Business and Computer Studies
A Learning at Work Master's degree programme
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.
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
- Flexible. Start: Sept, Jan.
- 2017 entry requirements
- A degree or equivalent. Other qualifications such as HNDs and Foundation degrees, supported by several years of relevant post-qualification experience in responsible posts, may also be acceptable. Applicants are usually working at a professional level. Applicants to the MSc Occupational Health and Safety Management and the MSc Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management should have appropriate experience and proven aptitude in health and safety, a certificated professional/vocational qualification or an undergraduate degree or equivalent. If you do not hold a level 6 qualification you may be required to present evidence of your ability to study at level 6. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
Please contact the Learning at Work department for the latest fee schedules.
Tel: +44 (0)23 9284 6261/6260
+44 (0)23 9284 6261/6260
- Learning at Work
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.
How are you assessed?
We set the framework for your degree and assess your work, but you choose what to learn, how you will learn and what evidence you will deliver for assessment. We ensure that you achieve the standard appropriate to your award through a process of learning management.
Work-based learning allows you not only to gain the knowledge you need for your current role and future career aspirations, but the key transferable skills required by employers. We help you to become independent lifelong learners who feel confident in making sound professional judgements in the workplace.
Michelle Juchau, Learning Manager
Having worked with the University for many years in my capacity as membership director of one of the professional engineer institutes, I decided to embark on the programme myself. I thought so much of the programme that I have now become a tutor on it giving the benefit of my experience to my tutees.
Facilities & Features
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.
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.
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.
Careers & Opportunities
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.
Potential careers include Business Systems Analyst, Technology Consultant, IT Management, and eMarketing.
Benefits to you
- Your existing knowledge counts towards the degree award
- You gain a university qualification without having to take a career break
- Learning through work-based projects reduces the amount of time you have to spend studying at home
- You learn what you need as you need it
- You can tailor the pace of learning to suit demands on your time
- Learning leads to professional recognition and career enhancement
Benefits to your employer
- Staff education brings commercial and strategic awareness
- Commercially valuable work projects are part of the learning programme
- The organisation gains knowledge of best practice and the latest technologies from work-based projects
- University tutors provide new knowledge and advice
- Better qualified staff enhance the organisation’s leadership position
- Staff who have been supported to gain Partnership qualifications show increased loyalty to their employers
- Employee motivation is increased as they develop their skills
How to apply
To apply for this course you must request an application form from The Learning at Work office either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org 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: