Professional Development, BA

Professional Development, BA


The BA in Professional Development (BAPD) is a flexible programme that offers you as a professional an opportunity to develop as a reflective practitioner. The programme is open to professionals from a wide range of settings, for example in education, community learning, care and related areas.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
Blended Learning
Degree Qualification
24 months
Study Mode
Part Time
Start Month

The BA in Professional Development has been designed to promote and encourage the use of workplace activities as the basis for academic study. This is a route to a degree qualification for people with an HNC or HND or professional experience developed over several years. Entry to the programme is considered on an individual basis and may include a Recognition of Prior Learning Claim for which there is a charge.

The part-time degree programme focuses on professional learning and emphasises learning from experience through reflective practice. The degree also includes inquiry as a method of improving professional practice and critical evaluation of professional practice. The programme is designed for people who are working full or part-time, this can be in a paid or unpaid capacity.

What You'll Study

  • Professional Learning and Inquiry (30 credits)
  • Professional Project 3 (30 credits)

The Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE) can be studied as part of the BAPD or optional courses, totalling 60 credits, either BAPD courses below or other University of Aberdeen courses.

  • Hazard and Risk in Professional Contexts (30 credits)
  • Broadening Professional Boundaries (30 credits)
Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Students with 120 credit points from Accreditation or Recognition of Prior Learning will go directly into Year 2.

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

  • ED2072 Negotiated Independent Study 2

Plus 105 credit points from other courses as agreed with the Programme Director.
Students with 240 credit points from Accreditation or Recognition of Prior Learning will go directly into Year 3.

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Professional Learning and Inquiry (ED302F)

30 Credit Points

This course covers professional learning through reflection and how to carry out practitioner inquiry.

Professional Project 3 (ED3587)

30 Credit Points

This course allows you to write up a professional project that you have been working on. It addresses planning, implementation, reporting on findings and reflecting upon your professional project. You will be encouraged to engage with a variety of perspectives to inform your project including academic literature, policy documents and the views of colleagues and other stakeholders. The supported use of a range of technologies throughout the course will also enhance your digital practice.

Hazard and Risk in Professional Contexts (ED302E)

30 Credit Points

This course encourages students to investigate and develop an understanding of hazard and risk in society and as it applies in their professional context.

Broadening Professional Boundaries (ED4530)

30 Credit Points

Varying definitions of community work and community development Competing theoretical perspectives, aims and objectives and their link to context Current and recurrent debates and discourse Examples of practice from a range of international contexts Evaluation of the relevance of differing strategies for contemporary and local contexts 'Glocalisation' in relation to community work and community development practice. Interactive enquiry with a peer student or worker in another country.

We will endeavour to make all course options available. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

How You'll Study

Students learn in various ways, for example by:

  • working their way through course materials in the virtual learning environment MyAberdeen
  • posting comments and blogs in MyAberdeen
  • reflecting on their professional practice
  • reading
  • writing course work
  • presenting work to other people on the course.

Learning Methods

  • E-learning
  • Individual Projects
  • Research

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of different assessment methods:

  • coursework such as blog posts, essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • presentations, using powerpoint and other methods such as posters.

The exact mix of these methods differs between individual courses.

Why Study Professional Development?

This is a flexible, part-time programme designed to fit in with and enhance your professional role.

The BA in Professional Development at the University of Aberdeen is continually reviewed and updated on the basis of student feedback and very positive reports from our External Examiner.

Entry Requirements

The normal minimum qualification for this programme is an HND or equivalent (SCQF8).

A Recognition of Prior Learning Claim may need to be made for those without an HND or equivalent (there is a charge for Recognition of Prior Learning claims).

Each student’s case will be dealt with independently and the Programme Director will have the final decision.


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Education degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 59 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fitness to Practice Guidelines

Students undertaking Education, Medicine or Dentistry programmes must comply with the University's fitness to practise guidelines.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £1,180
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year Charged on a modular basis per 15 credits.
UK £410
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year Charged on a modular basis per 15 credits.

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. However, these may be subject to change - see our Student Terms and Conditions page.

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