BA/BSc Partnership Degree Programme - University of Portsmouth

Partnership Degree Programme

Tailor your learning to suit your professional development needs

Course Overview

Why take this course?

The Partnership Degree Programme allows working people to study for university degrees without leaving their jobs.

It is a three-way partnership between you, your employer and the University. Much of your learning comes from projects that form part of your daily workload, which minimises the time spent attending University and ensures that the knowledge gained is relevant to your employer's business.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Set your own objectives, choose your specific course content and tailor the pace of learning to suit the demands on your time
  • Make an effective contribution to your workplace, as well as improve your career prospects
  • Tap in to our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources, which can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection

What opportunities might it lead to?

Students who successfully complete an engineering related award as part of the Partnership Degree Programme can use their studies to gain Incorporated (IEng) status through the professional engineering institutions: the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET); the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE); the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST); the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAes); the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management (IHEEM); and the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE).


Fiona Message, Partnership Programme lecturer

This Partnership Programme is for those in full-time work. If you are motivated by a course that offers academic credit through the completion of work-based projects, then this programme ensures a rewarding interaction between tutor and student, working together to achieve the highest standards.

Fiona Message, Partnership Programme lecturer


Partnership Degree Programme

Find out from Ian MacGillivary about studying on the Partnership Degree Programme including:

  • how existing knowledge counted for a large part of his degree
  • how his work aligned with his field of study so he could gain a qualification without having to take a career break
  • how learning through work based projects reduces the amount of leisure time you have to spend studying
  • the benefits that it will have for his second career

Back to top

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.

You will choose your proposed award title according to the subject material you plan to include in your studies. You must, however, choose one of the award titles from this list:


  • Business
  • Business and Computer Studies
  • Professional Studies*


  • Applied Computing
  • Applied Science
  • Creative Technologies and Enterprise
  • Professional Studies*
  • Engineering Studies
  • Engineering and Management Studies
  • Engineering and Project Management
  • Maritime Studies

*Professional Studies is the award for students whose work is not covered by any of the others.

Here are the units you will study:

  • Accredited Prior Learning (APL): 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. To claim credit for experiential learning you have to submit a portfolio of evidence matching your knowledge and skills to units in the University's Taught Units Database. The maximum APL credit you can receive is two thirds of the credit for the award. Prior Learning Portfolios should be submitted as soon as possible, to allow time for assessment before registration.
  • Learning Management: This is a credit-rated unit. It is the linking thread for your studies. In this unit, you will write a learning contract and amend it, as necessary, if circumstances change. You will work to the contract plan and deliver your evidence (reports, reviews or other items) on the dates you have specified.
  • 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.
  • Taught Units: 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. They are delivered as part of the University's normal teaching provision and are not run by the Partnership Programme.

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.


You will set your own learning objectives, course content and timetable. It is compulsory that some of your learning is via work-based learning projects while taught units and other training programmes provide additional and supported learning.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 6% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 94% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 5% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 95% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 5% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 95% studying independently and 0% on work placement


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.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework
  • Year two students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework
  • Year three students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework

Back to top

Facilities & Features


Due to the distance-learning nature of this course and the potential pressure of juggling your course alongside work life, we aim to provide you with as much support as possible. You’ll 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 a personal University tutor in your area of study and finally, a learning management tutor.

Flexible Learning

Although you may not be campus based, you will still benefit from web, email or phone access to many of our facilities and services. Our student website, MyPort, will be your one-stop shop for all news, information and links to other services, and 24/7 online access to the University Library’s vast electronic book, journal and database collections will help you find the right resources for your research.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

If you take taught units and are assessed by examination elsewhere you will need to cover the costs of attending exam(s) at an agreed approved location. This may include travel, invigilation, courier etc. and cost in the region of £50 - £1000.

If you take taught units owned and administered by other Academic Departments, please contact the Learning at Work department to determine whether there are any additional study costs associated with undertaking that unit.

Back to top

Careers & Opportunities

Where next?

Where next?
Where next?

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

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

Back to top

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 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.

University of Portsmouth
University House
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP

T: +44 (0)23 9284 8484