Top reasons to study with us
This is an approved pathway to the Senior Leaders Apprenticeship, so you may be able to fund your programme through the Apprenticeship Levy.
You may be eligible for module exemptions with our Recognition and Accreditation of Prior Learning.
Discover our flexible pathways so that you can tailor your programme timescales, target award and award title.
Our Professional Practice Postgraduate MA programme provides a flexible, bespoke work-based route to a postgraduate qualification. You can progress to this programme from several of our postgraduate certificates including:
- Professional Practice
- Professional Development
- Leadership and Management
- Leadership and Management (Healthcare)
- Organisation Development
The main focus is a work-based project supported by your own personal learning and development. You will benefit from a highly relevant, customised course which also delivers outcomes for your organisation.
At this stage of your programme, there is increased emphasis on bespoke learning related to the delivery of your work-based projects. You will study the core modules shown below and choose from a range of optional modules in line with your specific needs including a 60-credit work-based project. You will need modules to the value of 180 credits.
The assessment methods vary and may include coursework, project proposals, reports, reflective commentary, and oral presentations.
Students may also make a claim (Accreditation of Prior Learning) to gain credits for exemption from some modules.
This programme will take 3 - 5 years to complete.
We are recruiting now for start dates throughout the year. For more information or to apply please make an enquiry to the CETAD team.
A first degree or equivalent professional qualification.
We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for information.
Applicants will usually have at least three years of experience in a role which allows for the scope to undertake postgraduate work-based projects. All applicants require employer or stakeholder support.
If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.
English Language Requirements
We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.
We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 6.0 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.
Delivering a Work Based project
A key feature of a work-based learning programme is the requirement to learn from and for your work context. Work-based projects are purposeful work activities focusing on the real demands of your job. Engaging in a substantial work-based project provides opportunities for you to investigate, plan, develop, implement, review and learn from experience.
The final stage of a master's qualification requires you to engage in a substantial work-based, investigative project.
This 60-credit project will be of sufficient complexity and timescale to allow you to:
- Plan and conduct a practitioner enquiry that contributes to knowledge creation and interpretation in your organisational context
- Develop mastery of key methods and techniques for undertaking practitioner enquiry, including action planning and problem-solving
- Identify, select, justify, plan and deliver a complex and multifaceted task related to the implementation of a work-based project
- Make a relevant and useful organisational impact; deploying resources effectively
Before embarking on a 60-credit project, you will complete a project proposal and ethics statement. Your mentor will provide you with formative feedback on your proposal before you submit your final version to the University Project Approval Committee.
Duration, attendance and delivery
A 60-credit project will typically take around 6-9 months to complete. You can study for your project entirely online; there are no mandatory attendance days. You will be supported with your study in the following ways:
- Access to online resources for project management and research skills
- Mentor support for your project planning and proposal
- Optional participation in face-to-face workshops and online webinars
- Becoming part of the learning community
Typically, a 60-credit project module will involve around 600 learning hours; this includes time spent on tutorials, self-study, reflection, learning and application at work, as well as completing activities and assessments.
The aim of the assessment is for you to demonstrate how you have delivered a substantive work-based project, which includes practitioner enquiry, implementation and review. There will usually be several parts to the assessment in line with the timeline of the project, from proposal through to evaluation and critical reflection. Typically, this will be compiled into a project report with an executive summary and your reflections. As an indication, the total word count is around 12000 words or equivalent.
Entry to this module is through enrolment on a postgraduate diploma or master's course.
Negotiating your Professional Development
This module is a key part of how we support you in customising your postgraduate programme.
- Develop your learning objectives to meet your personal development needs, the needs of your workplace and the requirements of the university.
- Update your personal development plan.
- Engage with your key stakeholders to determine organisational needs and the requirements for a substantive work-based project.
- Negotiate your future postgraduate programme, selecting modules to best meet your needs.
- Outline a proposal for a work-based project to fulfil personal, organisational and university requirements.
You will also negotiate timescales, target award and award title to construct an achievable programme that meets both your career aspirations and the requirements for success at postgraduate level.
Duration, attendance and delivery
The module lasts approximately 10 weeks and includes one introductory workshop/webinar, followed by online study, tutorials with your mentor, application of your learning in your workplace, and the completion of assessment tasks.
This module assessment is in two parts: a negotiated development plan, and a supporting rationale.
You will need to be in a work role (paid or unpaid) which allows scope to apply your learning in practice. This is a core module for all Postgraduate Diplomas and Master's Degrees and is not available as a free-standing short course.
