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BA (Hons) Professional Studies (Progression Route)

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West Suffolk College


One year full-time.

Two years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

A Foundation degree (or equivalent).


This course is delivered at the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds.

If you don’t meet the above entry requirements, we may still be able to consider you. If you’re interested in applying, call our Clearing Hotline to discuss your suitability for study.  


  • An innovative and professionally relevant course  
  • Excellent levels of pastoral and academic support
  • Provides strong employability and networking opportunities
  • Offers opportunities to tailor assessments to professional role or sectors and industries which interest you
  • Delivered by a team of highly qualified and approachable lecturers
  • Smaller class sizes providing students with more time to explore and debate topics in depth
  • Great levels of support for all students
  • All of our teaching is delivered by our highly qualified, enthusiastic and supportive staff

Our varied and innovative teaching methods include lectures, seminars, work based assignments, workshops, group presentations  and online support. Innovative assessment methods including essays, reports, e-portfolios, presentations, literature reviews, group work and a dissertation, to develop and test a wide variety of skills and abilities. Career and networking opportunities across a range of professions. Great opportunities for team-working, study groups and making lifelong friendships

Former student: 

"The course was very enjoyable and the dissertation though challenging was very rewarding to complete.  I would recommend this course to anyone wanting to obtain a level 6 qualification / degree with a business management focus.  The academic team at the University were very knowledgeable and very supportive."


The course includes six “Study Days” which take place at University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College.

Study Day Example

For those students who have not completed a research module at level 5 a further study day will be scheduled to provide guidance and support in the planning and preparation of a Dissertation at level 6.

Although much of the study takes place through a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) you still get access to all university facilities and the on-line library. Practical Support is also available from experienced tutors and there are six university days where lectures and seminars are delivered at University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College.



09:15 – 12:30





13:15 – 16:30

Thursday 13 September 2018

Induction and Dissertation preparation

Dissertation preparation session



Research Skills/Critical Thinking and Analysis


Friday 14 September 2018

Research Methods 

Research strategies

Writing a research proposal


Sourcing and reviewing literature

Writing a literature review


Monday 1st

October 2018

Study Day

Professional Futures, Ethics and Sustainability



Organisational Strategies


Monday 5th November 2018

Study Day

Professional Futures, Ethics and Sustainability



Organisational Strategies


Monday 3rd December 2018

Study Day

Professional Futures, Ethics and Sustainability



Organisational Strategy



Monday 4th February 2019

Study Day

Professional Development



Managing for Innovation and Change


Monday 18th March 2019

Study Day

Professional Development


Managing for Innovation and Change

Assessment will take place using the following mechanisms:

  • Essays – providing opportunities for students to focus on key themes and topics within a chosen sector; to critically analyse and compare sources of information, and to demonstrate a knowledge of key issues, debates etc within a chosen sector
  • Presentations (Group and Individual) - providing the opportunity to demonstrate professional and communication skills.
  • Personal Journal – enabling learners to reflect on their own personal and professional development in relation to module learning outcomes
  • Sector- focused papers – enabling students to research and explore key issues, debates, problems and solutions influencing the contemporary professional environment relating to the chosen career path
  • Critical review – Selecting and analysing primary and secondary resources relating to dissertation preparation
  • Reports – for example on a specific aspect of your organisation
  • Research proposal – Relating to the dissertation, but focusing on design skills, identification of objectives, research methodologies, design of research questions
  • Practical work – Examining the students’ ability to work in group settings, to develop project management and monitoring procedures, effectively employ sector-specific technologies and IT, and communication skills
  • Leadership and Professional Development Plan - evidence based portfolio to reflect skills and competencies
  • Dissertation – A major research project of 10,000-12,000 words, potentially related to your professional role and interests, providing the opportunity to examine a topic in considerable depth under supervision, and demonstrate rigour in the application of academic conventions relating to citation, referencing etc






Course modules

The course allows students to gain 120 credits at Honours level, comprising of four 20 credit modules and a 40 credit undergraduate dissertation on a negotiated topic. Students will have the opportunity to contextualise their assignments to reflect their preferred subject area.

Delivery of the course material makes use of Learn (the Virtual Learning Environment), with subject support tutors located at each of the Centres. Students will be given the opportunity to attend module tutorials, lectures and workshops. 

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Professional Development

The purpose of this module is to offer learners the opportunity to further develop personal attributes associated with professionalism.  It is important throughout this module that students are able to draw links between knowledge gained through academic lectures, seminars and reading, and learning and skills acquired in the workplace.

Professional Futures: Ethics and Sustainability

Most professional and statutory bodies have well developed codes for the environmental, social and ethical dimensions of their practice and currently there is increasing pressure on professionals to become more engaged with “sustainability” issues.  This module identifies some of the competencies, knowledge, skills and attitudes that reflect evolving professional standards with which students will explore the implications of ethical issues and sustainability for the future of their sector as well as their own professional practice.  Emphasis is placed on developing the capability to learn from learning, to vision the future, to adapt to change, to think critically and act responsibly.  

Managing for Innovation and Change

Innovation and creativity is increasingly being identified as the critical factor in ensuring economic competitiveness and a range of other beneficial social outcomes. This module aims to equip the student with skills and knowledge in creative thinking, problem solving to encourage decision making. The module also aims to equip the student with knowledge about how innovation, risk and an opportunity-seeking attitude come together in the notion of the business or social entrepreneur.  

Organisational Strategies

This module is designed to provide the student with a holistic view of the organisation (both macro and micro) and thus to appreciate the importance of strategic decisions at all levels. Its primary aim is to provide a vehicle for considering issues which cut across the functional boundaries of the organisation and which require multi-disciplinary skills in the solution.


The Dissertation module requires students to carry out valid, independent, small scale research, developing key skills in data and information gathering, evaluation, analysis and communication, within a professional context.  The module develops and applies the techniques and principles of research and enhances students’ critical and interpretative capabilities. The outcome is a report of 10,000-12,000 words.  Students can select to choose an area of research from within their own professional role.  The completion of a dissertation at Level 6 will support the behaviours, attributes and competencies that are required within a professional environment. 

The dissertation allows students to build on particular interests and experience gained over their course of study and their professional role and interests, allowing them to test theory and apply knowledge.  Research skills are seen as important to self-development and employability, and are eminently transferable to the workplace.  The dissertation offers the student considerable autonomy and the opportunity to take responsibility for a very individual and stretching piece of work at final honours degree level.​

Career opportunities

Upon completion of the course graduates will hold a full Honours degree, allowing students to advance within their careers or move on to management positions such as:  

Graduates can also choose to advance to postgraduate study, either an MBA or professionally.

Fees and finance


  • Full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information)
  • International tuition fee: £11,790 p.a.

Further Information                                                

  • Tuition Fees
  • Financial Support 
  • Loans and Grants
  • At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for. 


    Entry requirements

    If you don’t meet the above entry requirements, we may still be able to consider you. If you’re interested in applying, call our Clearing Hotline to discuss your suitability for study.  


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