Work Based and Integrative Studies BA (Hons) (Combined Honours)
2014 - 2015
Bachelor of Arts (Combined Honours)
Work Based and Integrative Studies
Work Based and Integrative Studies
University of Chester
University of Chester
The programme is delivered at the Chester and Warrington Campuses, and facilitated at distance. The client-centred nature of this programme requires that individual modules be delivered at sites determined by clients' needs. Currently, delivery sites also include Arrowe Park Hospital. It is also delivered at the Isle of Man College, and Tameside College.
Work Based and Integrative Studies
Full-time and Part-time
Residential and Open,
Duration of study is negotiable within the maximum permitted time-frame.
Business and Management
Centre for Work Related Studies
No benchmark characteristics have been published for this programme.
Approved studies routes are designed to embrace relevant subject benchmark statements or relevant occupational standards (and equivalents) delineating specialist practice areas, where appropriate. For example, when devising the Foundation Degree (FdA) for the Royal Air Force, QAA subject benchmarks specified for General Business and Management were used to inform curriculum design.
Work-based and Integrative Studies Subject Assessment Board
Tuesday 1st May 2012
WBIS is a framework designed to accredit work based and work related learning in HE. Its name reflects the nature of the framework itself:- 'work based' because it allows students to access academic credit for their learning at work;- 'integrative studies' because students are typically able to integrate relevant taught modules (from the University's 'bank' of modules) into their negotiated pathway of learning. These pathways of learning can be negotiated by individual students or by organisations on behalf of cohorts of students.
The WBIS framework and its programmes specifically aim to:
provide access to learning opportunities which promote personal and professional development undertaken for academic credit and/or personal need;
enhance students' workplace practice through application of the knowledge and skills gained through their degree programme and elsewhere;
deliver coherent, meaningful, approved studies routes which give participants the opportunity to negotiate their learning, plan their study routes and achieve their desired outcomes;
facilitate reflective practice and develop knowledge and understanding of its underpinning theory;
develop the skills and knowledge appropriate to the field(s) of learning within approved studies routes and reflect academic development in those fields;
work with businesses and organisations who seek staff development and CPD opportunities through higher education;
make use of the widest learning resources available, as appropriate, for module achievement.
Knowledge and Understanding Subject specific knowledge and understanding will be developed in the context of modules negotiated as part of the student's pathway. Knowledge and understanding of work-based learning. Principles of work-based learning - self review, work-based skills and processes, designing practitioner research, project design, implementation and evaluation, self-critical reflection. Application, reflection and modification of practiceinformed by practice-based and professional expertise.
Thinking or Cognitive Skills Intellectual and cognitive skills will be developed through subject specific modules and those designed with subject and practice-based content specifically for the programme. Intellectual and cognitive skills will be developed through analysis and reflection on the Work-based and Work-related learning experiences which are central to the programme. Exemplar learning outcomes include the ability to:
contextualise their role within the workplace and review critically their own perspective on the world of work.
review and critique the current knowledge base underpinning specific areas of work and demonstrate extension of work-based (tacit) knowledge;
review critically approaches, methodologies and practices used in the workplace and identify how these might be enhanced;
demonstrate appropriate analysis and synthesis of concepts and/or protocols used in one (work-based) context and demonstrate their effective application in another
review published literature and demonstrate how current working practices might be informed and enhanced by relevant research and/or contemporary developments in best practice;
demonstrate logical thought, interpretation and application in work-based/related settings.
Practical Skills Work-based skills and processes are central to the programme. Learning outcomes which focus on practical skills will be specified in the taught module descriptor or Negotiated Experiential Learning Agreement as appropriate. Practice and professionally based skills e.g. for nursing, teaching, business, IT, etc. will reflect specific vocational areas and may be specified within modules. Practical skills and professional competencies will be assessed within the workplace by Associate Tutors, appointed by the Centre for Work Related Studies, Professional Development,who are demonstrablycompetent to make the assessment based on their qualifications and experience.
Key Skills Students will be required to demonstrate effective:
Communication written and verbal communications skills (e.g. written report or essay and when giving formal presentations.)
