Master of Professional Studies | Middlesex University London
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Master of Professional Studies MProf

Learn about the course below
Code
017X907
Start
September 2017
February 2018
Duration
12 - 24 months
Attendance
Part-time
Fees
See the Fees and funding tab
Course leader
Prof Brian Sutton
Dr David Adams

This programme breaks new ground both in recognising existing knowledge and experience, and in customising a programme of advanced study to address the unique opportunities and challenges you face in your world of work.

Why study MProf Professional Studies at Middlesex University?

This Master of Professional Studies (MProf) is designed specifically for you, if:

  • you are naturally curious about the nature of your professional practice and committed to the pursuit of excellence through learning,
  • you are looking for an opportunity to acquire a Masters degree that builds on your  knowledge and skills to make a difference in your organisation, community or professional field,
  • you see your professional context as a learning environment and your day-to-day work activity as a subject of inquiry,
  • you have accumulated a portfolio of professional learning and are wondering whether you can have it recognised for academic credit towards a degree.

The programme will enable you to develop your distinctive practice through critical reflection and situational inquiry.  It will equip you to remain innovative and relevant in your chosen field and make a purposeful and practical difference in your organisation or community of practice.

Your practical experience and expertise have marked you out as someone capable of shaping thinking in your field – this is your opportunity to gain formal accreditation of your contribution and increase your professional impact by exploring key issues that will drive the direction of your practice into the future.

You can enrol in September or February each year. You will then undertake a programme of practice led study lasting between 12 to 24 months depending on the portfolio of prior learning you bring into the process.

Course highlights

  • As a result of your study you will undertake a practice based project that is unique to you at this stage of your career and enables you to make a direct impact on your professional environment
  • You can receive credit for previous learning (both formal courses and informal learning from experience).  We call this process Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
  • The MProf is the professional and academic equivalent of an MA or MSc and it has the same rigorous assessment methods and criteria
  • The MProf provides a pathway onto a Professional Doctorate for those who wish to take their studies further.

What will you study on the MProf Professional Studies?

The programme is divided into two stages. The first stage provides an opportunity for you to claim recognition of your current professional knowledge and capabilities and develop advanced level skills of inquiry and research, to prepare you for the change project you will undertake in the second stage.  This comprises a research-led project leading to the final project report. The size of a degree is identified through its academic credit and for a Masters it is necessary to achieve 180 credits at level 7.

Below is a description of how these credits are achieved. Please note that Part One comprises of four assessments with a total credit value of 120 credits based on the following content:

  • Part One

    • Critical Review of Learning

      This is the opportunity to identify the capabilities, attributes and experience you bring to the programme. You will work with your cohort, academic adviser and professional community to develop a critically reflective report on your formal and informal learning that has prepared you to undertake the change project that forms the final stage of the programme. Within it, you will identify what makes you the professional you are with your own signature practice developed with time and experience. It will identify why undertaking the Masters is appropriate for you at your current stage of professional development and what makes you equipped to undertake this particular area of inquiry.

    • Recognition of Advanced Professional Learning

      This comprises of a portfolio of professional learning integrated into a package that positions you as an experienced practitioner in your field. It is likely to be supported with evidence of significant achievements together with examples of any artefacts that were produced. Your submission may include third party testimony of your professional standing and areas of achievement. Where you come to the programme through a collaborating institution, community, organisation or professional body, it is expected that it will have an influence on the shape and content of your claim.

      Your claim will consist of a portfolio of evidence and a reflective narrative demonstrating how the learning positions you as an experienced practitioner capable of undertaking a Masters programme in your chosen field.   If you choose not to present a portfolio of prior professional learning you may take one or more elective modules in its place.

    • Advanced Practitioner Inquiry

      Having made explicit your skills, expertise, attributes and interests, you are now in a position to plan your change project which is constituted as a formal three-way learning agreement between the university, your organisation or professional area, and yourself. The proposal will identify the project purpose, context and strategy, and the outcomes you wish to see for yourself, your organisation and your wider community of practice.

      Once you have designed your project you will present it to a Programme Approval Panel and Research Ethics sub-committee. This is a group of experienced professionals who provide you with formative feedback to enhance the robustness, ethical approach and potential for impact at the level required to justify the academic award. You will incorporate their feedback in your final Learning Agreement that provides the plan for Part 2 of the programme.

    • Recognition of Research and Project Capability

      A critical review of your research experience or responsibility for organisational change. A claim for research experience should outline the approach, methodology and skills that have prepared you to undertake advanced practitioner inquiry. A claim for organisational change experience should set out the strategic context of the change, the aims, objectives and expected outcomes, the methodological approach adopted with justification for the choices made. There should be evidence of organisational impact and critical reflection on the efficacy of the approach in the particular context. In either case the submission should include independent validation of your professional contribution by one of the parties mentioned in the learning agreement.

