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Continuing Professional Development

How the CPD framework operates

Every module at taught at the University of Huddersfield has an academic level rating (foundation, intermediate, honours and masters level) and a credit rating.

You need a certain number of credits at a certain level in order to claim an appropriate award.  Modules come in different credit ratings from 5 to 60, but the majority are 20 credits at undergraduate level and 30 credits at postgraduate level.

Modules within the CPD framework can be combined into final awards in the following ways:

Foundation Level

60 credits F – University Certificate in CPD (Foundation Level)

120 credits F – Certificate of Higher Education (CPD)

Foundation and Intermediate Level

60 credits I - University Certificate in CPD (Intermediate level)

240 credits (of which at least 120 at I) - Diploma of Higher Education (CPD)

Honours Level (either BA or BSc, depending on the content)

60 credits H – University Certificate in CPD (Honours level)

120 credits H – Graduate Diploma (CPD)

300 credits (180 of which must be at I and H level with a minimum of 60 at H level) Bachelor’s Degree in CPD

360 credits (240 of which must be I and H level - of which a minimum of 120 must be at H level)—Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in CPD

Master’s Level (either BA or BSc, depending on the content)

60 credits at M level – Postgraduate Certificate (CPD)

120 credits at M level – Postgraduate Diploma (CPD)

180 credits at M level (of which at least 60 credits must be a dissertation/major project/thesis, and which must include the study of research methods) Research methods must be taught before or alongside the 60 credit module – Master’s degree (CPD)

The University offers a vast range of modules through its seven Schools: Applied Sciences; Art, Design and Architecture; Business; Computing and Engineering; Education and Professional Development; Human and Health Sciences; and Music, Humanities and Media. Many of these modules are available to you through the CPD Framework, depending on your interests and aspirations as well as your previous experience and educational attainment.

The University CPD Framework coordinator will help you to find a programme suitable for you, based on what you have done in the past and what you wish to do in the future

Here are some illustrations showing how this might work for individuals:

Example One:

Sheila already has a foundation degree in Police Studies.  The year following its completion, she wanted to develop some of the work she had done on crime when she was on that course, so she took two twenty credit honours level modules from the Behavioural Sciences suite of courses. She works in a multi-faith area and became involved in work relating to forced marriages, so wanted to learn more about different faith communities and took two twenty credit honours level modules from the religion and education degree.  Two years later she was asked to participate in a significant community education project and wanted to use this as the basis for gaining some more university credit, so took a ten credit research methods module from the BA in Youth and Community Work and a thirty credit major study module from the BA in Education and Training.  The modules she accumulated were:

Key issues in criminology, 20 H credits Behavioural Sciences Profiling and Investigating Serious Crime, 20 H credits Behavioural Sciences Religious Communities in Britain, 20 H credits BA Hons Religion and Education Gender and Religion, 20 H credits BA Hons Religion and Education Introduction to research and Academic writing, 10 H credits BA Hons Youth and Community Work Empirical Study: 30 H credits BA Hons Education and Training

This gave her enough additional credits (120 H level), combined with those already held through her foundation degree to claim an honours degree in CPD (Education studies).

Example two:

Pat is a lecturer in a large FE college and teaches a mixture of FE and HE courses.  His first degree is in history and he teaches history modules on a franchised degree course. He has a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education and Training.  He is expected to undertake CPD every year to retain his status as a member of the Institute for Learning. He wants to improve his subject specialist knowledge as well as his understanding of educational issues. He begins by taking a thirty credit master’s level module in history, without intending to gain an award – he is just updating his knowledge.  However, over time he accumulates the following modules:

30 M level credits from an MA History (Taken as his CPD in the first year following his completion of the PGCE – agreed with his manager as an appropriate programme) ‘Delivering HE in FE’: 30 M credits from an MA Professional Development (Taken in his second year after completing PGCE, as it becomes clearer that he is going to specialise in HE work). 30 M credits from another MA History module.

At this point he has half the credits needed for a Masters degree, so starts to think about how that might be taken forward.

30 M credits from an MA in Professional Development:  Methods of Enquiry (this is a research methods module that he takes in his third year as he has now decided to work towards Masters) Dissertation: MA Professional Development: 60 credits (taken in fourth year, focussing on the teaching of history to non-traditional students).

This gives the student enough credits (180 M) to claim a Master’s degree in CPD (History studies).

Example 3

Saeed has worked in the waste industry for seven years. He has recently taken on new responsibilities at work and wants to improve his knowledge to help him with his new role. He chooses three twenty credit undergraduate modules which focus exclusively on his area: Hazardous Waste Strategy; Policy, and Planning Permitting; and Legislation and Regulation.

This will give Saeed a University Certificate (Intermediate level) in CPD (Waste management).

If Saeed later decides to carry on with a degree he will be able to put the sixty credits already gained towards a higher qualification, so long as the sixty credits are no more than six years old.

Example 4

Sara has a degree in business studies and has worked for a major business consultancy firm for ten years. She wishes to set up as a business consultant on her own and decides to take some master’s level business modules to update her knowledge. These modules are Corporate Governance and Business Ethics, and Transition and Emerging Markets, each worth 15 credits. In addition that same year she takes a module on Coaching and Mentoring (30 M level credits) in the School of Education and Professional Development (SEPD).

The following year she takes one on Effective Leadership (30 M level credits), again offered by SEPD.

Sara decides to specialise in creative industries the next year and so takes two 15 credit modules offered in the School of Art, Design and Architecture: The Creative Industries, and Creative Management.

With 120 credits at master’s level, Sara has enough for a Postgraduate Diploma (CPD). Example 5

Donna works as a teaching assistant in a primary school and she recently obtained a foundation degree in Learning Support. In order to develop her role in the school she takes a module offered by the School of Health and Human Sciences, The Principles of Safeguarding Children (20 H level credits).

The following year she takes a further two modules from the School of Education and Professional Development, Mentoring and Coaching in Learning and Organisational contexts (20 H level credits) and Organisational Project (20 H level credits).

These sixty honours level credits together with her recent foundation degree allow Donna to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in CPD (Education studies).

If you want to apply for a course under the CPD framework, please apply here:

If you have any queries regarding CPD, please do not hesitate to email us at

Last updated Thursday 22 March 2012
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