Development (BAPD) is a flexible programme that offers you as a professional an opportunity to develop as a reflective practitioner. The programme is open to professionals from a wide range of settings, for example in education, community learning, care and related areas.

The BA in Professional Development has been designed to promote and encourage the use of workplace activities as the basis for academic study. This is a route to a degree qualification for people with an HNC or HND or professional experience developed over several years. Entry to the programme is considered on an individual basis and may include a Recognition of Prior Learning Claim for which there is a charge.

The part-time degree programme focuses on professional learning and emphasises learning from experience through reflective practice. The degree also includes inquiry as a method of improving professional practice and critical evaluation of professional practice. The programme is designed for people who are working full or part-time, this can be in a paid or unpaid capacity.

LEARNING MODE Blended Learning
DURATION 24 months
What You'll Study

Compulsory courses, usually taken in first year of study:

  • Professional Learning and Inquiry (30 credits) – 3 campus days or accessed online
  • Professional Project 3 (30 credits) – 3 campus days or accessed online

The Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE) can be studied as part of the  optional courses, totalling 60 credits, either Northampton University courses.

  • Hazard and Risk in Professional Contexts (30 credits) – online
  • Broadening Professional Boundaries (30 credits) – online

Compulsory Courses

Students with 120 credit points from Accreditation or Recognition of Prior Learning will go directly into Year 2.

Compulsory Courses

Negotiated Independent Study 2 (ED2072) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Plus 105 credit points from other courses as agreed with the Programme Director.

Students with 240 credit points from Accreditation of Prior Learning will go directly into Year 3.

How You'll Study

Students learn in various ways, for example by:

  • working their way through course materials in the virtual learning environment Northampton University
  • attending campus study days in person or via online access
  • posting comments and blogs in Northampton University
  • reflecting on their professional practice
  • reading
  • writing course work
  • presenting work to other people on the course.

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of different assessment methods:

  • coursework such as blog posts, essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • presentations, using powerpoint and other methods such as posters.

The exact mix of these methods differs between individual courses.

Why Study Professional Development?

This is a flexible, part-time programme designed to fit in with and enhance your professional role.

The teaching can be accessed in Northampton on Saturday study days (3 Saturdays per semester) and/or online.

The BA in Professional Development at the Northampton University is continually reviewed and updated on the basis of student feedback and very positive reports from our External Examiner.



There are many opportunities at the Northampton University to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.


The University Careers Service aims to inspire and support your career success through collaboration, innovation and professionalism. We provide our students and recent graduates with the advice and information they need for effective career planning and skill development along with opportunities for networking and connecting with employers. 

Entry requirements


The normal minimum qualification for this programme is an HND or equivalent (SCQF8). Prior Learning can be accredited up to 240 credits but 120 credits must be done at the Northampton University of which 90 must be at SCQF level 9 (university year 3).

A Recognition of Prior Learning Claim may need to be made for those without an HND or equivalent (there is a charge for Recognition of Prior Learning claims).

Each student’s case will be dealt with independently and the Programme Director will have the final decision.

English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Northampton University it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:


IELTS Academic:

OVERALL – 6.0 with: Listening – 5.5; Reading – 5.5; Speaking – 5.5; Writing – 6.0


OVERALL – 78 with: Listening – 17; Reading – 18; Speaking – 20; Writing – 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL – 54 with: Listening – 51; Reading – 51; Speaking – 51; Writing – 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL – 169 with: Listening – 162; Reading – 162; Speaking – 162; Writing – 169

How to apply


This programm by online learning has start dates in September and January of each academic year. 

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for applicants who may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test


Documentation required

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes.
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

After you apply

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University’s applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
    View the University’s guidance for unsuccessful applicants
Terms and conditions of admissions
  • The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

    Northampton University admissions terms and conditions