      Your submission will consist of a portfolio of evidence and a reflective narrative demonstrating how the conduct of, and learning from, this claim positions you to conduct the practitioner inquiry outlined in the project proposal. If you choose not to present a portfolio of prior research or change management you may undertake an elective module in which these skills are employed to demonstrate capability in this area.

  • Part Two

    • Change Intervention / Research Project (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This research-led project provides you with the opportunity to employ the knowledge and skills gained in Part One with the support and guidance of your organisational sponsor, academic adviser and chosen specialist consultant. Your project will be conducted in the context of a specific organisational challenge the solution to which is strategically important to your organisation or community of practice. You are free to choose any method of inquiry but you will be expected to demonstrate that it is appropriate for your context and is ethically sound. This is not an abstract academic exercise. You must show how your study has benefited your constituents and indicate the strategic relevance and impact of your work within your organisation or professional community.

      Your submission will consist of a portfolio including a project report that integrates the project outcomes (this could include video, blog posts or physical artefacts, for example), a critical commentary, and an oral presentation of your findings to a panel of internal and external assessors.

Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

How is the MProf Professional Studies taught?

The Master of Professional Studies is built on a unique learning partnership. We are not the experts in your field of practice – you are. You bring into this partnership the knowledge and experience you have gained through your work.

Our contribution to learning involves the skills of critical inquiry that can help you articulate the implicit knowledge that guides your practice, so that you can effectively address the challenges and opportunities you face. Working together, our aim is to enable you to make a difference in your personal performance, organisation or community of practice.

To ensure that the degree is relevant and has impact in your field, you can recommend a senior level practitioner as a consultant to work as a part of the individualised learning team, and we work with your employer or professional community to identify learning experiences relevant to the unique demands of your field.

Learning and teaching

As a candidate, you will study in a flexible learning mode, joining a small cohort of other participants, supported by online resources, a programme adviser and a facilitation team. You will continue to work throughout the programme and the flexible approach is designed to fit around busy work and personal commitments.

Your progress on the programme is assessed by work-based assignments, written assessments and an oral presentation of the project proposal and the final project. The assessments allow you to consolidate your learning and make an immediate impact on your daily work, bringing a tangible benefit to you and your context throughout the programme.

The programme is supported by an online learning environment and facilitated through regular online discussion forums in a cohort of like-minded professionals, and formative feedback from your programme adviser on iterative drafts of work that you produce. You will be working in an international 'community of learners', a network of peer support providing 'critical friends' on the virtual learning environment, and through events organised in London that will also be available online if you are unable to attend in person.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply

The course is offered part-time. The fees below refer to the 2017/18 academic year unless otherwise stated.

Part-time students: £5,700

The total fees above allow for 80 credits of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). If you are unable to claim the maximum RPL you will be required to complete an additional module or modules, and pay a supplementary fee.

50% of the fees will be charged on registration onto the course. The balance will be due at the end of Part One or on the anniversary of registration, whichever is first. All fees are payable by credit or debit card online.

Brian Sutton (DProf)
Professor of Learning Performance, Faculty of Professional and Social Sciences

Over the course of Brian's career, he has been a mechanical engineering designer, a Naval Officer, an IT Programme manager and a management consultant. He holds a BSc in Engineering from Bath University, an MSc in IT Management from the London School of Economics, and a Doctorate in Corporate Education from Middlesex University. In the late 90’s, he was Professor of Systems Management at the Information Resources Management College of the National Defence University, Washington DC. With over 40 years’ management and leadership experience, he has developed comprehensive information systems (IS) strategies, conducted large-scale re-engineering initiatives and led major organisational change.

Brian's current role at Middlesex University includes doctoral supervision, Link Tutor for our programmes in Hong Kong and co-leader, with David Adams, of the Master of Professional Studies. As a Fellow of the Learning Performance Institute and a veteran of the corporate training world, his specific interests lie in supporting L&D practitioners to take on a bigger role in facilitating organisational change and driving innovation and organisational performance.

David Adams (PhD, FRSA)
Senior Lecturer in Advanced Professional Practice, Faculty of Professional and Social Sciences

David began his career as a broadcast engineer before moving into programme making in radio and television. This led to roles as the European Director of an international broadcasting organisation and CEO of a pan-European educational satellite network sponsored by the European Space Agency. The next step was as an independent consultant providing coaching and training in journalism and leadership in Asia, Africa and the Middle East before seizing an opportunity to explore his own experience of professional practice through a PhD at the Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice at the University of Bath.

His current role at Middlesex University includes doctoral supervision, module leader and link tutor to external partners on the Professional Doctorate, and co-leader, with Brian Sutton, of the Master of Professional Studies. His interests lie in supporting practitioners with aspirations to do good work, and facilitating organisational change, particularly in the third sector (NGOs, voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises).

Other courses

Professional Studies DProf

Start: Varies throughout the year

Duration: 3-5 years

Code: 004X902

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