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Master of Professional Studies MProf

Learn about the course below
September 2024
12 - 24 months
£6,300 per year (UK)*
£8,900 (EU/INT)*
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.

We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we have learnt during the pandemic and enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning.

We aim to model a wide range of teaching strategies and approaches on the course which you can adapt to your own setting.

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 from 2022

Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We will use technology to enhance your learning and give you access to online resources for use in your own time.

You will receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start. Delivery may differ in light of block teaching requirements, with theory sections covered online and practical sessions delivered in specialist spaces on campus.

This course is designed for teachers (training and ECTs) who are employed in a school setting and want to study for a postgraduate qualification. The assignments and workload are designed to complement professional practice and fit alongside employment responsibilities. However, you will need to commit to some additional hours for extended reading, research and independent study.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars and workshops. We’ll schedule all of this for you.
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor. It also includes student-led group work that takes place in online sessions.
  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself or with your peers depending on the task. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare and reflect in your own time.


You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic and practice based skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will be available on campus and online.

You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

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

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).

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Doctor of Professional Studies (Transdisciplinary)

Start: September 2023

Duration: 3-7 years

Code: 004X912

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