How the Degree Pathway Programme Works

Credit Accumulation

The programme is credit based meaning that you can build up a degree step by step based on your own personal and professional development needs. You are able to gain higher education credit for your own work experience (this is called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning), gain credit for appropriate qualifications you may already have (this is called Accreditation of Prior Certified Learning) and acquire new knowledge, skills and abilities to support your own professional development at undergraduate level.

There are a number of Awards that you can acquire on this pathway. They all have what is called ‘credit value’ and will count towards your objective of gaining a degree. If you wish to step off the programme at the end of an award level, due to changes in your lifestyle such as having children or changing job roles, you can do this. Once you are ready to study again, you then enrol onto the next level of award.

If you are studying part time or flexibly each level (i.e. certificate, diploma then degree) can take between on average between 6 months and two years to complete, depending on the amount of credit you already have. The Credit Accumulation Table below gives you a guide to how this step by step approach works in terms of awards, levels, credit value and how it equates to a traditionally taught full time three year degree programme.

Credit Accumulation Table

Award   Higher Education Level Credit Value Full time degree equivalence
Certificate in Higher Education or A Higher National Certificate Level 4 (L4) 120 Credits Year 1
Diploma in Higher Education or A Higher National Diploma Level 5 (L5) 240 Credits (120 credits at L4 and 120 credits at L5) Year 2
B.A. (Hons) Level 6 (L6) 360 Credits ( 120 credits at L4 plus 120 credits at L5 plus 120 credits at L6) Year 3

All programmes are part time and you can take up to 2 years to complete each award stage with up to 7 years to complete an undergraduate degree programme.

Accreditation of Prior Certified Learning

APCL is Accreditation of Prior Certified Learning. This enables you to bring in to your degree pathway qualifications you have already achieved, if they are of the appropriate level and type. For example if you have an HNC that you have achieved in the last 5 years this will be able to count towards the credit for the first year of your degree so that you can move onto the next ‘year’ or level.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning

APEL is Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning. This approach allows you to use your professional experiences to gain credit. For example, you may have worked on a project in work that has enabled your company to move forward in some way. You can use the evidence of this activity together with a short reflective essay evaluating your own professional development as a result of this, to build credit as part of your degree pathway.

Top Up Degrees

If you have achieved an HND or a Foundation Degree then you will be able to top up to a B.A. (Hons) or a B.Sc. (Hons) degree using the workbased,negotiated pathway. You will need to achieve an additional 120 credits at level 6 to do this.