Example learning outcome: Prepare and deliver a formal presentation in order to disseminate the findings and recommendations arising from your work-based project.
Application of Number
Appropriate use of numerical and statistical techniques will be incorporated where relevant into the student's negotiated approved studies route. For example, when collecting andanalysing quantitative data in the 40 credit, level 6 NELM module,(ifappropriate.) Example learning outcome:Select appropriatetools for data collection and analyse quantitative data usingsuitable statistical techniques.
Information Literacy and Technology
Literature search and retrieval (e.g. use of internet, word processing skills, use of databases and statistical packages (whereappropriate).
Improving own learning and performance
This programme is designed to enable students to reflect critically their own professional practices and those of the organisation in which they work. In the initial self review module,students are asked to examine their own preferredlearning styles, political compassand to reflect critically on their pre-suppositions and assumptions as a way of enhancing their learning and development. The assessment strategy of most modulesincludes a component in which the student is requiredto reflect critically on their approach to andperformance in work-based tasks orinitiatives as they strive to become self-reflective practitioners. Expressed as a learning outcome (level 5): analyse and reflect critically on your approach to and performance inworking within work-based teams.
Working with others
Due to the work-based nature of the programme, students routinely work with other members of their organisation invarious ways. Typical examples might include:working as a member of work-based teams,supervisionof staff, working with customers, stakeholders and/orclients, and students may reflect on their negotiation, influencing and communication skills when working with these groups. The personal learning outcomes specified in the learning agreement will focus on the students development of these skills and their reflections on their approach to and performance in developing them.
Problem solving (in the workplace)
Students are frequently required to demonstrate and reflect critically on theirproblem solving abilities when completing work-based projects assessed through the Negotiated Experiential Learning Modules. The learning outcomes specified in the NELA andthe negotiated assessmentbriefwillreflect this as appropriate. Example of Learning outcome (Level 6): devise andimplement a strategy for enhancing collaborative working between mental health teams located in acute hospital wards and those based in the community.
Transferable Professional Skills One of the primary aims of this programme is to enable students to develop and demonstrate their application of a range oftransferable professional skills through work-based or work-related learning. Students are encouraged to specify, as learning outcomeswithin the Negotiated Experiential Learning Agreement (NELA), the personal and professional transferable skills they intend todevelop or demonstrate. Students are required to complete the NELA prior to commencing the Negotiated Experiential Learning Module. Examples include : coaching skills, negotiation skills, influencing people, leading and supervising teams, managing conflict,project management.
Generic WBIS Learning Outcomes in relation to levels of study:FHEQ Levels 4-6 By the end of the programme students will be able to :
FHEQLevel 4 1. utilise work-based/related terminology and methods so as to demonstrate understanding of, and/or competence in, relevant working practices. 2. consider and integrate relevant concepts of practice, procedures and/or outcomes into their workplace activities. 3. express ideas rationally and demonstrate knowledge handling skills accurately, with appropriate references to published sources.
FHEQLevel 5 1. critically analyse work-based practice demonstrating the inter-relationship of activities/procedures and indicatehow this might be informed and enhanced by reference to relevant contemporary literature. 2. demonstrate logical thought, interpretation and application in work-based/related settings. 3. contextualise their role within the workplace and critically review their own view of the world of work.
FHEQLevel 6 1. demonstrate appropriate analysis and synthesis of concepts used in one context of work-based and/or work-related learning, and demonstrate their effective application in another. 2. critically evaluate approaches and methodologies as appropriate, demonstrating capability in critical use of both academic and work-related concepts. 3. evaluate work-based artefacts/products in a way that demonstrates extension of work-based (tacit) knowledge, involving critique of the current knowledge base for relevant work areas.
FHEQ Level 4 - 6 - Undergraduate Levels
This negotiated programme is modular in structure; students may elect to complete the full Bachelor's degree or to exit the programme with one of a number of intermediate awards. WBIS approved studies routes are usually negotiated in relation to the client's work-based development needs and specialist areas of practice. Approved studies routes may be designed to feature WBIS modules alone, or a blend of these plus discipline-specific modules selected from those offered by other Faculties within the University.
