MA Business and Computer Studies (Learning at Work) - University of Portsmouth
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MA

Business and Computer Studies

A Learning at Work Master's degree programme

Course Overview

Why take this course?

Undertaking an MA in Business and Computer Studies through the Learning at Work Partnership Masters Programme allows you to study for a university degree without leaving your job.

Our programme aims to help you enhance your understanding of key business functions and the role IT and computing have in helping it achieve its goals. Whether you need a breadth of knowledge or to specialise in one area such as emerging technologies, programming or web design this course will enable you to gain the practical skills and learning relevant to your professional and personal development aspirations.

What will I experience?

A unique flexible course that allows you to set your own objectives, choose your specific course content and tailor the pace of learning to suit the demands on your time. It is a three-way partnership between you, your employer and the University which enables you to make an effective contribution to your workplace, as well as improving your career prospects.

Much of your learning comes from work-based learning (WBL) projects that form part of your daily workload, which ensures that the knowledge gained is relevant to your employer's business. University taught units and other training programmes can provide additional learning.

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course can help you to establish yourself as a leader capable of shaping future strategic direction and success in business and can prepare you for future senior management roles. It will help you to develop the ability to reflect on your own actions and decisions within the workplace and to become an independent learner, able to make sound professional judgements when faced with the organisational, financial and management aspects of a business.

There is a good potential that your award can be used to gain professional recognition or help you achieve the CPD requirements of professional registration.

 

Kathryn Rawlinson, Learning at Work Postgraduate student

The support from the Learning at Work team was great and my tutors were very helpful with any academic queries that I had. Nothing was too much trouble for them.

Kathryn Rawlinson, Learning at Work Postgraduate student


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Structure & Teaching

The time you take to complete your studies is up to you and is not tied to the academic calendar. It depends on the point at which you start the course and your personal circumstances at work and at home.

Students make up the academic credit required for achievement of their award through a combination of different learning all of which is detailed in a learning contract. The balance of elements in a learning programme is agreed by negotiation between you and your Workplace Partner, Academic Tutor and Learning Manager.

The learning can include:

  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): This allows you to receive credit for the qualifications you already have and for experience that has given you the learning equivalent to academic qualifications. This can include in-service training courses and qualifications, as well as learning from on-the-job experience. Top up a PgCert or PgDip or international equivalent in a business/management/leadership based subject to a full MA. The maximum RPL credit you can receive is two-thirds of the credit for the award. For further information contact the Learning at Work department.
  • Work-based Learning Projects: These usually make up the bulk of the learning contract. They must involve new learning for you, so they cannot be simply the activities involved in your regular job. However, they should be of value to your employer as well as yourself and you should be able to carry out much of the project work in normal working hours. Examples of WBL projects include Using Systems Thinking for Business Migration, Building and Developing a High-Performing Team, and Analysis of IT Support.
  • Taught Units: Campus-based or distance learning units from the University of Portsmouth or other higher education institutions can be included in your programme. They are a good way of acquiring new knowledge in a structured way. Examples include Business Systems: Concepts, Management and Evaluation, Computer Security, and Information Systems Management.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.


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Facilities & Features

Support

Due to the distance-learning nature of this course and the potential pressure of juggling your course alongside your work and home life, we aim to provide you with as much support as possible. You will have three channels of support. Firstly, a Workplace Partner chosen by you – someone at work who can offer advice, guidance and moral support as well as an Academic Tutor specialising in your area of study and finally, a Learning Manager.

Flexible Learning

It is essential that you have access to the web as this will be the main source of your learning material. You will be supported through our online virtual learning environment called Moodle. The Moodle environment will be a rich source of information - both formal and informal. You are directed towards independent study through selected activities including virtual tutor-led discussion sessions, providing you with the opportunity to interact with staff and fellow students, podcasts and webinars.

Online tutorials and lectures will assist students with a variety of study skills and research methods. The Academic Skills Department are also on hand to support students with the requirements of academic writing. Although you are not required to study on campus throughout the course, you are invited to attend an induction session at the start of the programme and, of course, your graduation ceremony at the end. For those unable to attend induction in person, we provide an online induction course to get you off to the best start in your studies.

University Library

Tap into our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources including e-books and journals, which are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help. We have created a series of videos aimed to help you use the University Library resources and to search more effectively for the information you require for your research and assessments.

Budgeting for your studies

There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.


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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Our Partnership Programme aims to develop your abilities in the workplace using professional standards of competency. Your employer should experience a direct benefit and see an improvement in your performance due to the work-based nature of your study.

Your projects will be commercially valuable to your organisation and will exhibit your enhanced strategic awareness and knowledge of best practice. In turn, your increased motivation and improved performance will undoubtedly lead to further professional opportunities and career progression.

Career planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.

We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.

In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.

Benefits of Postgraduate Study

Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.

  • Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
  • Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
  • Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
  • Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
  • If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.


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Apply now

How to apply

To apply for this course you must request an application form from The Learning at Work office either by emailing learningatwork@port.ac.uk or phoning on 023 9284 6260.

To find out more about the application process please visit one of the following links, depending on you your course of interest:

International Students

Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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