Single Module Level 4, Level 5 & Level 6

Independent Learning Studies (Level 4, 5 & 6, 20 Credits)




13 weeks

Next enrolment


In a nutshell

Please note, this module can only be offered through your organisation.

This 20-credit module focuses on work-based learning, enabling professionals to reflect on their practice, develop portfolios, and enhance their skills while collaborating with peers and employers. It offers flexibility for professionals to advance their practice and gain valuable insights into ethical considerations, making it suitable for a diverse range of practitioners from various sectors.

This work-based learning module will:

  • Enable you to reflect on the process of learning in your professional area of practice.
  • Support you to produce a portfolio based on evidence of your personal and professional development.
  • Enable you to maximise your potential for continuing your study in your specialised area of practice.
  • Support you in gaining an understanding of the relationship between your learning and professional practice and identify ethical issues that may influence this.
  • Enables you to identify personal and professional change as a result of knowledge acquisition and learning.
  • Provides an opportunity to learn and share knowledge and skills with other professionals.

The work-based learning module enables you to:

  • Achieve a 20-credit undergraduate university module.
  • Be part of working in partnership with employers who value your work and expertise.
  • Develop your knowledge and skills helping to evidence and enhance your practice.

This is for you if...


This module is for professionals in practice from a range of public, private and third sector providers including health care practice, policing, education, and local authority.


This module reflects the diversity of each organisation and individual members of staff.


It is delivered in partnership with your organisation through negotiated work-based learning where you are supported, enabling you to advance your practice.


It values workplace learning, and the expertise developed in your area of practice.


It develops and equips you with the professional knowledge and skills needed to enhance your area of practice.


It offers you the option for flexible study, which enables you to combine work and learning, so that you can co-ordinate your study around your work and other commitments.

Course details

All about the course

Independent Learning Studies 20 Credits

The purpose of the module is for the you to be guided through the learning process that enables you to assess, plan, implement and evaluate your own learning and performance. 

This will be achieved through work-based activities which addresses your needs and interests with support from your tutor and work-based mentor. You will negotiate and determine your own aims, objectives, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for the work-based activity. 

This provides a framework and a vehicle for the development and assessment of skills and knowledge, is both product and process orientated and facilitates goals for future learning and performance. 

  • At level 4 you will summarise the extent in which your learning needs have been met within the context of your practice
  • At level 5 you will be producing a learning plan to meet future learning needs within the context of your professional practice
  • At level 6 you will be analysing personal and professional development and will be formulating a plan of action for future learning needs within your practice

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


A range of formative and summative assessments will cater to your individual learning style. These include: 

  • Portfolio 
  • Reflective essay 
  • Learning agreement 


A range of teaching strategies is used including Masterclasses, action learning, online learning, guided study, work-based learning, independent learning and peer-supported learning. 

The School of Health and Society

We are focused on enhancing the health and wellbeing of patients, service users and athletes and our commitment to public involvement help us retain our strong focus on real-world issues. 

Programme Lead

Jo Sullivan is a registered Adult Nurse and Health visitor with a lengthy clinical career. Jo also has extensive academic experience in developing and leading work-based learning programmes designed to meet specific learning requirements. Jo has a keen interest in ensuring individuals have the best opportunity to develop their own work-based expertise, whilst contributing to the transformational and innovative delivery of work-based practice. 

Jo has a passion for inclusive education and work-based / practice-based learning. Her research focuses on the creation of inclusive working and educational environments for neurodivergent individuals, and how this diversity can enhance work-based experiences for everyone. 

In addition, she has led collaborative projects with large national companies and organisations to create and design work-based learning programmes for their workforce. These directly facilitate the enhancement and improvement of organisational delivery and helps them to attain their wider strategic vision. 

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

This module will support you in career development and application for further Higher Education Institution (HEI) study within your area of practice. It will enable you to provide evidence of your personal and professional development, which will enhance your career progression. The acquisition of skills and knowledge will support personal and professional growth. 

Further study

This module offers an opportunity to be considered for other undergraduate study. 

Career Links

The module team are linked into a variety of employers. As examples of organisations who have approached us to discuss their staff developments and are keen to use the programme as part of their staff and organisational development, discussions have taken place with: 

Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, to support the Trust in developing newly qualified professionals in the second Year of their preceptorship programme, developing their staff who undertake in-service training for anaesthetics, quality improvement, and leadership by furthering their development within an academic programme and creating impactful change in practice. The Trust also want to use the programme to support the development of their Theatre and Anaesthetic staff.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, to support cancer specialist in furthering their service-based learning and development into academic awards, whilst also meeting the requirements of The Christie and GM Cancer strategy workforce education plan. 

Greater Manchester Training Hub, GP nurse Fellowship and Foundation Programme, has been supported by the School over the past 3 years. The team and the training hub now want GP nurses to have the opportunity to further their academic progression through Practice-Based Learning. 

Working Well Matters deliver vocational rehabilitation programmes for professionals in Occupational Health, they would like the OH professionals to be able to develop their practice and academic skills through vocational rehabilitation-focused practice learning and development. 

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) as a School we provide education routes into Policing. We want to be able to offer experienced police officers practice-based learning opportunities to help further the academic development of GMP and their educators, support the individuals by recognising their training within an academic framework, and simultaneously supporting the organisational transformation. 

Health Education England (HEE) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) are delivering a Global Workforce Development Programme, we are delivering the Action Learning set elements to 7 countries. Whilst the participants will receive a certificate of attendance, HEE and the WHO are keen to support participants in gaining academic recognition for their work on workforce transformation. We are discussing the role this programme may play in that process. 


What you need to know

Applicant profile

This module will only be offered through your organisation. In addition, you must be engaged in paid and/or unpaid work and where a written agreement with your employer for support in undertaking this module/programme is agreed. There will be identification of a Learning Guide / Mentor who can support you in your place of work. 

Access to undertake the module will be commissioned through your organisation, therefore individual applications cannot be considered. 

The module is targeted at professionals in practice from a range of public, private and third-sector providers including healthcare practice, policing, education, and local authority. 

A vital component of the module is the tripartite relationship between the student, their employer and the university programme tutors. This relationship supports the students in focusing their development on specific areas of need in practice, which in turn drives organisational change at the same time as personal and professional development. 

Standard entry requirements

Standard entry requirements

An applicant who does not possess one of the qualifications which satisfies the General Academic Entry Requirement may be considered through the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) (both Certified Prior Learning and/or one Prior Experiential Learning) as per the University's Admissions and Retention Policy. Appropriately experienced applicants will be considered in line with the University's APL procedure. 

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully. 

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course. 

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: The Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). 

How much

Type of study Year Fees
Part-time 2024/25 £925 per 20 credit module
Part-time 2025/26 £965 per 20 credit module

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

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