The credit requirements for each undergraduate award are summarised in section 24c.
Module selection: Modules selected as part of approved studies routes must be at the appropriate level and modular pre-requisites are recognised in the usual way. To ensure coherence of approved study routes, only modules related to the field of working practice and/or the negotiated award title of the participant, will be permissible.
Students on individually negotiated routes will complete an Approved Studies Learning Agreement (ASLA) in consultation with their Personal Academic Tutor. This will be submitted to the WBIS Programme Team for approval, and reported to the University’s WBIS Approval Panel.
Specific pre-validated modules have been written for each level of the programme and these generally relate to the need to help students plan and contextualise negotiated programmes of work-based and work-related learning. These modules typically form the key components of a WBIS approved studies route and include:
Self-Review and Negotiation of Learning - students are normally required to complete just one of the Self Review and Negotiation of Learning modules (IS4 001, IS5 001, and IS6 001 - depending on level of entry to the programme), using this initial module to negotiate their approved WBIS learning pathway based on their personal and professional development needs. This module is also used to advise students who intend to submit claims for accreditation of prior learning (APL). This is typically the first module a student will take on their WBIS study route, enabling them to engage in the process of programme planning.
Skills & Approaches for Work Based Learning, a module which is designed to help prepare the ground for work-based experiential learning and the accumulation of academic credit for this purpose. It is typically taken after the Self Review module.
Designing Practitioner Research, which helps students prepare for research projects in the workplace, involving them in research project design and justification.
Exit Review & Forward Planning - typically taken by students at the end of their WBIS approved studies programme. This module encourages students to reflect on their programme of study as a whole, look at how they have developed personally and professionally, and then plan for future opportunities and career progression in the light of this.
In addition, two types of pre-validated ‘template' module exist within the WBIS post-graduate programme:
Negotiated Experiential Learning Modules(NELMs), which give credit for work-based learning and project work. Learning is driven by workplace practice and experiences and students customise generic learning outcomes with their own, specific ones negotiated with their tutor, also having the opportunity to negotiate appropriate module assessment.
WBIS Work-Related Taught Modules. These specialist modules are commissioned and designed on a collaborative basis by organisations and individuals working with the University, and are aimed at increasing vocational knowledge and competence in specific areas of study. They exist as generic ‘templates' which can be specifically customised at each level of study. Organisations, students and other interested parties may negotiate the content, assessment and learning strategies. The customised versions of these template modules are presented to - and authorised for use by - the University's WBIS Approval Panel.
In relation to the above, the validation of the WBIS framework allows the University's WBIS Approval Panel to authorise:
(i) customised versions of the WBIS Taught Work-Related Modules to meet the student's/ client's needs
(ii) negotiated approved studies, which may include the types of module listed above, plus modules from relevant, existing validated programmes offered elsewhere within the University (the University of Chester bank of modules)
A link to the list of customised modules approved by the WBIS Approval Panel can be found in section 32.
A summary of the WBIS framework modules available, their credit values and associated awards is given below:
Credits and Awards available by level.
FHEQ Level 4
Normally, Self Review and Negotiation of Learning (IS4 001)
IS4 002 Skills and Approaches for Work-Based Learning (20 credits).
By negotiation, appropriate discipline-specific Level 6 modules validated and delivered by other Faculties within the University.
IS6 023 Designing Practitioner Research (20 credits)
IS6 022 Exit Review and Forward Planning. (20 credits)
Normally 120 credits (60 ECTS) are required to complete a full undergraduate level.
To receive the award of B.A. / B.Sc., students must complete 360 credits (120 credits at each of the levels 4, 5 and 6)
To achieve the award of Graduate Certificate, students are required to complete 60 level 6 credits (3 modules).
To achieve the award of Graduate Diploma, students are required to achieve 120 level 6 credits (6 modules).
Programme Award Titles and Component Modules.
The usual criteria relating to the quantity and level of credit will determine the exit awards:
degree awards: the title B.Sc. or B.A., etc., will be conferred according to the same general criteria operating across the undergraduate Combined Honours framework, where the major discipline across the modules studied dictates the title; in the case of WBIS, all credit counted towards the relevant award shall be taken into account. In the situation where individual modules are undertaken that have no distinct Arts/Science focus (such as, on occasion, experiential learning modules which may cross-cut disciplines) then the appropriate title of awards relating to the profession concerned will be the germane factor in the case of this particular credit (e.g. for students working in the field of nursing these modules will be counted as Science, or for a student who is a public sector manager, Arts). If, across an approved studies route, the nature of the exit award is for any reason in doubt, then the default degree award will be an Arts one (B.A.).
named approved studies: within the Combined Honours framework the degree awards are named so that the award may be, for example, in a particular major/minor pathway, B.A. English Literature with History: a similar provision is available for study routes within the WBIS framework. Where the Programme Team negotiates approved studies leading to an award with an individual student or with a client or partner institution involving a cohort of students, the award will be appropriately named and subject to final ratification by the University’s WBIS Approval Panel: e.g. Fd.A. Leadership and Management (Work Based and Integrative Studies); B.Sc. Mental Health Nursing (Work Based and Integrative Studies with Honours). Award titles must relate to the student’s area of working practice and the modules which make up the approved studies route leading to the award must offer coherence.
intermediate awards of Certificate of Higher Education and Diploma of Higher Education will be available at undergraduate level.
The awards currently available conform to those identified in the University's Principles and Regulationsand are:
60 credits (3 modules) exclusively atFHEQ Level 4, exclusively at Level 5, or accumulated across any of the undergraduate levels
Certificate in Higher Education
120 credits (6 modules) at Level 4
Diploma in Higher Education 240 credits (12 modules) with not less than 120 at Level 5
*Foundation Degree Fd.A, Fd.Sc. 240 credits (12 modules) with not less than 120 at Level 5
Bachelor's Degree B.A., B.Sc. 360 credits (18 modules) with not less than 120 at Level 6 and 120 at Level 5
Graduate Certificate 60 credits (3 modules) at Level 6 only
Graduate Diploma 120 (6 modules) credits at Level 6 only
* Differentiation between Dip HE and Foundation degree agreed academic review subcommittee, December 2004
The framework conforms to the University's principles and regulations in its admission requirements and, in addition, makes particular use of admittance on the basis of uncertificated learning and experience. The initial Self Review and Negotiation of Learning module partly performs the role of a diagnostic, facilitating entry on to the framework at an appropriate level and securing negotiation of an approved studies route that is appropriate for the participant.
The Undergraduate WBIS programme is essentially post-experience programme of study. It forms part of the University's widening participation and lifelong learning agendas and, as such, does not necessarily require formal academic qualifications for entry. Where formal entry criteria (e.g. UCAS points, ‘A' Level, HND, FdA) do not apply, entry will be determined in relation to the level and extent of professional responsibility and experience of the candidate. Prior to acceptance, all candidates will be offered an advisory interview through which an assessment of their potential to engage with, and benefit from, a WBIS programme of study will be made and, if accepted, the level of study at which they will enter will be determined wherever possible. If the academic level at which a student should initially pursue their WBIS study can only be ascertained during their diagnostic first module (for instance, Self Review and Negotiation of Learning) then they will normally be registered initially at FHEQ Level 4 and then, if necessary, re-registered at the appropriate level before submitting for any academic credit.
Through the initial Self Review and Negotiation of Learning module, students will, if appropriate, be encouraged to seek credit for prior learning (including prior experiential learning) through the University's APL processes and procedures.
There are no benchmark characteristics specific to this programme. Programmes are designed to embrace subject benchmark statements or relevant occupational standards or equivalents which delineate specialist practice areas where appropriate.
The negotiated nature of the programme requires that tutorial staff adopt flexible strategies for teaching and learning. A range of approaches will thus be used depending on the focus of the module and the mode of delivery appropriate to the client group. Some examples are listed below:
Individual face-to-face tuition plus support and guidance via e-mail and telephone (e.g. Self-Review and Exit Review and Progression, Negotiated Experiential Learning modules)
Blended Learning predominantly using a web-based VLE but with additional e-mail/ Skype/telephone tutorial support (e.g. Foundation Degree for Government)
Group Workshops plus online and e-mail support (e.g. Designing Practitioner Research, Taught WBIS modules, Skills and Approaches to Work-based Learning)
Action Learning sets
Role play activities and analysis of case studies (Conflict Transformation)
The use of online discussion groups with certain client groups.