Personal Learning and Development
This module is mandatory and integral to your Postgraduate Certificate Programme. It initiates your programme by facilitating activities to raise self-awareness about your strengths, development needs and the skills and knowledge you need to for your personal and professional development. This enables you to negotiate a programme of study that best fits your personal and professional development needs, with the support of a learning mentor who will support you during the length of your programme of study.
Further to designing and negotiating your programme, this module will shadow your learning journey through to completion. The module’s main purpose is to facilitate your ‘learning about learning’ and develop this critical lifelong and work-based skill. This should bring confidence to critically evaluate and challenge ideas, have a voice to make a case and communicate complex ideas to different audiences.
Duration, attendance and delivery
You will normally start this module at the beginning of your Postgraduate Certificate Programme. The module course usually lasts 12 months as it runs alongside your taught courses in the Postgraduate Certificate. There is a face-to-face workshop at the start of the module and then the module learning consists of online self-study, online group mentoring, personal mentoring, reflection activities, and completion of a learning portfolio.
You will be assessed at the end of the module through submission of a learning portfolio that represents the progress of your learning from the beginning to the end of this module. You will be assessed against the module learning outcomes, including evidence of learning with and from others on the modules that comprise your programme.
You will need to be in work (paid or unpaid) in a role which enables you to meet the requirements of the Postgraduate Certificate.
N.B. CETAD reserves the right to cancel or move the course to a later date if the number of students registered for the advertised course is not sufficient.
Work-based Improvement and Innovation Project
The project syllabus will be largely determined by the focus and nature of your project and will be agreed between you and your mentor-facilitator. You will be guided, supported and encouraged to take a proactive role in designing your own learning. It is likely this learning will be located in the following areas:
- Knowledge creation - identifying potential enquiry approaches suitable for work-based projects that deliver impact
- Developing critical cognitive skills for questioning and challenging existing organisational ideas and practices
- Developing clarity and consistency in communicating with a range of organisational and academic audiences.
- Exploring social and ethical challenges in changing organisational contexts
Fees and funding
Fees for 2024/25 (Per 10 credit module)
Home and International: £500
- MSc/MA = 180 credits
- PGDip = 120 credits
- PGCert = 60 credits
Find more information on course fees and start dates for executive education programmes.
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small College Membership Fee which supports the running of college events and activities. Students on some distance-learning courses are not liable to pay a college fee.
For students starting in 2023 and 2024, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2025 have not yet been set.
Computer equipment and internet access
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
Application fees and tuition fee deposits
For most taught postgraduate applications there is a non-refundable application fee of £40. We cannot consider applications until this fee has been paid, as advised on our online secure payment system. There is no application fee for postgraduate research applications.
For some of our courses you will need to pay a deposit to accept your offer and secure your place. We will let you know in your offer letter if a deposit is required and you will be given a deadline date when this is due to be paid.
What is my fee status?
The fee that you pay will depend on whether you are considered to be a home or international student. Read more about how we assign your fee status.
Fees in subsequent years
If you are studying on a programme of more than one year’s duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. Read more about fees in subsequent years.
Management and Business
- Advanced Leadership Perspectives MSc
- Advanced Leadership Perspectives PGCert
- Advanced Leadership Perspectives PGDip
- Business Administration MBA
- Business Administration (Executive) MBA
- Business Analytics MSc
- Cyber Security Executive MBA MBA
- Digital Business, Innovation and Management MSc
- Human Resource Management MSc
- Human Resources and Consulting MA
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship MSc
- Innovation and Improvement Science MSc
- Innovation and Improvement Science PgCert
- Innovation and Improvement Science PgDip
- International Business and Strategy MSc
- International Masters Program for Managers No Qual (PGT)
- Leadership and Management PgCert
- Leadership and Management (Health Care) PgCert
- Leadership Practice MSc
- Leadership Practice PgDip
- Leadership Practice (Apprenticeship Pathway) PgDip
- Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc
- Management MSc
- Management (Entrepreneurship and Strategy) PhD
- Management (Organisation, Work and Technology) PhD
- Management Science MRes
- Management Science PhD
- Management Science PhD (Integrated)
- Medical Leadership MSc
- Medical Leadership PgDip
- Medical Leadership PgCert
- Organisation, Work and Technology MRes
- Politics, Philosophy and Management MSc
- Professional Development PGCert
- Professional Practice MA
- Professional Practice PgCert
- Professional Practice PgDip
- Project Management MSc
- Theory and Practice of Management PhD
- Theory and Practice of Management (IDPM) PhD
The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
Our Students’ Charter
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.