Learning at Work

Partnership Masters Programme

Part time study

The Partnership Masters' Programme leads to MA and MSc degrees.


Although the content of your study programme is unique and chosen by you, you must be registered for an award which is relevant to the subject matter of the content. You can only register for one of the named awards listed below. 'Combined Studies' is the award for students whose work is not covered by any of the others.

Masters' Degrees are offered in the following areas:

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

We also offer the one-year PgCert Occupational Health and Safety Management.

Flexible duration

The time you take to complete the programme depends on your point of entry or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), and on the proportion of time that you can allocate to your studies. It may also depend on the progress of projects at work, and changes in home circumstances, that may be out of your control. The programme allows you to accommodate delays and changes throughout. Typically a student who enters with the maximum RPL of 240 credits and has only 120 credits to study, would take 18-24 months to complete.

Recognition of Prior Learning allows you to receive credit for the qualifications you already have and for learning from experience at work, including in-service training courses. Most standard qualifications and some defence forces training and experience have standard RPL credit ratings. For example, NATO Rank Code OR-7 equivalent with 2 years in rank is equivalent to 120 credits of RPL at level 4 and 120 credits of RPL at level 5.

Email learningatwork@port.ac.uk for further advice regarding RPL.

If you do not hold an eligible standard qualification or NATO Armed Forces Rank/Qualification, you may be able to claim credit for learning through experience. In order to do this, you will be required to submit a portfolio of evidence matching your knowledge and skills to units in the University's 'Unit Web Search' database. This should be submitted two months prior to the course start date, to allow time for assessment before the course begins. The maximum RPL credit you can receive is two-thirds of the credit for the award.

We will also provide an RPL handbook, which explains how to prepare your portfolio.

Entry qualifications

There are no standard entry qualifications as every application is assessed on its own merit.  Applicants could hold a degree or equivalent, however 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.

Health and safety applicants should have a minimum health and safety qualification equivalent to level 3 with relevant health and safety professional experience.

Course structure

Degree courses in the UK are assembled from units of study that are credit rated by quantity and level. At Portsmouth, Level 7 units are in multiples of 30 credits. The largest project unit allowed is 60 credits. For a masters' degree you must achieve 180 credits at Level 7. 30 credit represents a nominal 200-300 hours of study.

Recognition of Prior Learning may be awarded to a maximum of 120 credits.

Professional Recognition

Most of our Partnership Programme awards can be used to gain professional recognition such as Chartered Engineer (CEng). The accrediting bodies that we work with include:

  • The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
  • Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management (IHEEM)
  • Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology (IMarEST)
  • Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS)
  • Society of Operations Engineers (SOE)
  • Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM)

MSc Occupational Health and Safety Management graduates are eligible to apply for Graduate membership of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). Students also have the opportunity to work towards their Chartered status with IOSH through our unique professional development process. MSc Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management students can also apply for Associate membership of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).