Students are supported and their progress monitored by:-
i. e-mail, Skype, phone and where feasible, face-to-face contact.
ii. formative feedback on assignments.
ii. publication of four assignment submission deadlines throughout the year.
iv. contact of fallow students by their PAT three times per year.
In the spirit of work-based learning, assessment within this programme is often negotiable within set parameters outlined in the module descriptors, allowing participants to present workplace artefacts (where appropriate), and negotiate forms of assessment that otherwise have relevance to the workplace.
Description of the range of assessment methods
Assessment and learning are seen as complementary and interdependent. Where modules allow students to negotiate individual assignments, these will be designed to assess all or some of the learning outcomes.
i. Modules specific to the WBIS programme.
A number of modules on the programme (e.g. Self Review and Negotiation of Learning, Exit Review and Progression Planning, the NELM modules) enable students to identify realistic outcomes and promote self-audit /self-assessment of intellectual and practical capability, and attainment of personal development through critical reflection. Students are encouraged to reflect critically on some of the following areas: relevant professional knowledge, current working practices, problem solving, analytical and decision-making skills, pro-activity, creativity, and their ability to relate theory to practice, personal transferable skills, sensitivity to people and events, emotional resilience.
The modes of assessment used on the programme will include for example: critically reflective essay, presentation, project report, dialogue interview, an experiential learning proposal, a work-based research proposal and, on negotiation, work place artefacts. Examples of such artefacts might include: a website designed by the student, a video or DVD produced by the student, company report, policy or procedure, a database and supportive training documentation developed by the student. The mode of assessment appropriate to and agreed in the Negotiated Experiential Learning Modules, will be formalised in the Negotiated Experiential Learning Agreement (NELA). Formal examinations are not normally used as a mode of assessment within the WBIS accredited modules.
Re-assessment will normally be designed to assess the same qualities and learning outcomes as the original assessment. However the method by which these are assessed may be changed in order that students are given maximum opportunity to demonstrate their learning. This will be specified in the module descriptor.
ii.Modules selected from the UC module bank and integrated within the student's approved studies pathway: assessment and re-assessment will conform to information outlined in the validated programme and its module descriptors.
Level related assessment criteria: Assessment for all modules within this programme will conform to the generic level descriptors, and the assessment criteria and methods published for those modules.
As WBIS is a programme which is designed to facilitate work-based and work-related learning, students following the programme are typically already in employment. Graduates who have already completed the programme indicate that the skills and abilities they have developed during their period of study have enabled them to reflect upon, and consider, their personal and professional development in some depth.
Career paths followed by WBIS students are hugely varied, though substantial numbers work in the fields of management, education, nursing, IT, services, administration and coaching.
WBIS students are encouraged, when appropriate, to undertake the Exit Review and Forward Planning module at the end of their period of study on the programme. This module enables students to reflect on their development across their entire WBIS programme of study and encourages them to plan for future career and personal development. Until recently, it was a unique module in Higher Education in the UK, and has since been adopted as good practice on similar programmes of negotiated work-based learning at other UK HEIs.
The WBIS programme fully embraces the University's Lifelong Learning and Widening Access and Participation agendas, being specifically designed to facilitate a negotiated curriculum that is tailored to the learner's needs and flexible in terms of both the mode and location of delivery, and of assessment. The programme is open to all students who meet the admission requirements specified in section 30 above.
The needs of students with specific needs or disabilities are closely managed in collaboration with the University's Disability Support Service. A number of staff within the Centre for Work Related Studies have experience in supporting students with specific needs /disabilities.
A Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks will not normally be required unless, in completing a module(s), students are working with children or vulnerable adults. In the case of NELM modules, this issue will be discussed during the negotiation of the Negotiated Experiential Learning Agreement (NELA).