BA/BSc Hons degrees - for UK/EU professionals

CWRS offers you an edge: work, learn, adapt. Our innovative and highly acclaimed degree programmes enable you to tailor your own learning with dedicated academic specialists in subjects that make a difference to your life and work. Be one of the 1000+ professionals studying our unique course at the award-winning University of Chester, the top ranked ‘new’ university in the North West of England.

Jane found she needed a degree to escape her job, and CWRS came highly recommended. As part of her studies, Jane designed a work-based project that changed how financial performance was managed. Her studies boosted her confidence and analytical abilities, and directly led her to achieving two promotions that she never even imagined were possible.
Jane, BA Hons in Financial Management (WBIS)

Negotiated, work-based learning degrees

Negotiated, work-based learning is different. It is ‘negotiated’ which means that you tailor the learning on the course to meet your own professional interests and aspirations, and it is ‘work-based’ which means that you will learn through real workplace activity and projects rather than by sitting in a classroom. But you work with highly experienced academic specialists who guide and support you through your journey with us. Together, this is a powerful recipe for highly relevant, individualised and challenging professional development, which leads to a distinctive university qualification.

CWRS’s highly acclaimed negotiated, work-based learning programme is called Work Based and Integrative Studies (WBIS for short), but because you negotiate your learning, you also have the unique opportunity to tailor your award title to reflect your area of expertise. For example, a professional who focuses their learning around managing a business and people within it may negotiate their title to be a BA Hons in Management and Leadership (WBIS). A nurse developing their clinical and operational management skills in a hospital might negotiate their title to be a BSc Hons in Nursing Studies (WBIS).

When you register on WBIS:

  • Your learning is tailored to meet your specific needs, interests and aspirations
  • You design your award title with university specialists
  • You can gain academic credit for your prior experiential and certificated learning
  • You can learn at a distance using the online WBIS Portal and learning technology
  • You can choose from online, workplace project or workshop modules

WBIS is ideal for those who recognise the potential of learning through work and who are prepared to assume a high level of responsibility for their own learning. Read Jane's story about her experience with WBIS:

Jane had worked hard to become a fully qualified accountant and raise a family at the same time. Although over time Jane had been promoted and was happy, the tides suddenly changed when new structures appeared. Jane desperately wanted to escape.  But she also quickly realised that she needed a degree: application, after application was turned down. Through recommendation, Jane discovered CWRS, and was impressed with its flexibility. Jane registered and negotiated a BA Hons in Financial Management (WBIS) degree, a large proportion of which was achieved through accrediting her previous workplace learning.

But Jane also developed high level analytical skills to deliver a major project around establishing a new financial control system in her work. To her delight, this project earned her an immediate promotion, and her confidence grew massively.  Confident and armed with a new analytical approach, Jane targeted her next big promotion. She soon achieved this, and Jane now works in managing financial performance systems. Though Jane originally joined CWRS to escape one job, the experience led her to a level of confidence and a job that she could not even imagine before.


The structure of your degree

Our professional learners typically start their learning with the Self Review and Negotiation of Learning module. Here, you will build a strong relationship with your highly experienced Personal Academic Tutor, who is a specialist academic that is dedicated to you and your progress throughout your studies. In Self Review and Negotiation of Learning, your Personal Academic Tutor will help you select what to study, when, and through which mode (see below). This also involves agreeing an award aim, such as a BA Hons or BSc Hons, and a unique title for your studies, such as Nursing Studies or Business Administration.

Degree level award

Credit requirements and example pathways
(*=see the ‘your options’ section next)

BA/BSc Hons degree

18 modules (360 credits, across levels 4, 5 and 6), e.g.

  • Self Review and Negotiation of Learning, plus
  • 17 module choices*

Diploma of Higher Education/Foundation Degree

12 modules (240 credits, across levels 4 and 5), e.g.

  • Self Review and Negotiation of Learning, plus
  • 11 module choices*

Certificate of Higher Education

6 modules (120 credits), e.g.

  • Self Review and Negotiation of Learning, plus
  • 5 module choices*


Your options

With guidance, you will design a pathway which can be a blend of the following. More information about each option is given below. Our faculty specialists are available during UK working hours (typically Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm UK time).


Accreditation of prior certificated learning

Part of your degree might include courses with higher education credit, that you have already achieved. For example, if you have a Higher National Diploma, you may be able to claim up to 12 modules (or 240 credits) as part of your BA/BSc Hons degree. You discuss this in your first module when you start the programme.

Accreditation of prior experiential learning

Part of your degree might include accrediting the learning you have gained from undertaking substantial tasks or projects at work. You are guided by a faculty speciliast as to how much credit you might be able to claim, and up to 12 modules (or 240 credits) can be counted towards your BA/BSc Hons degree.

Workshop modules
(in the City of Chester)

You can choose modules which start with a 1 or 2 day workshop in the beautiful City of Chester (and other locations in the North West) - see our workshops. After the workshop, you are guided by your tutor, and engage in additional learning materials.

Modules facilitated at a distance (online)

We also offer a range of modules which are facilitated at a distance, where no physical attendance at the University is required. See our module catalogue.

Work-based projects

You may also choose to integrate a variety of work-based projects into your degree. This is about learning experientially, ‘on the job', as opposed to in a lecture theatre or seminar room.


Other courses may have set pathways, for example the:


How your learning will be assessed

You will negotiate the assessment method with your specialist module tutor at the start of each module. This can typically involve a portfolio of learning, an assignment, a presentation, a dialogue assessment, a storyboard or a combination of these. There are no written examinations.


Your career prospects

All of our learners are professionals already in work, and so their motivation is often to boost their career progression, or change their career path to something more fulfilling. By choosing a negotiated, work-based learning degree, our students choose a pathway which is relevant to their specific needs. Through our innovative approach, many of our professional learners report significant increases in professional confidence after completing their studies. Ultimately, you are in the driving seat of your learning during your course, so your prospects afterwards are largely driven by what you want to achieve. Many will progress on to a WBIS Master’s degree programme.


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