Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Health SciencesProfessional development

Study options

All our modules and programmes have been mapped against the NHS knowledge and skills framework (KSF) and, where appropriate, specialist NMC standards in public health, and community nursing. The advanced practitioner pathway at masters level has been designed around the NMC consultation for advanced practice.

Where do I start?

Taking a stand alone module (20 or 40 credits) gives you an ideal opportunity to experience academic study.

Modules are usually selected in consultation with your manager, considering both work place and individual needs. If you intend to take one of the part-time degrees it may be worth taking one or two modules before you register for it as you are able to bring in up to 40 credits (sometimes more) on registration.

If you are undertaking a degree there will be core and option modules.

Most modules require attendance at study days and a set number of study hours, but others involve learning online. For most students some of the learning will be in practice and you are expected to undertake personal study and assignment preparation. A significant amount of learning for a module is achieved through completion of the assignment. For modules studied at a distance, tutorial support will be provided online.

Work based learning module

This is a flexible module that may be tailored to the needs of an individual or group who are undertaking the same learning. It will allow you the opportunity to gain academic credit for the knowledge and skills you are currently developing and using in your workplace. It has no predetermined learning outcomes. Students will agree a contract for the learning they wish to achieve, in consultation with their manager and an academic advisor. This module is available at levels 5, 6 and 7 (20 or 40 credits). Academic credit is gained through a negotiated contract and completion of an appropriate assignment. Within some of the degree programmes you may be able to bring in up to 80 credits achieved through work based learning.

One of the benefits of this kind of approach is that it is incorporated with the workplace. There is one facilitated induction day and a further 24 hours of study time must be agreed with service managers.

Gaining credits through accreditation of prior learning (APL)

Most practitioners have a wealth of experience and may have undertaken short courses or work based projects that have resulted in learning. APL is a process that enables you to gain credit for this learning which you can count towards an academic award. Each applicant is considered on an individual basis as everyone's experience and requirements are different.

Special academic activity (SAA)

Trusts can commission flexible and responsive education provision designed to meet specific practice related aims and learning outcomes. The process for developing SAA requires training and education leads of a Trust to complete and submit the specific form. Academic credit for SAA will vary. Credit may be integral to the request or achieved through APEL or by registration on a work based learning (WBL) module.

It is possible for flexible educational activity to be offered in employer or local contexts if required.

Photo of Helen Catton
The PG Diploma in Adult Nursing provided me not only with nursing skills and knowledge but also foundational skills as a health professional. These continue to be critical to my current work.
Helen CattonPostgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Nursing - Adult, 2005

Recognition of Prior Learning

RPL offers an opportunity for you to request learning you have achieved previously, to be considered for transfer into your award. The University of Southampton may accept up to 30 ECTs of credit provided it is relevant to the pathway you are seeking and you can demonstrate that the knowledge is authentic, current and relevant to your work and study. For further details of how to apply for RPL generally please follow this link to the Credit for Prior Learning page, contact the programme leader and/or the registry team at


Professional Modules

We offer a range of individual modules to support continuing professional development for qualified health professionals.

Find out more
Privacy Settings