The BA in Professional Development (BAPD) is a vibrant, flexible programme that offers you as a professional an opportunity to advance your skills, knowledge and attributes. It caters for a wide selection of professional needs across a range of settings in education, community learning, care and social sectors, and related areas.

This programme is studied fully online.

The BA in Professional Development has been designed to promote and encourage the use of workplace activities as the basis for academic study. Due to its flexibility, it provides a route to degree level studies for participants from non-traditional backgrounds who may have already gained an HNC or HND or professional experience developed over several years. Entry to the programme is considered on an individual basis and with a Recognition of Prior Learning Claim.

It is a part-time degree programme which focuses on continuing professional learning and emphasises learning from experience through reflective practice, inquiry as a method of improving professional practice and critical evaluation of professional practice. The programme is designed to be taken whilst working full or part-time.


  • To foster the commitment of participants to professional values, practice and ongoing professional learning
  • To engage participants in processes of active learning including cyclical processes of action and reflection
  • To contribute to professional knowledge by disseminating to peers and others the outcomes of investigations and projects undertaken as part of the programme
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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

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

What You'll Study

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

Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Negotiated Independent Study 2 (ED2072) - 15 Credit Points

Carry out independent study in an area of professional interest and/or professional context to enhance work-based practice.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

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

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to change. Further information about potential changes can be viewed here.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Research

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Professional Development?

  • The School of Education encourages inspiration to engage with communities nationally and internationally
  • We welcome students from the UK, Europe and the rest of the world to our vibrant dynamic School
  • We are situated in beautiful Old Aberdeen where there are plenty of great facilities for students
  • Professional Development is designed from discussion with the profession about live and emerging issues

Entry Requirements


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

Please note: entry requirements are different for 2018 and 2019 entry.

Entry Requirements (2018):

The normal minimum qualification for this programme is an HND or equivalent (SCQF8). This is a flexible, distance learning programme with tutor support. Prior Learning can be accredited up to 240 credits but 120 credits must be done at the University of Aberdeen of which 90 must be at SCQF level 9. Each student’s case will be dealt with independently and the Programme Director will have the final decision.

Entry Requirements (2019):

Entry requirements for 2019 will be displayed here shortly.

Further detailed entry requirements for Education degrees.

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 - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

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

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

International Applicants

Should your programme necessitate a visit to the University you may find the following information helpful.

Fitness to Practice Guidelines

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

Fees and Funding

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) the tuition fee charged upon entry will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Please refer to our InfoHub Tuition Fees page for fee information for this programme, or contact

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub 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 Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Career Opportunities

  • Teacher

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